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Mining with Realism – Wet and Dry Tailings

Dev Blog: Eco Peaks Newsletter
May 10, 2019
Hey folks, this week I wanted to show you the fancy new mining system we’re creating in Eco, and how ingredients will be processed.

Since animations speak louder than words, check out this diagram!


There are now three steps in processing ore from mines. Each step produces different products and byproducts, requiring different skills and equipment, and each creates various levels of pollution that must be dealt with. The new steps are crushing, which generates crushed rock and crushed ore, and concentration. Concentration produces ore concentrate, and either wet or dry tailings depending on the machine and ore. The step we’ve always had, smelting, will now produce slag as a byproduct instead of tailings.

With the addition of wet tailings, we have one of the most dangerous pollutants yet, which will be especially catastrophic if it leaks into the water supply. Concentrating iron ore without water will be an option, but gold and copper concentration will always produce wet tailings. The amounts generated here will be enough that a waste management plan will be needed to keep the surrounding areas safe. Since these facilities might be located in different places, transportation becomes in issue. In general this change will increase the depth and fidelity of processing mined ore, and set the stage for connections to other aspects of the game (skills, buildings, transport, pollution, treatment, and so on).

What’s Next

We’re continuing on 8.2 which we plan to release ASAP, and will contain tons of performance updates as well as in-game voice! And after that we’re full speed ahead on Eco 9.0, which you can read more about the government update here.

Thanks and as always let us know feedback on DiscordGithub Suggestions, and email, great to have your support.

– Team Eco

The Eco Team is a collection of introverted and sometimes genius programmers/designers based in Seattle and Australia. We all grew up and thrive in the video game culture, so of course making them is our dream job. We look forward to continuing to put out quality games for the community of players.

10 thoughts

  • Milolo

    I like the idea of a new way of mining. It adds some complexity to it too. My biggest problem however is the way you guys handle tailings so far. There should be a way to get rid or recycle them into something that doesn’t pollute. Burying them underground is in my opinion something for the stoneage, not something an advance community should struggle with.

    • Damo6337

      Having worked in the mining industry. I think we should be able too turn tails into laterite or heap leach it to produce very small amounts of resources. Both would change to atmospheric pollution.

  • Froog

    Thanks for this realistic update on mining. I am very curious. Also the change of the rocks i liked very much. But I think is to hard to make Charcoal only in Blast Furnace. Should be possible to produce in a smoker or something like that. Is may take long to produce it, but more better than in Blast Furnace. You need very much coal or wood before you can produce charcoal…

  • Jonathan

    I realy like the new ore Processing steps too.
    It would be very cool if the would ad something like a coal making pile too, so it would be more realistic.
    Sluice boxes for the minerals would be amazing too. Maybe they will ad it some day.

  • Cristokos

    I would love to see some other method for tailings to be useful, as a game mechanic to make it more fun and useful. But I do not think that is the point of showing how harmful industrial pollution actually is IRL.

  • Charlie

    Being able to process tailings into usable materials would be good as they are already a bit too much of an issue for the product gained in smelting. Perhaps being able to produced ‘encased trailings’ by processing them with stone or crushed rock would enable them to be suitably diluted in rock form, that could be placed with minimal pollution. It would require another process but would be worth the effort.

  • Ethan

    Good idea, but I think there should be a way to get rid of tailings/ make them less harmful to the environment.
    Probably more for the later game.

  • George

    Yes the tailings are already a problem but we can deal with it, but adding more complex steps and contaminats wont be a great option.

  • BoatsPls

    This seems like overcomplicating things, but i get the idea of making pollution worse. Maybe have tailings be a lot worse but let there be more in a stockpile?

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