High-concentration hydraulic transport of tailings 
J. Bőhm, Á. Debreczeni, J. Faitli, I. Gombkötő and T. Meggyes 

Tailings are fine-grained residues from the milling process in the mining industry. They are mixed with water during the metal recovery process, and therefore emerge as slurries. They are handled and transported by tailings facilities, and are deposited in tailings ponds. Enhancing the safety and environmentally friendly operation of tailings facilities are key issues in tailings management. The TAILSAFE project dealt with improving the safety of tailings facilities, and one of the key aspects of the research was focused on water management and advances in transport technology. Reducing the amount of water used for transport increases tailings pond stability and reduces the risk that groundwater and soil will be polluted. One of the most advanced technologies to reduce the amount of transport water is paste technology, in which mixtures with extremely high solids concentrations are produced, providing significant economic incentives and environmental benefits. The just-pumpable paste material exhibits great stability at the disposal site; very often no ponds are needed; and the paste forms a gently sloping surface after placement, promoting rain-water runoff.

Key words: high solids concentration, milling process, paste, paste technology, slurry, stability, 
tailings, tailings facilities, tailings pond

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 15 (2), 195-217 (2007)

DOI 10.2462/09670513.853 

© 2007 EPP Publications Ltd

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Article code 853