Authors: Yuan, XS; Lahaie, R

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Yuan, XS & Lahaie, R 2010, 'Paste and thickened tailings technology and its applicability in oil sand tailings management', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 437-449.

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Abstract:
Management of fine tailings is a common challenge faced by many mining companies. In some cases, these tailings management challenges can have a significant impact on overall mine operations. Paste and thickened tailings (P&TT) technology is an integrated engineering system. It generally includes the thickener feed preparation process, thickener type selection and thickening process, flocculant selection and flocculation technology development, P&TT transport, deposition and consolidation, strategy of reuse of thickener overflow water, and impacts on environment and existing plant operation, etc. Specific to the oil sand industry, several unique situations present themselves. The first is heat recovery; with large amounts of heat required in the oil sand extraction process, thickeners offer the opportunity to recover significant heat from tailings. Secondly, the tonnage and volume of materials handled along with the varying clay content demand a thickener that can handle significant variability in feed characteristics (flow rate, slurry density, sand to fines ratios (SFR), and mineralogy, etc) and thirdly, minor amounts of bitumen in the oil sand tailings reporting to the thickener feed demand special engineering control. This paper provides an overview of the development of P&TT technology worldwide in mineral industries and highlights Syncrude’s developments of this technology to tackle the specific circumstances of fine oil sand tailings. With consideration of the new Oil Sand Tailings Directive released in February 2009, the applicability of P&TT technology in the oil sand tailings management framework is assessed.

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Paste and thickened tailings technology and its applicability in oil sand tailings management X.S. Yuan and R. Lahaie
450 Paste 2010, Toronto, Canada




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