Authors: Niederhauser, MJ; Wilson, K

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Niederhauser, MJ & Wilson, K 2011, 'Innovative coal refuse dewatering system', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Paste 2011: Proceedings of the 14th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 39-44,

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A new emphasis has emerged to eliminate waste impoundment dams; first, as a means to improve water conservation; second, as a means to extend the life of refuse (tailings) waste impoundment areas; and third, to promote safer long-term storage of these wastes. Refuse (tailings) dewatering systems have seen a new resurgence as an alternative to eliminate these impoundment dams. By using an EIMCO® Deep Cone™ thickener to concentrate the underflow from existing standard thickeners at a Coal Washing Plant in the Midwestern United States, FLSmidth has been able to minimise the number of filter presses needed for the dewatering process. By teaming the thickener with a new fully-automatic AFP Mark IV™ filter press, the labour costs for the system are minimised. Filter cake having only 30% moisture replaces slurry that was previously 73% water in the impoundment area. This dewatering system will extend the life of the coal washing plant by several years. This paper will discuss the methodology used to determine the process and equipment selection to accomplish the goal of maximised water recovery while minimising capital and operating costs.

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