Authors: Wilson, GW; Kabwe, LK; Donahue, R; Lahaie, R


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Wilson, GW, Kabwe, LK, Donahue, R & Lahaie, R 2011, 'Field performance of in-line flocculated fluid fine tailings using thin lift deposition', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & A Beersing (eds), Mine Closure 2011: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 473-481,

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Dewatering of in-line flocculated (ILF) oil sands fluid fine tailings (FFT) using organic polymers with thin lift deposition is discussed in this paper. The tests were conducted at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake Settling Basin near Fort McMurray, Canada, between August and October 2010. Matric suction measurements in sand foundation materials underlying ILF-FFT showed that it required approximately 21 days following deposition for the suctions to return to the initial values. Results for evaporation measurements from mini-lysimeters (4” diameter) samples obtained from deposit in Cell 32 revealed that it required approximately 21 days for the ratio of actual evaporation to potential evaporation (AE/PE) to reach a residual value of 0.2 (20%). In summary, results obtained during this study indicated that dewatering of the ILF-FFT thin lift layer is due to both atmospheric drying and downward drainage to the foundation materials underlying the deposit.

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