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As part of an investigation of possible water-saving measures at Anglo Platinum’s Mogalakwena Mine in Limpopo, South Africa, a study was made of conditions on the wet beaches of two adjacent tailings dams, each serving a separate plant on the mine. For one of the dams, a special catamaran was designed and constructed to enable the full length of wet beaches to be accessed and sampled immediately after a layer of tailings had been deposited. For the other dam, the wet beach was accessed using conveyor belting and scaffold planks. The length of the beaches was 400 m on the first dam, and 200 m on the second, sampled at 50 m intervals. The parameters reported in this paper, for both beaches were:
The surface water contents shortly after deposition have been used to establish the relative density of the settled, decanted tailings and its variation down the beach. Combined with the decant and drainage flows, the calculated and actual water recoveries from both dams have also been established.
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