Authors: Möller, JHL; Paterson, AJC; Verbeek, T


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Möller, JHL, Paterson, AJC & Verbeek, T 2012, 'Thickened tailings – a water and energy consumption perspective', in R Jewell, AB Fourie & A Paterson (eds), Paste 2012: Proceedings of the 15th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 213-224,

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A bench-scale thickening and rheology test campaign was conducted on iron ore tailings material originating from a pilot plant for a potential concentrates beneficiation project situated in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimum thickened target density for the slimes generated by the pilot plant by considering both water and energy consumption. A water and energy consumption model was developed to indicate at which thickened density the optimum water recovery and energy consumption cost benefit is obtained. The model indicates that for the pilot plant tailings material, water consumption is reduced by thickening up to an optimum density where after energy consumption increases exponentially and – considering the current ratio between the cost of water and the cost of electricity – the water consumption economic benefit is lost.

Vietti, A.J., Boshoff, J.C.J. and Cope, A. (2010) Does thickening save water?, in Proceedings Fourth International Platinum Conference Platinum In Transition ‘Boom or Bust’ 2010, 11–14 October, Sun City, South Africa, The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Johannesburg, Symposium Series S63, pp. 7–11.

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