Authors: Javadi, S; Pirouz, B; Williams, P; Zarabadi, A; Seif, HR


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Javadi, S, Pirouz, B, Williams, P, Zarabadi, A & Seif, HR 2015, 'Sarcheshmeh Copper Mine paste plant design, start-up and early operation overview', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Paste 2015: Proceedings of the 18th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 107-115,

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Sarcheshmeh Copper Mine paste plant was commissioned mid-2012 to re-thicken 95,000 tonnes of tailings per day. Due to the arid climate of this area and increasingly tough legislation on water resource preservation, this plant has been designed to minimise water losses in the tailings storage facility as well as to improve the tailings deposition in the main disposal area. Having been partially thickened by high rate thickeners at the concentrator plant, 40-42% solids (by weight), slurry gravitates via a concrete channel and pipe to the paste plant. The paste plant discharges tailings with 60% solids (target design figure) to the head of two main valleys running down to the tailings dam. The plant consists of twelve 24 m diameter paste thickeners in two rows, flocculant plant, reclaim water pump station and main pipe line. In order to achieve maximum performance along with flexible operation in this plant, several key issues have been taken into account in the plant design, which is briefly presented in this paper. Similar to other process plants, during plant start-up there have been many issues. Thickener underflow flow control, thickener feed, and the sealing of the concrete cones that form the base of the thickener tanks are the other areas of discussion in the paper. The paper discusses the difficulties and challenges associated with the paste plant commissioning and early operations. Moreover, summarised operational records including thickener underflow density, flocculant usage, and water recovery improvement are presented.

Chow, VT 1959, Open-channel hydraulics, McGraw Hill, Tokyo.
MacNamara, L, Khoshniaz, N & Hashemi, S 2011, ‘The Sarcheshmeh thickened tailings disposal project’, in RJ Jewel & AB Fourie (eds), Proceedings of the 14th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 237-243.

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