Moffett, RH 2015, 'Attributes of silica treatment on strength, physical properties and consolidation rates of fluid fine tailings', 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. 119-130, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1504_07_Moffett
Management of fluid fine tailings (FFT) is an ongoing challenge to the mining industry. To meet this challenge, in situ polymerisation of silica has been proposed as a low cost and practical method for treatment of fluid fine tailings. Silica polymerisation modifies the rheological properties of FFT, imparting significant yield strength and consolidation benefits which are maintained throughout the dewatering process. In situ polymerisation creates a continuous silica network within the fluid phase of the FFT that allows unrestricted water movement but prevents fines migration and blinding of drainage boundaries. Silica treated FFT has been demonstrated to enable self-weight consolidation. More rapid consolidation rates can be achieved through increased effective stress generated by thicker lifts and surcharge loading made practical by the high strength and enhanced erosion resistance provided by silica treatment.
This paper will provide a general overview of how in situ polymerisation functions and its effect on FFT physical properties and consolidation rates.
Brookfield Engineering n.d., Rheocalc, Brookfield Engineering Laboratories, Inc., Middleboro,
Godbille, FD 2014, ‘Modification of fluid fine tailing’s rheological and stacking properties by in situ silica polymerisation’, in RJ Jewell, AB Fourie, PS Wells & D van Zyl (eds), Proceedings of the 17th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, InfoMine Inc., Vancouver, pp. 201-214.
Karol, R 2003, Chemical Grouting and Soil Stabilization, 3rd edn, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York.
Moffett, RH 2010, ‘Treatment of fluid fine tailings with silica’, Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference on Tailings and Mine Waste, CRC Press, Leiden, pp. 347-353.
Moore, T 2013, ‘Laboratory investigation of the large strain consolidation behaviour of oil sands fluid fine tailings treated with DuPont Particlear™’, Proceedings of the 66th Annual Canadian Geotechnical Conference, paper number 528.
Sobkowicz, JC 2013, ‘Predictive model for thick lift placement of silica-treated fluid fine tailings’, in GW Wilson, DC, Sego, NA Beier (eds), Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference on Tailings and Mine Waste, pp. 181-189.
Tilton, JN 2013, ‘Preferred rheological attributes for deposition of tailings slurries’, in GW Wilson, DC, Sego, NA Beier (eds), Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference on Tailings and Mine Waste, pp. 181-189.