Roshdieh, A, Williams, P & Seddon, KD 2015, 'The Sarcheshmeh thickened tailings scheme – a case study', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Proceedings of the 18th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 587-595.
This paper presents a case study on the design, construction, commissioning and early operations of a major upgrade of the tailings storage facilities at Sarcheshmeh mine, Iran.
The Sarcheshmeh mine is located in a semi-arid environment with average annual rainfall of 260 mm/year and evaporation of 2,800 mm/year. Make-up water supply comes from an alluvial borefield.
The mine commenced operations around 1980. By 2000, the original tailings storage was full. Short-term measures to increase capacity were recognised as being both unsafe and unsustainable. In addition, the existing tailings and water management practices were inadequate for a proposed expansion.
An initial options study was undertaken with the principal objectives of:
The recommended option was installation of paste thickeners together with down-valley discharge of the paste and thickened tailings. A full feasibility study and design followed.
This paper will cover the following components of the project:
In this design 12 × 24 m paste thickeners were utilised, which is currently the largest installation of paste thickeners for copper. The underflow solid concentration was planned to be around 60% solids to achieve a maximum beach slope of 1.75%.
Construction of the improvements to the system has been completed and the upgraded tailings management system is in its early years of operation with satisfactory outcomes. In this article, the various components of the system are described and outcomes are discussed.
MacNamara, L, Khoshniaz, N & Hashemi, S 2011, ‘The Sar Cheshmeh thickened tailings disposal project’, in RJ Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Proceedings of the 14th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 237-244.
Noske, C 2010, ‘Geocomposite faced rockfill – an innovative means of water-proofing tailings storages’, in AB Fourie & RJ Jewell (eds), Proceedings of the First International Seminar on the Reduction of Risk in the Management of Tailings and Mine Waste, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 283-296.
Scuero, AM & Vaschetti, GL 2009, ‘Unconventional design in dam raising: Sar Cheshmeh tailings dam’, ICOLD 23rd Congress, International Commission on Large Dams, Paris.
Williams, P 2000, ‘Evolution of thickened tailings disposal in Australia’, Paste Technology 2000, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, Australia.