Authors: Roshdieh, A; Williams, P; Seddon, KD


Cite As:
Roshdieh, A, Williams, P & Seddon, KD 2015, 'The Sarcheshmeh thickened tailings scheme – a case study', 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. 587-595,

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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.

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