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In today’s world, mining is faced with many evolving requirements and challenges that come to a head in the handling of the plant tailings. Many of which are directly related to the use and conservation of water. Water availability is reducing as the world’s demand for it expands. This is particularly true in arid climates like that of Inner Mongolia China. Water supply for the Baotou Steel mine and the livelihood of the nearby communities is supported by a 130 km long pipeline (the longest in China) which draws from the Yellow River. Conservation of this precious resource was one of the main drivers for the use of P&TT technology management of the plant tailings. The water recovery at the iron mine is successfully and consistently achieving above 95%. Recovery of the water at the paste thickeners eliminates or greatly reduces the existence of any free standing water in the tailings deposition unlike within slurry ponds where free water pools on the surface and large volumes are lost to evaporation and allows fluidization during slurry pond dam failures. This paper presents some case studies of China P&TT installations in arid and wet climates.
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