Engels, J, Gonzalez, H, Aedo, G & McPhail, GI 2018, 'Implementation of spigot discharge systems for high-density tailings at Sierra Gorda Sociedad Contractual Minera, Chile', in RJ Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Proceedings of the 21st International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 389-400.
During 2016, Sierra Gorda Sociedad Contractual Minera (SCM) completed a concept study for the modification of their single point tailings discharge system to a spigot style arrangement with the goal of increasing beach slope and increasing the deposition area within their tailings deposit limits. A series of deposition trials on a laboratory scale were completed to identify design and operational parameters associated with implementing spigot style systems. Deposition modelling was also completed to assist with the development of the short and long-term design for the tailings storage facility.
During 2017, a trial spigot system was developed operating gravitationally for 58–62% solids for up to 110,000 tpd. Due to the success of this system, this was subsequently complemented with three additional spigot systems with a further four to be developed in 2018.
This paper provides a review of the laboratory through to industrial-scale trials conducted and the results and optimisations considered for the short and long-term design of Sierra Gorda SCM´s tailings storage facility.
Keywords: beach slope, laboratory, industrial trial, spigots
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