Surface deposition of paste is a recognised tailings management practise, yet some sites operate with beach angles lower than expected due to inconsistent thickener underflow densities. By analysing the issues that limit paste plant performance at several sites, we can develop new operational strategies to achieve better control of the paste properties.
Variability in ore mined leads to changes in settling performance and control systems need to adapt to the changes in flocculation. Where the thickening equipment performance is tightly sized, there can be challenges in maintaining the optimum paste consistency.
Alternative flow sheet solutions are evaluated to achieve improved consistency of thickener discharge and slurry rheology, with the aim of producing more consistent beach angles over the life of the tailings storage facility.
Keywords: paste thickening, thickener automation
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