Authors: Chafy, A; Tidswell, M; Lane, C

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Chafy, A, Tidswell, M & Lane, C 2018, 'Case study: project start-up for thickened graphite tailings, storage and water recovery strategies', in RJ Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Paste 2018: Proceedings of the 21st International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 531-544,

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This paper presents an overview of the tailings management and water recovery strategies that are proposed for the thickened tailings of the Balama graphite project, in northern Mozambique. Graphite processing operations are rare globally, but tailings management is a challenge that almost all mining companies are facing. Water reuse is intrinsically connected to tailings management. Syrah Resources Ltd (the company) is a company starting a graphite mining and processing operation located in a remote area in the northern region of Mozambique. A region with enormous challenges ranging from sourcing qualified local manpower to infrastructure and logistics for supporting the project. The biggest challenge is to maximise the lifetime of the tailings storage facility (TSF) and recycle more than 85% of water to minimise the freshwater intake and usage. At the time of writing, the project was in the last steps of construction and is progressing through the commissioning phase. The company, in compliance with environmental and low-cost production requirements, has designed an interesting strategy for tailings thickening and water reuse.

Keywords: Balama, graphite, tailings, water

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