Authors: Wimmler, W; Whitton, S; Wimmler, L

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Wimmler, W, Whitton, S & Wimmler, L 2019, 'The underdog mechanical alternative for tailings dewatering: the screw press', in AJC Paterson, AB Fourie & D Reid (eds), Paste 2019: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 349-360,

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“Given the increasing scrutiny of the mining industry and its relatively poor record with regards to mine tailings management, increased requirements to minimise water usage (often accompanied by very high costs of water) and the need to demonstrate achievable long-term closure strategies, it is likely that the option of a filtered tailings system will need to be considered in many operations in future.” (Australian Centre for Geomechanics 2018). Given such a statement as a conference introduction, it is only appropriate that a range of potential technologies are investigated and compared, to create awareness for even underrated but appropriate technologies. The advantages and disadvantages of all technologies need to be considered and analysed. Suppliers are swift to promote their technologies advantages, however aspects of sustainability are not always fully understood and comprehended. Perhaps a combination of two filtration technologies is appropriate. This paper delves into the technical details, good or bad, of four mechanical dewatering technologies in tailings dewatering and provides insight on an undervalued and, in the author’s opinion, young technology – the screw press.

Keywords: screw press, tailings, dewatering, filtration, waste water

Australian Centre for Geomechanics 2018, 22nd International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings Event Brochure, brochure, viewed 21 March 2019,
IEA Derflinger Gmbh 2018, Installation, Operating and Maintenance Manual, IEA Derflinger Gmbh, Pucking.
Whitton, S, Wimmler, W & Vangsness, T 2015, Application of Screw Press Filtration to Tailings Dewatering, The Australian Coal Industry’s Research Program, Project Number C23041.
Wimmler, L 2015, ‘Screw press dewatering of rare earth flotation tailings’, Proceedings of ALTA Uranium-Ree Sessions, ALTA Metallurgical Services, Melbourne.

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