Authors: Klug, R; Schwarz, N

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Klug, R & Schwarz, N 2019, 'Dewatering tailings: rapid water recovery by use of centrifuges', 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. 369-383,

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At present, most tailings are dewatered by static settling in tailings dams. The environmental impact of these large settlings ponds is very dramatic, not to mention the space requirements and the potential risk of dam failure. This method of disposal also results in the loss of process water due to evaporation. This can be significant in areas where the supply of fresh water is limited. The high centrifugal force in a decanter centrifuge drastically increases dewatering efficiency, as centrifugal separation happens at up to 29,430 m/s² (3,000 × gravitational acceleration or g). Depending on the material, more than 90% of the process water can be recovered using centrifuge technology. It can be reused in the mineral processing operation and will increase the water efficiency of the whole mining community. This paper presents the results of actual projects in Brazil and Peru.

Keywords: tailings, dewatering, dry stacking, centrifuge, decanter

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