Garcia, B, Wolff, E, Valderrama, J & Valbuena, J 2020, 'Experience with geotextile tubes in Mining Tailings Storage. Gran Colombia Gold Segovia', in H Quelopana (ed.), 23rd International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings - PASTE 2020
, Gecamin Publications, Santiago, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2052_20
The Gran Colombia Gold Segovia company, Colombia branch (GCGS), has a mining operation between the municipalities of Remedios and Segovia, Department of Antioquia - Colombia. The extraction material is processed at the María Dama Plant and the tailings are pumped to the El Chocho deposit.
The original tailings deposit project contemplates two reservoirs generated by 2 earth dams, called: Upper and lower tailings storage. Phases 1A, 1B and 1C were defined in the upper tailings storage. Phase 1B is used at 100% capacity with pulp tailings, phase 1A in operation and phase 1C under construction. Technifying the sludge disposal process in phase 1A, 91 geotextile tubes (TG) were used, which are filled with tailings, adding flocculants to improve the separation of solids and subsequent water filtration.
The GT were placed in the 1A containment dam in a structured manner, following the design and the corresponding technical specifications. In the specified procedure, 2 previously analyzed situations will be seen -more unwanted- however, there was an action plan in case of occurrence. The first one related to the size of the geotextile opening vs. minimum particle size. Occasionally, the pumped tailings from the treatment plant proceed with the smallest size to the opening of the geotextile. The second scenario was presented during the filling operation of a GT, which was ripped longitudinally despite its high resistance to stress and breakage. The existing barrier in the downstream zone contained the tailings.
The use of GT allowed to expand the storage capacity of the tailings by replacing the loan material from the phase 1A dam with mining tailings. The current GT (1A) dam will be integrated into the downstream tailings, from the storage of filter-pressed mining tailings, ensuring the stability of the 1A dam , in the time.
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