Authors: Pirouz, B; Javadi, S; Seddon, K


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Pirouz, B, Javadi, S & Seddon, K 2020, 'Comparison between Linear and Central Distribution System for Thickened Tailings Stacking ', in H Quelopana (ed.), Paste 2020: 23rd International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings, Gecamin Publications, Santiago,

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One of the key parameters in successful implementation of thickened tailings schemes for tailings management is the achievable tailings beach slope. Study of geomorphology and hydrodynamics of tailings beaches has shown that the achievable beach slope is directly proportional to tailings solids concentration (i.e. rheology) and inversely proportional to discharge flowrate. Splitting the total tailings flowrate from the process plant, into multiple spigots prior to discharge to a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF), will result in formation of a steeper beach profile which will increase the storage capacity. Additionally, uniform distribution and discharge of tailings into the TSF is a key element in filling the storage evenly and optimising the TSF effective storage capacity. Two different generic spigot arrangement systems are usually used in practice for flow splitting: Linear Discharge System (LDS) and Central Discharge System (CDS). The main components and pros and cons of each system are discussed and compared in this paper. Items covered include hydraulics, operational challenges and effectiveness in flow splitting, minimising flows merging on the beach to achieve a uniform deposition and steeper beach slope, and the overall costs of the tailings management system (including tailings transport, distribution system and embankment construction). There are many aspects to be considered, but overall it is concluded that in the cases for which that the comparison has been undertaken, the CDS is a more effective, easier to operate and a less costly design than the LDS.

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