Bazán, I 2020, 'Design Review for a Distributed Tailings Deposition System', in H Quelopana (ed.), Paste 2020: 23rd International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings
, Gecamin Publications, Santiago, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2052_97
There has been an increasing move towards high-density thickened tailings systems over the last decade, mainly driven by the need to save water, meet environmental regulations and project specific demands.
A typical tailings distribution system on a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) consists of a main pipe with multiple discharges operating simultaneously, to distribute the slurry across an extended length over a specific area of the TSF at a time. A potential limitation of these systems is an uneven distribution of slurry flow rate and solids concentration between multiple spigot discharges, where an inadequate design can lead to laminar pipeline flow conditions resulting in particle segregation, and an increased risk of pipeline blockage. An operation with unbalanced flow rates could result in an uneven distribution of solids that could impact the formation of beach slopes and/or cause difficulties for the dam construction.
Paterson & Cooke (P&C) has previously developed several thickened tailings distributed systems, where the discharge points are located on a distribution pipeline which branch off a main pipeline. This previous experience has allowed P&C to develop a methodology for the hydraulic modelling and implementation of these types of systems. This paper presents the methodology for distribution system deposition design review and its implementation of a TSF located in Southern Europe.
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