Authors: Li, Y; van Zyl, D

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Li, Y & van Zyl, D 2024, 'Analysing the segregation of coarse tailings particles with a zone-formation differential settling model', in AB Fourie & D Reid (eds), Paste 2024: Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 271-282,

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This study delves into the segregation and settling behaviours of tailings suspensions with varying initial solids contents, with a specific focus on the initial segregation process. Conventional and interruptive batch settling tests were performed to evaluate the hindered settling process of copper tailings. During these tests, particular attention was paid to the differential settling behaviour at the initial stage, during which coarse particles segregated from the suspension and accumulated at the bottom. The particle size distribution profile of the suspension was analysed in detail, revealing that segregation was a prevalent phenomenon in all settling tests. To perform a theoretical analysis of this segregation behaviour, a zone-formation differential settling model was introduced and applied, allowing a detailed discussion of the settling behaviour of individual particle species. Consequently, the findings offer insights into the variation of the segregation behaviour and formation of the sediment under different initial conditions. Suggestions are also provided for the application of the zone-differential settling model on the sedimentation of tailings which contains fine particle species.

Keywords: sedimentation, zone-formation differential settling, segregation, tailings

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