Authors: Paterson, AJC


Cite As:
Paterson, AJC 2005, 'Determining the Optimum Location of a High Rate Thickener for a Thickened Tailings System', in R Jewell & S Barrera (eds), Proceedings of the International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 177-184,

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This paper presents a cost comparison between pumping large volumes of dilute thickener feed to a remote thickener located at the tailings storage facility (TSF), and using high pressure positive displacement pumps pumping thickened tailings from a thickener located at the process plant to the tailings residue facil- ity. The study considers only the pump and pipeline system capital and operating costs, and specifically excludes all costs associated with preparation and place- ment. This study shows that for a 2.5 km distance both options have a similar net present cost. As the distance increases to 5 km it is better to locate the thickener at the process plant and pump high density thickened tailings using piston dia- phragm pumps. This is mainly due to the differences in annual operating costs over the life of mine as it is not energy efficient to pump large volumes of dilute slurry long distances. Each site assessment is obviously project specific and this trade-off study shows that it is not immediately obvious as to which pumping solution is the most cost effective. 178 Paste 2005, Santiago, Chile Determining the Optimum Location... Paterson, A.J.C.

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