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.
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-
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
178 Paste 2005, Santiago, Chile
Determining the Optimum Location... Paterson, A.J.C.
Wilson, K.C. (1979) Deposition Limit Nomograms for Particles of Various Den-
sities in Pipeline Flow, 6th International Conference on the Hydraulic Transport
of Solids in Pipelines, BHRA, Canterbury, UK, September 1979.