Shuttleworth, JA, Thomson, BJ & Wates, J.A 2005, 'Surface Paste Disposal at Bulyanhulu Practical Lessons Learned', in R Jewell & S Barrera (eds), Proceedings of the International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 207-218.
The science and practice of surface disposal of mine tailings with low mois-
ture content is at an early stage of development. Most literature regarding the
subject has considered feasibility studies and field trials and conclusions have
been drawn from a theoretical base.
The first full-scale implementation of surface paste disposal of gold tailings
was initiated at Bulyanhulu Mine operated by Kahama Mining Corporation Ltd
in Tanzania. Mine tailings are dewatered by vacuum disc filters and then split
between underground and surface disposal. An average of 65,000 tonnes per
month are disposed on the surface at an average moisture content of 27% by
This paper describes the experience derived from operation of the surface dis-
posal facility at Bulyanhulu Mine, since commissioning in 2001. The paper fo-
cuses on the practical lessons learned with particular reference to tailings prepa-
ration, paste pumping, slump measurements, valve operation, tailings placement
and geometry control. Aspects of the operation are illustrated with photographs.
The paper concludes with recommendations for surface paste disposal that may
be useful in guiding further development of this technology.
208 Paste 2005, Santiago, Chile
Surface Paste Disposal at Bulyanhulu... Shuttleworth, J.A. et al.