Chalaturnyk, RJ, Scott, JD, Wong, G & Leung, K 2005, 'Thickening of Oil Sands Composite Tailings', in R Jewell & S Barrera (eds), Proceedings of the International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 117-138.
The current oil sands tailings management strategy is to cyclone the tailings
stream and combine the cyclone underflow with cyclone overflow which has been
allowed to settle for several years in a tailings pond. Gypsum is added to this
mixture and a nonsegregating tailings called Composite Tailings (CT) is produced
with a solids content of about 60% and a fines content of 20%. The CT is pumped
to a disposal area where it is allowed to consolidate under self weight. This paper
reports on trials to further increase the solids content of CT using a thickener. A
research thickener, 1 m diameter with a 1 m depth, was used to investigate thick-
ening the CT to a solids content sufficient to support reclamation methods. The
thickener is equipped with pore pressure transducers down the side of the thick-
ener and pore pressure and total stress transducers in the base of the thickener to
fully evaluate the geotechnical processes occurring in the thickener. The pressure
and stress transducers in conjunction with sampling allow total stress and effec-
tive stress profiles to be determined at any time during the thickening test proce-
118 Paste 2005, Santiago, Chile
Thickening of Oil Sands Composite... Chalaturnyk, R.J. et al.
Concha, F. and Barrientos, A. (1993) A critical review of thickener design meth-
ods. KONA 11: 79-104.