Authors: Barrera, S; Hills, R

Cite As:
Barrera, S & Hills, R 2009, 'Cerro Negro — Assessment of Beach Slope and Indetermination of the Operational Limits of Centrifugal Pumps', in R Jewell, AB Fourie, S Barrera & J Wiertz (eds), Proceedings of the Twelfth International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 337-344.

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There currently exists a strong tendency to apply paste and thickened tailings technology to the management and deposition of tailings. This is particularly valid in the study of the ‘Los Corralillos’ Tailings Impoundment of the Cerro Negro iron mine, given the two intrinsic advantages of this technology: (i) location in an arid area in the North of Chile (where the water resource is very scarce) and (ii) an important potential in size reduction of the containment dam. Due to the relative location between the plant and the impoundment and to the solids content level of the tailings at the plant, one of the most important aspects refers to the thickening stages and the location of the thickeners. For the analysis of alternatives for the tailings thickening and transport, as well as to estimate the deposition slope, a series of thickening tests, at a pilot scale, and laboratory rheology tests at the laboratory were performed using tailings slurry at various solid contents. This paper describes the process performed focusing on two critical aspects such as: difficulties in determining the maximum level of slurry solid content that can be pumped by centrifugal pumps, and the estimate of the deposition slope based on results of the rheological tests. Finally, conclusions and recommendations of complementary studies are provided oriented at facilitating the key decisions.

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344 Paste 2009, Viña del Mar, Chile

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