Pornillos, EU 2009, 'Paste Fill Plant Designs for Underground Mines — A Comparison of Batch Process and Continuous Process', in R Jewell, AB Fourie, S Barrera & J Wiertz (eds), Paste 2009: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 364-374, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/963_40
Design of any paste fill plant is driven by factors such as tailings material property, compressive strength
required of the backfill, location of the plant with respect to targeted stopes, available static heads and
horizontal distances between the plant and current and future mine workings. A key driver has to do with
versatility of the plant, its capability to produce cemented pastes with a range of slumps and UCS strengths
and deliver to the farthest stopes of the mine.
Two types of paste plant designs are generally available, the batch process and the continuous process. Both
designs are proven in plants around the world delivering the recipe mix required by mine planning,
employing either the gravity mode or the pumped mode or combination of both modes of transport.
Successful transport of paste fills through the elaborate system of boreholes and pipelines is very dependent
on the quality of the paste: a mixture of tailings, cement binder and water components uniformly mixed, free
of lumps and at the specified slump.
This paper describes the attributes in the two designs for the production of a three-component recipe, and
then compares key differences between the two, equally capable of producing quality cemented pastes for
mine backfill. It also illustrates process flow schematics, underground distribution, major equipment, plant
layout, instrumentation and automation. The comparison is based on plants operating in Peru.
Cantorin Vilchez, O.A. (2007) Relleno en pasta en la unidad San Rafael, Compañía Minera Minsur S.A., VI Congreso
Nacional de Mineria, Trujillo, Peru.
374 Paste 2009, Viña del Mar, Chile