oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Selecting the right tailings disposal solution - a case study : environmental
The optimal tailings disposal solution for a mine is not always straightforward or necessarily what has been done before. After completion of a feasibility study based on past practice, a comparative study of alternative tailings disposal systems was done for a proposed medium-sized platinum mine considering uniquely developed spigot, cyclone and paste disposal options. The comparative study dictated the consideration of total tailings disposal costing over the proposed life of the mine, revealing the real costs. In this instance, make-up water costs were found to be the most significant, and consequently the paste option was favoured. The lesson learnt from the study is that the right choice is not obvious and that relatively detailed studies are needed.
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