Enviromin’s Dr. Lisa Kirk and Katharine Seipel are chairing an Environmental Session at the 2019 SME conference in Denver.

Surface placement of cemented-paste tailings- Promising technology or pie-in-the-sky?

Effective tailings management requires consideration of operational design constraints, environmental protection, regulatory requirements, short- and long-term economics, and social expectations, as well as closure and remediation options. Placement of paste, and more recently cemented-paste, tailings in surface facilities has been proposed as an innovative technique for tailings management offering improvements to more traditional tailing management strategies. These benefits include physically stable material with low permeability and therefore reduced reactivity; smaller mine footprint due to increased beach slope angles; and quicker closure timeframes. Application of cemented-paste tailings is increasingly appealing because it adds greater durability to paste tailings placement. Critics consider the cost of adding binders to be unnecessary. While the performance of paste tailings in surface applications is being tested by active implementation of this technology, the performance of cemented-paste tailings in surface facilities has not yet been tested at the operational scale. This technical session looks to explore the advantages and disadvantages of surface application of paste and cemented-paste technology.

The abstract submission platform (https://sme2019.abstractcentral.com/) is open now and will close on August 1.

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