Benefits of Rotational, Thin Layer, Air Dried Tailing Deposition after 25-Years of Operation of the Juniper Tailing Storage Facility

Author: Allen Gipson, Jason Taylor, Joseph Chilson, Brittany Hutchings
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2018
Date: September 30 - October 2, 2018

From inception in the late 1980s, the Juniper Tailings Storage Facility has been constructed in stages as a massive, compacted, rock fill, modified centerline embankment to retain fine grained predominately silt tailing. The initial cells were designed to contain 8 million tons. Three horizontal expansions and numerous staged raises have been made to the initial facility bringing the planned storage to 150 million tons at a height of 225 feet. Currently additional expansions are being considered. The initial stages of each basin were constructed as downstream embankments and the basins of each initial stage were lined with a 12-inch thick layer of low permeability soils overlain by a 12-inch thick drain layer containing a series of corrugated, slotted HDPE drain pipes. A drain/transition layer was included in the upstream face of the raises so that the fine-grained tailing did not migrate into the rock fill and any seepage was contained within the upstream side of the initial lined embankment where it was collected in the lined basin. Thus, no lining was needed above the initial embankment. This paper discusses the design, construction and operation of the facility including a summary of the benefits realized by the type of embankment constructed and the use of rotational, thin layered, air dried deposition. The features discussed could be considered for inclusion in other projects to provide safety and security, reduce costs and provide efficient operations.


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