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Design of Zinc Tailings Storage Facility

Design of Zinc Tailings Storage Facility

Author: Albertus Du Plessis
Conference: 6th International Mining and Industrial Waste Management Conference
Date: October 29-31, 2018

One of the largest diversified natural resource companies required a tailings storage facility (TSF) as part of the new Zinc mine in the Northern Cape, South Africa. The concept design incorporated a spigot deposition system, but due to footprint and cost limitations, the final design was changed to a centerline and upstream constructed, cyclone deposition method, which provides an acceptably stable outer zone, built from cyclone underflow (coarse tailings) with cyclone overflow (finer tailings) stored in the internal basin. A concrete penstock tower was provided to decant supernatant and rain water, through to the return water dam. Although the area experiences extreme evaporation, the water balance still indicated that sufficient capacity will be required in the return water system to remove water from the TSF within reasonable timeframes without spillage to the environment. This paper discusses some of the design aspects and challenges faced during the design process.


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