Selati Tailings Dam Decant Failure and Remedial Actions

Selati Tailings Dam Decant Failure and Remedial Actions

Author: AJ Strauss
Conference: SANCOLD Annual Conference
Date: September 1-3, 2015

ABSTRACT
On 27th February 2014 solids were noted to be discharging into the Return Water Dam below the Selati Tailings Dam at Foskor in Phalaborwa, indicating a decant failure. All parties involved reacted quickly to curb the discharge of solids and minimize the risk of catastrophic failure of the facility. Within days, a temporary filter was constructed on the outlet, followed by the design and construction of a medium term filter, while a solution is being sought for the permanent sealing of the decant outlet.

COMPANY BACKGROUND
Foskor (Pty) Ltd is a company whose primary focus is the production and marketing of Phosphoric acid and related products, consisting of two divisions situated in Phalaborwa and Richards Bay respectively. Phosphate rock is supplied by Foskor Phalaborwa to Foskor Richards Bay, where Phosphoric Acid and granulated fertilizer is manufactured.

The Phalaborwa division consists of Mining, Communition & Beneficiation, and Tailings management, and the Richards Bay division is divided into Phosphoric Acid, Sulphuric Acid and Granulation production. The Phalaborwa Operation produces approximately 2.1 million tons of phosphate annually. As part of the mining process, approximately 45,000 tons of mine residue need to be disposed daily on mine residue facilities.

The Phalaborwa operations are currently using the Selati and Southern Tailings dams for this purpose. The Selati Tailings Dam (Selati TD) covers approximately 1,110 hectares and the Southern dam (Southern TD) covers about 244 hectares.

Tailings are mainly deposited on the Selati tailings dam with the Southern dam serving as a bypass capacity in case problems are experienced at the Selati Transfer pump station. Tailings are deposited via 1 m diameter cyclones which are fed from the Tailings Transfer Pump Station by way of 5 feed lines installed to distribute tailings material around the facility.

 

Download the full technical paper.

Download

Recent Insights

November 2021
Knight Piésold's Projects Commended at Prestigious Awards
November 2021
Engineer of Record Services for Tailings Facilities
November 2021
Gearing Up for Growth in Zambia
October 2021
Knight Piésold, aliado de la minería sustentable
September 2021
Knight Piésold Chile enfoque personalizado e integral de trabajo al estilo boutique
September 2021
Company Uses Innovative Ideas in Municipal Project
August 2021
South Africa Must Focus on STEM Skills to Enable Development
July 2021
Business Success Stories: Knight Piésold
July 2021
Holistic Approach to Mine and Industrial Water Management
July 2021
Selection of Undrained Shear Strength Parameters of Residual Soils and their Application in Stability Analysis
June 2021
Knight Piésold Focused on Africa's Infrastructure Development
June 2021
Century-old Knight Piésold Remains Committed to Clients and Communities in Phalaborwa
May 2021
Very Few Consulting Firms Reach 100 Years – Knight Piésold Celebrates with Optimism
April 2021
Knight Piésold Celebrates 100 Years of Excellence in Africa
April 2021
Video: Knight Piésold Celebrates 100 Years of Engineering Excellence
April 2021
Opportunities Abound to Support Africa's Resilient Growth - Knight Pièsold
April 2021
Firm Expands Service Offering
March 2021
Celebrating 100 Years of Engineering Excellence
February 2021
Improved Tailings Disposal Could Reduce Water Use
January 2021
Your Community, Your Neighbour