Thickened Slurry Disposal Method for Process Tailings

by Bertrand Palmer, Northwestern Univ, Evanston, IL, USA,
Raymond J. Krizek, Northwestern Univ, Evanston, IL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Practice for Waste Disposal '87


Common practice in the disposal of process tailings consists of impounding the wastes as thin slurries or suspensions in diked containment areas. Such a procedure poses problems relating to the low strength of the residue, possible failure of the surrounding dike, need for a large disposal area, slow dewatering process, and reclamation of the resulting landfill. The thickened slurry disposal method significantly reduces the magnitude of these problems during the filling process and enhances the timely recovery of the made land. In this method the slurry is pumped into the disposal area periodically from various locations along the dike at a substantially higher solids content. Once the first layer of residue has dried sufficiently and gained adequate strength, a second layer is applied; this process is then repeated until the disposal area is full. This study and describes the development of a mathematical model for the thickened slurry disposal method; then, the model is applied and the calculated results are compared with the measured results from nine field tests involving a bauxite residue.

Subject Headings: Sludge | Industrial wastes | Mine wastes | Waste disposal | Waste containment | Mathematical models | Waste treatment | Field tests

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