Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

Integrated mine waste storage concept, Krumovgrad Gold Project, Bulgaria Eldridge, Terry; Wickland, Ben; Goldstone, Adrian; Kissiova, Mayana


This paper presents a case history of the development of an integrated mine waste management concept for the Krumovgrad Gold Project, Bulgaria. The project description in 2005 included extraction of gold and silver in a carbon-in-leach process with conventional disposal of thickened tailings behind a lined valley fill dam. To address community and environmental concerns, flotation was investigated as the primary recovery process, thereby eliminating the use of cyanide. This then allowed major changes to the tailings management strategy. A concept was developed for an integrated mine waste facility where tailings are dewatered to a paste consistency and then deposited into cells constructed within the mine waste rock facility. The mine rock promotes drainage and consolidation of the tailings. The resulting deposit uses the waste rock for stability and is fully drained, thereby allowing progressive reclamation during operations. The strategy eliminates the tailings dam and stores both tailings and waste rock within an area previously designated for mine waste rock. The project footprint is significantly reduced and the liabilities associated with management of cyanide tailings and a water retaining tailings dam are eliminated. [All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]

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