Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

Placement of caps on soft and fluid tailings Langseth, Jim; Luger, Dirk; Jacobs, Walter; Sisson, Rick; Sittoni, Luca; Hedblom, Eric; Greenleaf, Tim


This paper describes a concept for placing a cap over soft or fluid tailings deposits using a floating platform for hydraulic cap placement, and compares it to two standard cap placement methods: 1) mechanical placement using earthwork equipment and 2) hydraulic beaching. Hydraulic placement from a water platform has a number of potential uses in the mining industry to manage tailings, and may be one of the more cost-effective methods to consolidate soft tailings in locations where strength is too low for land-based cap placement methods. Supplementary elements, such as installation of wick drains or other drainage features to aid consolidation can be deployed from a water platform as well. General costs of construction are compared to illustrate the competitiveness of water-platform-based capping approaches. Placing caps hydraulically from a water platform can be an alternative to other methods of dealing with fluid tailings (such as centrifuging and thin-lift drying). It offers opportunities to reduce tailings related-risk and closure liabilities, and can prove more practical and more cost-effective than land-based methods, particularly for capping very soft to fluid tailings.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International