David Williams | The University of Queensland
- Avoiding catastrophic failure through monitoring and containment
- Step changes in the characterization, extraction and processing of material in the production of tailings volume
Project title: Avoiding catastrophic TSF failure and reducing stored volume
Offering to sponsors:
This project will promote alternative tailings management approaches for both existing and new operations that will help to restore that confidence and trust.
The value proposition is to demonstrate the improved safety and cost-effectiveness of optimised conventional tailings management, and the whole-of-life opportunities presented by greater dewatering of tailings in the future.
The project will promote improved tailings management to ensure safety and stability (physical, geochemical and biological) of tailing storage facilities, and to minimise pollution. For conventional thickened tailings disposal, this will involve cycled thin layer tailings deposition, consolidation and desiccation, and tailing storage facility monitoring systems that allow real-time data collection and analysis linked to Trigger Action and Response Plans (TARPs). Dewatering tailings by centrifuging, filtration and/or biochemical treatment allowing dry stacking and/or co-disposal and integrated disposal will also be considered as emerging practices.
The project will develop guidelines for thin layer tailings deposition, consolidation and desiccation, and for the production and management of centrifuged, filtered and/or biochemically treated tailings. Commentary will be made on the available and emerging monitoring sensors and systems that are suitable for use on TSFs, real-time data logging and analysis, and the development and implementation of TARPs. Indicative life-cycle costs of dewatering and monitoring systems will be developed in collaboration with suppliers, and deposition to maximise tailings density and strength to realise post-closure value will be formulated.
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