EKG Remediation of Embankment

Forest of Dean slope stabilisation

Low Impact Benefits

Highway Embankment Stabilisation

Sewage Sludge

Mine Tailings

Railway Embankment Stabilisation

Reinforced Soil

Lagoon Consolidation

Consolidation of Soft Soil

 

Dewatering of Mine Tailings

The process of diamond extraction is reliant on large quantities of water to concentrate the mineral; this produces large quantities of waste.

The process results in two broad types of discard material, which are differentiated according to their dominant grain size: grits (>75 µm) and slimes (<75 µm).


Slimes have a dominant grain size less than 75 µm


Grits have a dominant grain size greater than 75 µm

With the increasing importance of sustainable use of water in the mining industry practices such as Paste and Thickened Tailings Disposal (P&TTD) are being adopted increasingly in the diamond mining sector.

Water recovery prior to disposal offers a number of advantages including reuse of water, reduction in size of the disposal facility and an increased lifespan for a given facility.

Whilst P&TTD processes reduce disposal volumes and recover water, the lack of a dewatering stage means that thickened tailings or pastes must be pumped in a liquid state to the disposal site using high pressure, high volume positive displacement pumps.

Full scale trials at Kimberley, South Africa, using an EKG belt press have demonstrated that major savings can be obtained with regard to energy costs associated with disposal, reduction in waste volumes requiring disposal, recovery of water and a significant reduction in the carbon footprint (CO2) of the mining process.

   
  Ashbrook Simon Hartley - EK belt filter press   Clearwater filtration
 
  Clearwater filtration Hydraulic pressure dewatering
   
  Solid cake discharge   Solid cake discharge

The dewatered tailings are suitable for transportation to the disposal site by conveyor, hence potentially saving substantially on the current cost of tailings disposal by large displacement pumps and pipelines.

The trial showed the following potential benefits of the EKG belt system to the Kimberley site when compared pumping slimes to a tailings dam:

• 55% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions (5700 TCO2/yr)

• 55% reduction in power consumption (5800 MWhr/yr)

• 67% reduction in water discarded (water recovery of 1.75 MT/yr)

• 49% reduction in volume of tailings

• The potential elimination of the need for a tailings dam

 

 

 

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