The proceedings of Paste 2014, the 17th seminar in the series, covers paste, thickened and filtered tailings practices in a range of minerals, including base and precious metal, bauxite and oil sands. The range of topics covered in the 50 printed papers in the volume is a testimony to the interest that is developing in the technology, and documents the expanding experience base. These technologies are essential in order to save water in mineral processing and to promote the deposition of tailings that will result in stable land forms that have a higher likelihood of being successfully reclaimed, thereby also addressing regulatory concerns.
Amongst the topics covered are those that have been the focus at some of the previous seminars in the series: beach slopes, backfill, thickening technologies including mechanical and, more recently, in-line polymer use, and transportation of the thickened tailings. There is much interest in changing tailings management options at a number of mines from slurry to thickened or filter tailings, using the existing tailings facilities. This clearly creates significant challenges from an analytical and material behaviour perspective, especially in highly seismic regions. A number of papers address this topic.
The large number of papers included in this volume is due to the inclusion of concurrent sessions during one day of the meeting, to accommodate the large number of papers accepted for publication. This is a first for this seminar series. The volume also includes the abstracts of papers accepted for posters.
After reviewing the agenda for the seminar, one senior industry technical leader was impressed that during the many years of annual meetings, the series “has been able to maintain this much momentum and relevance.”
This volume should be on the “must read” list for all tailings management professionals, whether they design, construct, operate, regulate or teach.