Is There a Place for the Slump Test in the Modern Pastefill Plant?

January 12, 2021Tech Topics

The ASTM slump test has been the backbone of the pastefill plant quality control program since it was adopted from the concrete industry in the early days of pastefill system development. It is a simple test that provides a quick evaluation of the consistency of the paste. This consistency is related to the ability of … Read More

Slack Flow – To Be or Not To Be

October 29, 2020Tech Topics

I was working with my P&C teammates on a brownfields tailings project where the owner was planning to construct a new tailings storage facility (TSF). The new TSF was adjacent to the existing TSF and the tailings pipeline was planned to run along the crest of the existing TSF and then drop down to the … Read More

Backfill – Key Properties

September 29, 2020Tech Topics

When designing an underground mine, one of the key decisions is whether to backfill the voids left by mining. The backfilling decision is generally influenced by a range of factors which commonly include: Environmental constraints Surface disposal limitations Management of surface subsidence Promotion of mine stability Reducing the volume of waste hauled to surface Enabling … Read More

Backfill Cost Reduction: Designing Around Hydraulic Capability

July 30, 2020Tech Topics

The use of cemented paste backfill in underground mining is commonplace as a method for tailings disposal, rockmass confinement or minimising convergence between the hanging wall and foot wall of the operation. The application of a cemented paste fill can also enable greater extraction ratios within certain deposits, as ore that would ordinarily be left … Read More

Selecting Slurry Pumps Based on Operating Frequency Map

July 2, 2020Tech Topics

Many slurry pumping systems in the mining industry operate over a wide range of duties as processing requirements and material properties change. The pump selection must be able to achieve the maximum duty point, and often this is the only duty used for selection, which includes the application of industry standard guideline operating limits, such … Read More

Tailings Pump Station Layout – Planning for the Future

June 18, 2020Tech Topics

Paterson & Cooke is currently engaged on several tailings pumping system upgrade projects. These are typically associated with increased throughput requirements (associated with a plant expansion), increased pumping head requirement, (associated with increased pumping distance to a new tailings storage facility, or increased elevation on an existing TSF). A common feature on many of these … Read More

The Impact of Ore Body Variability on Mine Waste Tailings Disposal Systems

May 6, 2020Tech Topics

Ore body variability can have a significant effect on the various elements of mine waste tailings disposal systems, including: thickening systems, tailings pump and pipeline systems, and tailings storage facilities. Ore bodies that are exploited using open-pit mining methods often consist of softer, weathered, clay-containing material near to the surface (oxides), transitioning to harder rock … Read More

Paste Backfilling on a Budget

April 23, 2020Tech Topics

Low Capital Investment Options to Support Mining Activities Paste backfill has become known as a superior ground support tool and mine waste disposal method, albeit usually one with a higher initial price tag when compared to hydraulic or rock fill. The capital costs associated with the implementation of a permanent paste backfill plant can put … Read More

Data Uncertainty Related To Backfilling Operations

April 14, 2020Tech Topics

A recurring problem in mining projects is the collection and interpretation of data which is applicable to backfilling operations in general. The basis for design is therefore compromised by external factors, so the design expectations must be tempered to give confidence to Mine Management that the design is robust. From an underground geotechnical engineering perspective, … Read More

Arctic Climate Pipeline Design Considerations

April 1, 2020Tech Topics

Over the years there has been an increasing trend for resource companies to develop mining projects in cold regions and areas of permafrost. The arctic presents unique engineering challenges. Many of the sites are in remote areas where road access is difficult. These regions bring about challenges related to labour, equipment, logistics and costs. This … Read More