Slurry Pipeline Systems

With over 30 years of experience designing slurry pipeline systems, we are global leaders in this field

Our expertise includes conventional tailings pipelines, thickened and paste tailings disposal systems, and long-distance ore and concentrate pipelines.

Slurry pipelines systems safely, reliably, and economically transport ore, concentrate, and tailings and are particularly well suited for projects located in mountainous terrain or in regions with limited existing transport infrastructure. Our engineers have experience in all aspects of slurry pipeline system design and operation, ranging from laboratory test work, hydraulic analysis, pipeline routing, and pipeline construction, to the detailed design and engineering of pump, valve, and choke stations.

We have executed numerous slurry pipeline projects, from pre-feasibility to detailed engineering design, construction assistance, commissioning, and operator training. We help owners of existing pipeline systems implement operational improvements to increase pipeline capacity, and to extend the operating life of their pipeline assets using integrity management programs.

Transient flow simulation has become an essential requirement for understanding the response of a piping system under various scenarios for normal operation and upset conditions. We have collaborated with Deltares to extend their WANDA software capacity for flow simulation of pipelines with slurry and water batches, such as during flushing or for long distance pipeline operation. These simulations verify the correct specification of equipment and ensure the safe and reliable operation of the system.


Slurry Pipeline Projects from around the world

Jorf Lasfar Phosphate Pipeline, Morocco

Paterson & Cooke completed the detailed design, engineering and commissioning support of the 186 km long phosphate ore pipeline from Khouribga Mine to Jorf Lasfar and the feeder pipeline systems from the process plants to the pump head station. The head station receives ore of different grades from the feeder stations and pumps the ore in separate batches via the main DN 900 diameter pipeline to the terminal that delivers different grades of ore to dedicated storage tanks. A choke station at the terminal ensures that the system remains fully pressurised flow at all times to prevent slack flow.

Commissioned in 2014, the system transports 38 MTA of phosphate ore and is the highest capacity ore slurry pipeline in the world, providing a significant proportion of global phosphate demand.

Find out more

IMERYS Pipeline, Brazil

P &C provides ongoing technical and management support to IMERYS in Brazil that operates a long-distance kaolin transport pipeline. The support includes annual management, training, technical audits, and identification and implementation of technical projects. These projects include ongoing maintenance and system upgrades as required and recently included the detailed design, construction support, and commissioning of a 23 km section of replacement pipeline.

Minas Rio Pipeline, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Since 2014, Anglo American has been operating the 520 km long Minas Rio iron ore concentrate pipeline - the longest slurry pipeline in the world. P&C provides ongoing supporting pipeline integrity activities, planning and providing invaluable insight into the unique operation of this long-distance pipeline system with tight-lined positive displacement pump booster stations.

Paragominas Pipeline, Brazil

Hydro has been operating the 244 km long Paragominas bauxite pipeline for over 10 years, the first bauxite transportation pipeline in the world. P&C was engaged on this project to support pipeline integrity activities which included operational recommendations, pipe rehabilitation, and a full in-line inspection pig campaign which was executed successfully in 2014.

Compañía Minera Antamina S.A, Peru

CMA have been operating the world’s first multi-product pipeline for nearly 20 years. P&C was engaged to study and evaluate the 300 km long pipeline’s availability and expansion capabilities. The study included an extensive evaluation of pump maintenance and pipeline historic operational performance.

Quebrada Blanca, Chile

In 2020 P&C completed a third-party review of the transient analysis and pipeline hydraulics for the desalination and copper concentrate pipeline systems for this client. In 2021 we completed a study optimising the 165 km long, concentrate and desalination water pipeline systems for the proposed expansion.


Life at Paterson & Cooke

Since 1991, we have built a business based on people. Our strength lies in the intellect, commitment and creativity of the people who work for P&C. Our culture is based on respect for one another and for our clients. This is captured in our values, which include integrity, passion, excellence, responsibility, and accountability.

Life at P&C remains true to our founding purpose: To create technically fulfilling and financially rewarding careers for everyone who works for P&C.