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Slurry Sample Preparation is the Key to Obtaining Good Test Results
26 June 2023

Slurry Sample Preparation is the Key to Obtaining Good Test Results

Before commencing with any test work, it is of vital importance that samples are properly mixed and prepared to ensure that the test work is conducted on representative samples. Excessive mixing and agitation may degrade the sample and change the particle size shape and distribution. For fine, thickened tailings such as this, gentle agitation ensures … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
Tailings In-line Flocculation
12 May 2021

Tailings In-line Flocculation

In-line flocculation is becoming increasingly more common in tailings dewatering. In fine tailings storage facilities, problematic clay mineral particles may not settle effectively and additional processes are required to promote dewatering. One process is to use polymer flocculation. A polymer solution is generally used to collect particles into larger groupings so they can be more … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
Holistic Approach to Improve the Performance of Tailings Disposal Systems with Variable Clay Mineralogy
8 April 2021

Holistic Approach to Improve the Performance of Tailings Disposal Systems with Variable Clay Mineralogy

This article presents the importance of a holistic approach to improve the performance of mine waste disposal systems treating ores with a variable mineralogy. Mine tailings that contain clay minerals such as iIlite, kaolinite and/or smectites are particularly difficult to dewater using thickeners. Small variations in mineralogy result in significant variability in thickener underflow densities … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
Paste Fill Plant Capacity: How Big is Big Enough?
17 February 2021

Paste Fill Plant Capacity: How Big is Big Enough?

Are you planning to install a new paste fill system at your mine? Or maybe your ore reserves have increased and mining production is scheduled to be ramped up going forward. It is vital that any mine considering implementing a new paste plant or increasing mining production rates should be comfortable that the capacity of … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
Is There a Place for the Slump Test in the Modern Pastefill Plant?
12 January 2021

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

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

by Paterson Cooke
Slack Flow – To Be or Not To Be
29 October 2020

Slack Flow – To Be or Not To Be

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

by Paterson Cooke
Backfill – Key Properties
29 September 2020

Backfill – Key Properties

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

by Paterson Cooke
Backfill Cost Reduction: Designing Around Hydraulic Capability
30 July 2020

Backfill Cost Reduction: Designing Around Hydraulic Capability

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

by Paterson Cooke
Selecting Slurry Pumps Based on Operating Frequency Map
2 July 2020

Selecting Slurry Pumps Based on Operating Frequency Map

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

by Paterson Cooke
Tailings Pump Station Layout – Planning for the Future
18 June 2020

Tailings Pump Station Layout – Planning for the Future

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

by Paterson Cooke
The Impact of Ore Body Variability on Mine Waste Tailings Disposal Systems
6 May 2020

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

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

by Paterson Cooke
Paste Backfilling on a Budget
23 April 2020

Paste Backfilling on a Budget

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

by Paterson Cooke
Data Uncertainty Related To Backfilling Operations
14 April 2020

Data Uncertainty Related To Backfilling Operations

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

by Paterson Cooke
Arctic Climate Pipeline Design Considerations
1 April 2020

Arctic Climate Pipeline Design Considerations

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

by Paterson Cooke
Optimising Operating Ranges to Control Backfill Variability
11 March 2020

Optimising Operating Ranges to Control Backfill Variability

A paste backfill system seldom operates at a fixed operating point and the system always needs to accommodate considerable variability in materials depending on what ore is being mined and the performance of the process plant. It is therefore important to design a flexible backfill system that accounts for varying backfill rheology while ensuring that … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
Optimise Your Backfill Through Particle Size Manipulation
14 January 2020

Optimise Your Backfill Through Particle Size Manipulation

The global trend of decreasing metalliferous ore grades and increasingly complex mineralogies is leading to finer grind sizes to achieve the necessary liberation for ore beneficiation. The impact of this is expressed throughout the ore processing cycle, including mine backfill; by leaving lower fractions of coarse material suitable for hydraulic fill and, in particular, influencing … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
One Conference, Two Papers and Future Research
4 December 2019

One Conference, Two Papers and Future Research

The 19th International Conference on Transport & Sedimentation of Solid Particles (T&S) was held in Cape Town in September 2019 and it was a great success. It’s the first time the conference has been hosted in Africa since its inception in 1971 and Paterson & Cooke (P&C) co-hosted the event together with Wroclaw University of … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
Mine Backfill Forensics – Pastefill Pipe Blockage
7 November 2019

Mine Backfill Forensics – Pastefill Pipe Blockage

  Despite the best intentions during the engineering and design phase, things can go amiss in a pastefill system and the pipeline ends up becoming plugged. The first step is to safely empty the boreholes as quickly as possible and attempt to clear the line with water. After ‘saving’ as much of the system as … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
Operating Slurry Pipelines with a Deposit
12 September 2019

Operating Slurry Pipelines with a Deposit

Slurry pipelines are conventionally designed to operate without a deposit on the pipeline invert – i.e. the minimum operating velocity is greater than the deposition velocity. Largely this approach has been adopted due to concerns regarding potential blockage of a pipeline operating with a deposit. A typical slurry pipeline design duty envelope is shown in … Read More

by Paterson Cooke
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