The Residue Waste Disposal Facility For Iscor?s Hillendale Project In KwaZulu-Natal

Williamson, J. R. G.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
The Mining Division of Iscor, an integrated minerals and metals company, has recently completed a feasibility study for the establishment of a new heavy minerals mine and smelter in the Richards Bay area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The mine will produce a heavy mineral concentrate containing ilmenite, zircon, rutile and leucoxene which will be beneficiated at a central processing complex close to Empangeni. The ilmenite will be smelted to produce high-grade titania slag and pig iron for export. The ancient dune containing the mineral deposit is located some distance inland of the coastal dunes, and the sands contain a high proportion of extremely fine material which must be extracted ahead of the gravity separation process. Of the 56 million tonnes to be mined annually over the ten-year life of the mine approximately 23,4%?a total of 13,1 million tonnes of minus 45 micron residue fines?will have to be disposed of in a containment facility. The origin of the fine material is from the weathering of amphibole minerals. The remaining coarse sands will be returned to the mined area to re-create the original dune configuration. A number of options for the disposal of the residue fines have been examined and specialised laboratory tests undertaken to determine the deposition behaviour of the fines. The final solution involved the use of a ?sub-aerial? technique for deposition of fine material in a disposal facility. The resulting arrangement will adequately meet technical and environmental criteria. Upon closure after 10 years of operation, the surface of the disposal facility will be returned to sugar cane cultivation The paper refers to the various options considered and describes the problems associated with competent disposal of the residue fines and the development details of the final disposal facility.
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