Co-Disposal of Coal Mine Tailings and Coarse Reject

Kuganathan V,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
The processing of black coal in Australia segregates waste in the form of coarse reject and fine tailings. The coarse reject is relatively easy to handle, while the tailings can be problematic. Conventionally, the two waste materials are disposed of separately, the coarse reject in dumps, and the tailings in man-made containments. Aqueous tailings slurry is pumped to a 'wet' tailings storage, where the fine particle size of the tailings limits dewatering. Their low bearing capacity and high compressibility result in tailings deposits being difficult to rehabilitate. Disposing of the waste streams separately moves away from the heterogeneous mixture in the undisturbed ground, and concentrates potential problems with each waste stream. The feasibility and desirability of the co-disposal of tailings and coarse reject by combined pumping is demonstrated. This technique is in operation at Jeebropilly Mine and is proposed for a number of other coal mines.
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