A jumbo-size pressure filter with 5 x 3-m plate dimensions makes a strong argument that bigger is indeed better for high-volume tailings dewatering

By Russell A. Carter, Contributing Editor

The challenge of how to process and store tailings for optimal safety and environmental protection while maintaining operational efficiency and reasonable cost per ton continues to loom large over the mining landscape. The industry is under intensifying pressure to develop better methods of tailings treatment, storage and facility monitoring.

Although the cost-per-ton scale tilts heavily toward the use of conventional tailings storage using upstream or downstream embankment methods, the weight of actual and potential financial liabilities inherent in this approach, coupled with stockholder uneasiness, appears to be powerful enough to push industry attention and investment to other tailings technologies such as high-density thickened tailings, paste or dry-stack/filtered tailings.
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