Assessment of Mineralogical, Textural and Water-chemistry Changes during Tailings-slurry Transport

Porphyry copper deposits of the Andean rim located at high altitude require the transport of flotation tailings to lower elevations for their final storage due to lack of storage area within the Andean Main Chain and the need for geotechnical safe impoundments in seismic active part of the South American Continent.

Chile

Transport of tailings may affect physical characteristics and stability issues at the tailings storage facility (TSF), as well as the liberation of elements of environmental concern and valuable elements recovery. Aspects such as the contribution of the tailings transport to increased reactivity (elemental leaching), change in granulometry and consequent slurry behavior have not been studied in detail. The main objective of this study was to investigate mineralogical and geochemical controls on long-distance transport of tailings that may affect their main characteristics such as the particle size distribution, rheology of tailings and the chemistry of associated water. 

Project members

Mansour Edraki

Dr Mansour Edraki

Senior Research Fellow
SMI-CMLR