The Development of Paste Thickening and Its Application to the Minerals Industry; An Industry Review

Research paper by Fred Schoenbrunn, Manfred Bach

Indexed on: 12 Jun '15Published on: 12 Jun '15Published in: BHM Berg- und Hüttenmännische Monatshefte


The development of paste thickening and high density technologies have changed the economics used in evaluating the benefits of increased thickener underflow density. This comes at a time of increasing competition for scarce water resources and a tightening regulatory framework in both water use and impoundment. These and other factors have led to a growing number of plants using high density and paste thickening technologies together with optimized tailings disposal schemes to recover water, minimize tailings impoundment areas and comply with regulations. High density and paste thickening have allowed these plants to take advantage of the tailings disposal options that were not previously possible. This paper will give an overview of paste technology including the differences between high rate, high density and deep cone paste thickeners. It will also review a number of recent projects including the decision process and resulting technology selection. Results from recent installations will also be discussed.