WesTech Minerals Blog


Maximize Precious Metals Recovery with CCD Circuits and High-Density Thickeners

Posted by Mick L. McCaslin, PE on March 28, 2017

Leaching (lixiviation) is commonly used for recovering a wide variety of metals from ores, including precious metals. A lixiviant dissolves the desired metals from the ore; cyanide leaching, for example, is widely used to extract gold.

Lixiviation is often followed by a Counter Current Decantation (CCD) circuit to recover the valuable mineral from the gangue.

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Category: Paste Thickening, Thickening

Dry Stack Tailings: Air-Dried as an Alternative to Filtered Tailings

Due to the considerable expense of using filtration to achieve dry stack tailings, air-drying of paste or thickened tails is an option worth evaluating. In certain situations, paste technology combined with an inexpensive, widely applicable air-drying scheme can permit bulk handling of the tailings.

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Category: Paste Thickening

Paste Thickening Optimizes Tailings Disposal and Water Recovery

Posted by Jeff Easton on August 03, 2016

Mine tailings disposal, and its impact on water usage, is an important concern for any mining company. The challenge today, whether extracting aluminum, zinc, gold or iron ore, is how to dispose of tailings material such that it is contained and stable, while maximizing water reuse and minimizing surface footprint.

Paste, or thickened tailings, has become an increasingly important method to address many of the environmental problems facing the mining industry. Pasting was originally developed by the alumina industry in the 1970s, and for the past 20 years has been applied worldwide.

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Category: Paste Thickening

Paste Thickener Design to Achieve Downstream Requirements

Posted by Jerold Johnson on July 11, 2016

Paste, or thickened tailings, have become an increasingly important method to address many of the environmental problems facing the mining industry. The term “paste” as used in this discussion applies to the full range of non-settling tailings that exhibit a yield stress such as “thickened tailings” and “mine paste backfill.”

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Category: Paste Thickening

Thickener Feed System Design

Posted by Philip Lake on June 14, 2016

Philip Lake reviews WesTechs EvenFlo™ feedwell design for the even distribution of the feed slurry in order to provide the end user with the most economical thickener in terms of reagent consumption and size.

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Category: Paste Thickening

Tailings Paste Disposal – More than Water Recovery

Posted by Mark T. Biesinger on March 22, 2016

The minerals industry has faced increasing pressures in recent years in the management of tailings streams. Environmental, economic and other factors have led many minerals producers to explore the technology of making and using “paste.” With the increasing number of installations worldwide, this technology has proved to not only be industry accepted, but economically advantageous. The ability of paste thickeners to produce a higher concentration underflow leads to significant water recovery and savings and also reduces the cost of containment structures.

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Category: Paste Thickening

Paste Thickener Bed Level Measurement

Posted by Jerold Johnson on March 07, 2016

Numerous studies and papers have been devoted to the subject of thickener design and operation to achieve specified throughput and discharge densities. Mathematical models have been developed that present methods for sizing thickeners and predicting performance under varying process conditions. The compression effect of deeper beds on dewatering performance is a recognized phenomenon. This is one variable of many that are inter-related and influence thickener performance. For example in the steady-state, continuous operation of a thickener, if the solids feed rate increases and the bed level remains the same, the underflow discharge rate must increase with the result of solids concentration being lower. The interactions of these parameters are at the heart of thickener models. Knowing the bed depth is critical to maintaining stable thickener operation.

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Category: Thickening, Paste Thickening

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