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Rheology applied to the environmental management of mineral tailings: focus on safer disposal and water reuse

  • Trampus, Bruna Camara
  • França, Silvia Cristina Alves
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2019
Scientific Electronic Library Online - Brazil
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Abstract Mining activities worldwide are subject to serious geotechnical accidents involving tailings dams. Therefore, many studies have focused on tailings dewatering before their deposition. This article studies the rheological properties of flocculated and thickened nickel tailings in order to determine the effect of the initial solid concentration and type of rheology modifying agents (two anionic polymeric flocculants) on their stability for disposal in dams. The sediment was submitted to rheological tests, with the vane technique, and slump tests, to obtain information about static and dynamic yield stress and slump height, respectively. The results showed a strong influence of the initial solid concentration and the polymeric flocculant on the particle aggregation. Both particle cohesion and yield stress of the sediment increased, reaching static yield stress of around 1,400 Pa. Both flocculants were efficient in thickening by batch sedimentation, allowing water recycling in the range of 70-90% with turbidity less than 100 NTU and the production of sediment with static yield stress much higher than specified for mineral paste.

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