Mine and tailings effluent treatment at the Kimberley, B.C. operations of Cominco Ltd.

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 73, No. 824, 1980

W.J. KUIT, Senior Research Chemist, Cominco Ltd., Trail, B.C.

Complex facilities which provide for the, collection, management and treatment of effluents emanating from the Sullivan mine and concentrator tailings were made operational in October 1979. Key features of the system are the use of upgraded tailings ponds for the storage of up to 800 million litres of metals-contaminated effluents, a treatment plant employing lime in a high-density sludge process and a sludge-impoundment facility designed for maximum long-term environmental safety. The completed works are capable of satisfying a difficult range of operating requirements imposed by highly variable weather conditions, drainage flows and soluble metals loadings. Final capital expenditures for the project approached $10 million and annual operating costs are about $0.8 million.This paper discusses the Kimberley effluents treatment project and the major considerations in its development. The treatment process, major plant equipment and initial operating experience are also described.
Keywords: Environmental control, Effluent treatment, Tailings, Cominco Ltd., Water treatment plants, Lime, Flocculents, Clarifiers, Impoundment.