Sedimentation of Mill Tailings In Fresh Water and in Sea Water

CIM Bulletin, 1973

G. W. POLING, Dept. of Mineral Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.

Sedimentation behaviour of siliceous mill tailings derived from a magnetite-chalcopyrite ore in fresh water, fresh water - sea water mixtures and full-salinity sea waters are compared. Results of batch settling tests are presented in the form of settling curves and solids flux curves. The addition of a few per cent of sea water markedly enhanced the zone sedimentation rate due to particle agglomeration caused by a reduction in zeta potential of the suspended solids. The presence of a small amount of residual, previously magnetized magnetite in the tailings also enhanced agglomeration and sedimentation. The significance of these results to submarine disposal of mill tailings is discussed.
Keywords: Composition of Tailings, fresh water, magnetite, sea water, Zeta Potentials Figure, Mill tailing, Mill Tailings, particles, Residuals, Sedimentation, Settling tests, tailings, Water, Waters