Tailings dam failures need not be disasters - The Thickened Tailings Disposal (TTD) system

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1028, 1999

E.I. Robinsky, E.I. Robinsky Associates Ltd., Toronto, Ontario

In light of the recurring spills and failures of conventional tailings disposal pond dams, a brief review of the Thickened Tailings Disposal (TTD) system is presented. It is shown that by the process of thickening the tailings to a heavy slurry prior to disposal, it is possible to create a self-supporting deposit of tailings and to eliminate the typical superimposed settling pond. These features, together with the ability to reclaim the disposal area even as mining continues, preclude an ecological disaster.
Keywords: Environment, Dam failures, Tailings spills, Thickened tailings disposal.