Sedimentation characteristics of Cu-Ni mill tailings and thickener size estimation

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 81, No. 910, 1988

T. YALCIN, Laurentian University Sudbury, Ontario

This paper describes a study carried out to determine the behaviour of Cu-Ni mill tailings during natural and flocculated sedimentations. Settling rates were examined under various conditions through standard laboratory batch settling tests. Flocculation was found to improve the sedimentation process significantly, but its effectiveness depended on several factors such as the pulp density of feed, the type and dosage of flocculating reagent, the pH of pulp, the intensity of mixing floc-culant with tailings sand the use of stirring during compaction. It is shown that, for a sedimentation process taking place under given conditions, underflow pulp density (P) and sedimentation time (t) are related by the expression P = k. t", where k and n are constants. A procedure is described for the use of this expression in thickener size estimations.
Mots Clés: Mineral processing, Tailings, Sedimentation, Flocculation, Agglomeration, Thickeners.