High Density Disposal of Diamond Tailings at a Central Thickener Discharge Site in South Africa.

Vietti Slurrytec (Pty) Ltd is a South African niche metallurgical laboratory and consultancy specialising in tailings dewatering.

We conduct test work on slurry samples to offer our Clients accurate and independent process design criteria for all their project dewatering circuit needs.

Our fundamental knowledge of clay and water interactions allows us to provide our Clients with tailings dewatering solutions which will meet and exceed the Global Industry Standards for Tailings Management requirements.

Where problematic tailings dewatering applications are encountered, we offer Clients our unique process water conditioning reagent ClariVie44 which not only enhances solid/liquid separation but increases thickening and filtration efficiencies.

Tailings Dewatering and Deposition in Arctic Conditions
ClariVie44® Process Water Conditioner Used to Coagulate Clay Containing Slurries
Large Diameter Thickeners in a High Density Copper Tailings Application in South America
Low Density Tailings Disposal to TSF
Pilot Scale Thickening Test Work
Dispersive Clay Slurry and Poor Quality Thickener Overflow (left) Coagulated Clay Slurry and Clear Thickener Overflow (right)

Tailings disposal solutions for the mining industry

Mine tailings disposal can be an existential threat to any mining project as is evidence by recent Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) disasters globally. Consequently, the Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management has been introduced to improve TSF management and safety.

The basis for improving TSF safety is to remove or reduce the amount of water in the tailings by a dewatering process before they are deposited into the TSF site. This is typically achieved by a solid/liquid separation step using Thickeners to produce a thickened tailings product which is pumped to the storage facility.

Innovative dewatering technology

Beginning in the late 1980’s and through the 1990’s, the development and introduction of High Density/Paste thickeners was a major step forward in achieving a drier tailings product which could be stored safely.

More recently, several major tailings dam disasters have provided a major Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) incentive for miners to achieve even drier tailings by filtration technologies for so-called Dry Staking tailings disposal.

Clays in tailings dewatering

Removal of water from tailings is not always easy especially when they contain suspended clay minerals which originate from within the ores being mined and treated.

The operation of both thickening and filtration dewatering technologies are often impeded by the clays which can result in poorly dewatered tailings being discharged to the TSF so that management and safety are compromised.

ClariVei44® Process Water Conditioner

Vietti Slurrytec, has developed a deep understanding of the relationships between clays and water over more than 30 years of research and experience. This understanding enables us to identify problematic clay slurries for Clients and to provide practical solutions for modifying their behavior so that dewatering technologies can work efficiently.

Our ClariVie44® Process Water Conditioner has been developed specifically for mine projects where problematic clay containing tailings are encountered and where process water clarity and high density dewatered tailings required. ClariVie44® is manufactured in South Africa and under license in Australia and Angola, from which we supply Clients in the coal; platinum and diamond mining sectors.

Slurry test work

Vietti Slurrytec owns its own independent metallurgical laboratory in which we conduct solid/liquid separation test work at the bench-scale level (for pre-feasibility projects) and at the pilot-scale level for feasibility level projects. The test work data allow us to provide our Clients with process design criteria and dewatering unit sizing specifications with which they can confidently approach Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) for dewatering equipment quotations and supply.

Global tailings experience

Vietti Slurrytec has significant tailings dewatering project experience. Our internal tailings knowledge data base covers over 400 global projects on a diverse variety of mineral commodity types. We have considerable global project experience covering both small projects up to amongst very largest tailings disposal projects in the world.