Toward the Sensible Use of Tailings Filtering Technology

October 12, 2018 Bryan Ulrich

Stantec's Bryan Ulrich shares insights on the paper he presented at the Tailings and Mine Waste 2018 conference


At the recent Tailings and Mine Waste 2018 conference in Keystone, Colorado, Bryan Ulrich and Josh Rogers presented a joint paper on the use of filtered mine tailings. Filtered tailings technology, being at the driest end of the tailings continuum, offers many promises for storing mine tailings in an environmentally friendly manner. However, like any other technology, the adoption of filtered tailings for a mining project should be based on engineering, economic, environmental, social and regulatory consideration. The use of a Multiple Accounts Analysis (MAA) can be invaluable in establishing the viability of any tailings management strategy. 

In the paper, Josh and Bryan walked the readers through the MAA alternatives assessment methodology and present several practical pieces of advice that designers can adopt, should filtered tailings be the most suitable tailings management technology for their project. Design topics are discussed, such as target moisture content, trafficability, designing to accommodate varying tailings characteristics, loading rate and liquefaction.

Stantec has considerable experience in filtered tailing disposal having designed, commissioned and provided engineering oversight for such filtered tailing projects. In addition Stantec is currently doing the conceptual filtered tailing disposal design on top of an existing tailing storage facility. 

About the Author

Bryan Ulrich

Bryan Ulrich is a leader in geotechnical design for the mining industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He’s experienced in leading design teams and performing independent reviews of mine waste and heap leach facilities and is particularly skilled at building relationships with key industry contacts.

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