Tailings and Mine Waste 2009

Paste Pumping and Deposition Field Trials and Concepts on Syncrude’s Dewatered Mature Fine Tailings (MFT) (Centrifuge Cake)
Rick Lahaie – Syncrude Canada Ltd. Isaac Ahmed, Mark Labelle, Rob Brown – Golder Paste Technology Ltd.

with the objective determine pumpability of MFT centrifuge cake (paste)  Bench scale rheological examination of centrifuge cake at 50 to 60 wt.Outline – Bench Scale to Pilot Testing     Brief introduction to MFT centrifuge process All testwork was completed at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake Operation Two phase approach.% solids  Design field testing (flow loop) of a positive displacement pumping system for the centrifuge cake Preliminary deposition concepts .

Scope of MFT Centrifuge Field Trials  MiSwaco  Two pods of oilfield scale centrifuges were operated in parallel by Syncrude Two Alfa Laval Lynx 40’s running in parallel with the prime focus provide centrifuge cake for:  Alfa Laval  Transportation assessment – conveyor and positive displacement pump / pipeline studies (Golder PasteTec)  Bulk materials for geotechnical and environmental studies Single MiSwaco 518 centrifuge used to Advance MFT flocculation and MFT centrifuge process understanding:  Flocculant optimization studies  Centrifuge operational parameter assessments .

Overview – MFT Centrifuge Pilot Plant Set-up Golder Paste Tec Set-Up Stacker Centrifuge Cake Deposits Centrifuges Flocculant Storage/Mixing MFT Storage Tanks Interim MFT Supply Pond .

less than 5” Results show  High yield stress. 20 to 50 g/tonne .% solids  High flocculant content.Bench Scale Phase I    Determine if MFT centrifuge cake can be pumped First phase bench scale rheology testing  MFT centrifuge cake: 50 to 60 wt. Metal mine pastes.% solids  Centrate to less than 1 wt. ranging from 600 to 1200 Pa  Metal mine pastes have yield stresses of about 200 Pa  High yield stress ~attributed to high flocculant dosage. 1300 g/tonne  Low slump values.

Bench Scale Phase I  1400 1200 9/12/2008 4:00 PM Standard 9/12/2008 4:00 PM Sheared Yield Stress (Pa) 1000 800 600 400 200 0 0%    20% 40% 60% Solids Content (w t%) 80% Sampling of MFT centrifuge cake  Target conditions  Upset conditions  Sheared / unsheared Yield stress values gives some indication on ease of pumping To pump MFT centrifuge cake – material must be sheared first By shearing the sample the yield stress can be reduced significantly .

Field Pumping Phase II – Equipment Set-Up Overall Set-Up    Piping & Instrumentation Field equipment was set-up to pump the MFT centrifuge cake Data captured is used to determine pipeline friction loss MFT centrifuge cake pumping process  Material discharged from the stacker enters the paste / hopper truck  The truck shears and discharges into the pump truck  Material is pumped via piston pump to a deposition cell  Pressure sensors and flow meter are used to capture data in real time for interpretation under different conditions .

Field Pumping Phase II – Equipment Set-Up Centrifuge Cake Discharge Pipe Discharge Pressure Transducer #1 Flowmeter 615 cm Hopper Truck 100 mm Ø Pressure Transducer #2 790 cm ANSI Flange 2805 cm Pumper Truck 3412 cm Shearing with screw auger and mixer 915 cm Reducer Pipes Pipe Clamps .

5  0.0 0.0 40 50 60 Pressure differential and flow-rate Pump strokes can be readily observed on graph Dataset is analysed and follows the Bingham plastic model MFT centrifuge cake has characteristics of paste Transducer 1 (kPa) Transducer 2(kPa) FM (m/sec) .0 Flow (m/sec) 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 0 10 20 30 Time (sec) 1.5  1.5  2.0 2.Field Pumping Phase II – Data Acquisition  1000 900 800 700 Pressure (kPa) 3.

50 1.00 2.00 1.50 Flow Velocity (m/sec) First step is to determine relationship between pressure loss and flow rate The raw data collected (previous slide) represents one point on each curve A series of runs at different flow-rates at the same material consistency represents one test Pressure Losses (kPa / m) .50 2.Field Pumping Phase II – Data Analysis  80 Test 3 70 Test 4 Test 5 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0.00   0.

Field Pumping Phase II – Pipe Friction Factors  10 9 8 Test 3 Test 4 Pressure Loss.50 0.25 1.75 1.00 1.00 Flow Velocity (m/sec) .50 1.25 0.00  Using the Bingham Plastic model. pipe friction factors can be obtained Data presented is scaled up to 350 mm diameter schedule 40 pipe – from field set-up of 40 mm diameter pipe 0.75 2. (kPa/m) 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0.

Field Pumping Phase II – Transport & Deposition      MFT centrifuged cake (paste) was pumped and deposited 10 kPa/m for 8” pipe diameter (200 mm) 5 kPa/m for a 14” pipe diameter (350 mm) Values presented are for 1 m/s flow velocity Natural deposition angle was apparent .

 Mixer Discharge (Click to Start) .

 Pipe Discharge (Click to Start) .

 Deposition (Click to Start) .

desiccation and freeze thaw via either / or:  1 to 2 m annual layers or lifts. . delivering a trafficable surface that can be reclaimed terrestrially.  A very thick. potentially 30 m layer deposited in the mined out pits where. consolidation. with time.Deposition Concepts  Subsequent dewatering of the cake by natural processes. consolidation further dewaters the cake to deliver a deposit that can be reclaimed terrestrially or by water capping.

trucking with specialty boxes.Conclusion      MFT centrifuge cake can be pumped. but it must be sheared first – reduce yield stress MFT centrifuge cake like paste can be characterized (rheology) using the Bingham Plastic model Pipeline friction factors are relatively high but can be pumped via positive displacement pumps When deposited the material showed little water bleed .an advancing front is apparent with surface cracking Syncrude is currently investigating all cake transport alternatives . . pumping. conveying and possibly direct deposit from floating centrifuge barges for some in-pit deposition.

Rob Brown – Golder Paste Technology Ltd. Isaac Ahmed. Mark Labelle. .Tailings and Mine Waste 2009 Thank you! Questions / Comments Rick Lahaie – Syncrude Canada Ltd.