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Paper No.

915

TAILINGS DEWATERING AND FILTERING
USING THE METSO VPA FILTER
H G Hedlund 1,*, L Gustavsson1 and A Soderman1

ABSTRACT
Tailings in Mining Industry can be handled in different ways. Today tailings disposal is in focus by
projecting new plants as well as treating and handling of old Tailings dams.The trend today is to
process minerals, detoxify the Tailings and place them as dry surface Deposition or Underground
Backfill. This paper will briefly present five different Mining plants in North and Central America, where
Tailings have to be dewatered for dry depositing.
The Metso-Sala VPA is a filter especially developed for dewatering and drying of Mineral Concentrate
and Mineral Tailings.
Keywords: tailings disposal, dewatering, drying, mineral tailings

INTRODUCTION
Description of VPA Filters
VPA means
V = Vertical Filter Chambers, P = Pressure Filter, A = Airblow Cake Dying.
VPA is a filter specifically engineered for dewatering and drying of mineral concentrates and mineral tailings.

Figure 1. Pressure filter VPA for tailings dewatering

1. Metso Minerals (Sweden) AB, Norrangsgatan 2, SE 73325 Sala, Sweden. Email: info.minerals@metso.com

XXVI INTERNATIONAL MINERAL PROCESSING CONGRESS (IMPC) 2012 PROCEEDINGS / NEW DELHI, INDIA / 24 - 28 SEPTEMBER 2012 01986

High capacity VPA 10 up to 15 tph. No air pollution c. VPA 15 series up to 50 chambers. Compact layout with pulling hydraulic cylinders. 40 or 50 mm deep chambers. 30. HEDLUND et al Product range VPA 10 series up to 40 chambers.f. Easy to replace filter cloths. thermal drying. INDIA / 24 . VPA sizes and chamber data XXVI INTERNATIONAL MINERAL PROCESSING CONGRESS (IMPC) 2012 PROCEEDINGS / NEW DELHI. Advantages/ Key features Low residual cake moisture. VPA 15 up to 70 tph. Sizes and chamber data Figure 2. Low weight design with chambers of machined polypropylene. VPA 20 series up to 50 chambers. Low energy requirement. Rubber membranes. Low maintenance costs due to few moving parts. Fully automatic operation.28 SEPTEMBER 2012 01987 . VPA 20 up to 250 tph. Polypropylene plates. Load cells and computer control for optimum dewatering.

• Environmental reasons.9 VPA 2050 52 204 7.65 VPA 1530 32 55 3. The plant operates a complex mixed sulphide ore containing silver.7 VPA 1540 41 68 3.7 VPA 2040 40 165 7. VPA sizes and chamber data Chamber depth Volume Filter area Drying area Model 2 2 mm litre m m VPA 1030 32 20 1.TAILINGS DEWATERING AND FILTERING USING THE METSO VPA FILTER Table1.8 3. zinc and lead. gold.4 1.8 3.Greens Creek Alaska USA (Environmental.9 A typical dewatering curve with automatic load cell control.Typical dewatering curve with automatic load cell control VPA INSTALLATIONS FOR TAILINGS DEWATERING The main reasons for dewatering of Tailings can be one or all of the following: • Re-circulate the process water (lack of water). • Depositing (space) problems.4 1. Hecla .3 0. INDIA / 24 .and Depositing reasons) The operation of the Greens Creek plant started early 1989.65 VPA 1040 40 25 1. We have supplied following filters for the dewatering: XXVI INTERNATIONAL MINERAL PROCESSING CONGRESS (IMPC) 2012 PROCEEDINGS / NEW DELHI. Figure 3.28 SEPTEMBER 2012 01988 .3 0.

Raglan Nickel Plant The Raglan plant is situated in the northern part of the Ungava Peninsula in New Quebec. The maximum rest moisture content is 10% for the concentrate. and it has shown that even in a highly sensitive environment. INDIA / 24 . and the two VPA filters have a total capacity of minimum 23 t/h. as the mine is surrounded by a designated wilderness area in a sensitive Arctic environment. the government. 1991). The remaining 400 mt/d is hauled by a contractor approx. Simplified flow sheet. 10 km to the tailings disposal area. Xstrata Nickel . adequate compromises can be achieved between protection and production. Its existence . Of the 950 mt/d tailings production. Simon Walker: ”Operation demonstrates how mining can coexist with environmental care in a wilderness area” Greens Creek mine in Alaska has managed to balance its position as the largest American silver producer with an outstanding record for stringent environmental protection. where it is compacted and graded before being hydroseeded to stabilize the surface and minimize the environmental impact. operated by the fill truck driver. about 550 mt/d are returned underground after the addition of cement and water in an automatically controlled batching plant. because of the location in the perma-frost climate zone. The Plant facilities are all built in a special way on pillars. Environmental compatibility Greens Creek is unique. the community and the environmental lobby. yet none of the work force lives on site. The only way to reach the mine site is by boat or floatplane.is a testimony to the cooperation that was achieved between the company. and 102 km Southeast of Deception Bay on the Hudson Strait.Raglan Mine. Canada. Canada (Re-circulate the process water) Figure 4. This is necessary. HEDLUND et al One VPA 1530-16 for Zn Production 1997 115 tonnes/day One VPA 1530-16 for Pb and Bulk Production 1997 220 tonnes/day Three VPA 1530-32 for Tailings Production 1997 950 tonnes/day From Engineering and Mining Journal (Nov.which required permitting from no fewer than 22 different government agencies . 1660 km North of Quebec city. The nickel production is 18 t/h continuous production.28 SEPTEMBER 2012 01989 . XXVI INTERNATIONAL MINERAL PROCESSING CONGRESS (IMPC) 2012 PROCEEDINGS / NEW DELHI. Metso-Sala supplied two VPA 1530-12 for the nickel concentrate dewatering.

WV is a coal producer in the Central Appalachien mountains.” MARFORK COAL COMPANY. individual sections of the impoundment area will be reclaimed by capping them with various materials to determine how best to prevent oxidation and the creation of acid rock drainage.. GOLD CORP . USA (ENVIRONMENTAL REASONS) Marfork Coal Company. in May 1995. From Canadian Mining Journal. Working in partnership with Appalachia Synfuel. VPA 2040-46. and the EIS followed in 1993. to the maximum rest moisture of 15%. Alpha acquired Massey Energy Company to become America´s third largest coal company. Superfines recovered at Marfork are fed by a conveyor to the Synfuel facility where. The Marfork Pelletizing Plant was ready for test operation in August 1998. The process was dominated by public hearings involving the governments of Nunavik. The impoundment area will measure 800 by 800 metres and be defined by dykes. Originally the particle size of the coal fines was. The tails will then be trucked to the tailings impoundment area. MEXICO (DEPOSITING REASONS) The El Sauzal Gold mine is located in Chihuahua. The two VPA-filters are designed for a capacity of 40 (dry) tons per hour each filter. Metso-Sala has delivered two of our filter size VPA 2040-54. The products produced in the Marfork plant are high quality Coking Coal. June 1997: ”Approval to Proceed Raglan is the first new mine in Quebec to complete an environmental impact statement (EIS). Fortyfive specific conditions were attached to the approvals. Industrial Coal for energy plants and Coal pellets.GLAMIS GOLD . through a patented technology. Every year. In the process to dewater the coal fines. Marfork Coal has constructed a fine coal Pelletizing plant adjacent to the preparation plant. A baseline environmental study was completed in 1991. located in Whitesville. where they will be levelled and frozen. The plant was owned by Massey Energy Co. In the government permission for projecting a plant in Raglan one condition for environmental reason was tailings dewatering. for the Tailings dewatering were also supplied.EL SAUZAL. Chihuahua City. this pellets operation line is closed down and the two VPA-filters are now used in the fine coal dewatering production. INDIA / 24 . The property lies within the Batopilas and Urique mining districts in the South-Western part of the state and is owned by Goldcorp Inc.28 SEPTEMBER 2012 01990 . Mill tailings will be processed in thickeners and Metso-Sala VPA Pressure Filters so that the final moisture content is reduced to just 15%. This Mine and Plant has been in operation since 1993 and has an annually production of approximate 3 million tons. Mexico approximately 155 miles South-West of the state capital. In June 2011. to rest moisture in the cake of 22% for the Pelletizing process. The VPA Filters have a capacity of 45 t/h each. REMARK: Since a few years back. from 1993. they are formed into a pelletized coal product. 80% minus 7 microns – fed at 15% solids from Jameson flot cells to the VPA-filters. Quebec and Canada. which were granted by the provincial government some time later. XXVI INTERNATIONAL MINERAL PROCESSING CONGRESS (IMPC) 2012 PROCEEDINGS / NEW DELHI.TAILINGS DEWATERING AND FILTERING USING THE METSO VPA FILTER Three big filters. Before the Pelletizing process plant was developed all the super fine coal was deposited together with the tailings water in a tailings dam.

0 Total capacity dry tph: 8 x 25 Particle size. The mine started as an open pit mine in late 2005 and during 2012 it will become an underground operation only. Model: (8) VPA 2040-54 Application: Detoxified Gold Ore Tailings Cycle time.alphanr. minutes: 26. www. Simon Walker.com www.µm: 117 Cake moisture: 13 GOLD CORP . 1991. HEDLUND et al The El Sauzal mine is an open pit mine and started its operations in 2004. Greens Creek: Engineering and Mining Journal. Grinding and Cyanide Milling.goldcorpguatemala. minutes: 9. k80 . Jane Werniuk. GUATEMALA The Marlin mine in Guatemala is an Open Pit and Underground Gold mine. The leached residue after washing in different steps is filtered for “dry depositing” Model: (3) VPA 2040-54 Application: Gold Tailings Cycle time.µm: 100-110 Cake moisture: 19-21 REFERENCES Raglan Nickel Plant: CIM Bulletin.0 Total capacity dry tph: 3 x 92 Particle size. Processing method for the ore is “Dynamic Cyanide Circuit with CIP”.com www. Raglan Nickel Plant: Canadian Mining Journal. INDIA / 24 . Nov. k80 . October 2000. The processing method of the ore is Crushing. The tailings have a high content of clay and 30% is finer than 10 microns particle size.goldcorp. Heather Ednie. June 1997.com XXVI INTERNATIONAL MINERAL PROCESSING CONGRESS (IMPC) 2012 PROCEEDINGS / NEW DELHI.28 SEPTEMBER 2012 01991 . The leach residue is filtered in a VPA-filter plant after the detoxifying process.MINA MARLIN.