Karara Iron Ore TSF – design considerations for a unique large scale dry stack facility

Author(s): 
C Hore and D Luppnow
Date: 
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
First presented: 
Tailings and Mine Waste 2014 Conference
Type: 
Published paper
Category: 
Mine Waste

Globally, mine operators are becoming increasingly aware of water availability costs and constraints. This is leading to a trend of de-watering tailings disposal particularly where fresh water is required for processing . The Karara Mining Limited operation located in the Mid-west of Western Australia selected a large scale dry stack facility for their tailings disposal and storage largely for this reason. There are a range of considerations which must be made when designing and operating a large scale dry stack facility, which relates to both the traditional tailings material parameters, and conveyor and stacker properties.

The Karara facility operates a 35,000 tpd capacity stacker and conveyor system to develop a tailings dry stack landform. Key issues such as stability of the tailings mass and stacker foundation, storage capacity, landform development and closure considerations were considered during the design phase and permitting. These have been re-evaluated and updated during commissioning and subsequent operations, along with statutory reporting .

T his paper presents a case study of the design considerations for a unique large scale dry stack facility. Design analyses from feasibility and detailed engineering stages are presented along with discussion related to updated operational testing. The paper will provide insight into operating issues that may impact the decision processes of potential future similar operations.

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