Cemented paste backfill for mineral tailings management: Review and future perspectives

New paper published on Minerals Engineering

Paper Title: Cemented paste backfill for mineral tailings management: Review and future perspectives

Authors: Chongchong Qi* &  Andy Fourie

Abstract: Environmental issues associated with tailings management have made it the most daunting challenge faced by the mining industry. To dispose mineral tailings in a technical, environmental and economical way, the cemented paste backfill (CPB) technology is proposed and widely adopted. Here we summarize recent progress in CPB design, with particular emphasis on flocculation and sedimentation, CPB mix design and CPB pipe transport. We provide an updated picture of underlying mechanisms, experimental techniques, influencing factors and recent frontiers for each abovementioned process. The review concludes with some future directions for the field. We envisage a future in which the CPB design is optimised in an integrated CPB design system, accelerated by artificial intelligence and interpreted using atomic simulation.

Keywords: Cemented paste backfill; Tailings management; Flocculation and sedimentation; Mix design; Pipe transport

Reviewer 1: The present review gives an overview of very promising aspect in a topic where tailing deposit stability is becoming at the center of the international debate. In general, English is correct. However an additional proof reading is required to correct minor typos and wording mistakes.

Reviewer 2: This review deals the main principles of cemented paste backfill considered for sustainable tailings management in mining/mineral industry.  It represents an original and valuable contribution to understanding the cemented paste backfill, which focus on dewatering/filtration process, backfill mix design and delivery to underground stopes. The authors should be commended for that. The paper is well written and presents some practical information for mine operators. This reviewer is proposing the following minor revisions to improve the manuscript submitted. Once these revisions are implemented, the reviewer feels, that the manuscript should be accepted for publication.

Representative figure from this paper:

Figure 3.jpg

A typical CPB design process.

Full paper can be obtained through https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Zm4l3A~K2Uygi (valid for 50 days from 20/09/2019) or through email by contact .