Innovations in Tailings Engineering Design - Mining software plus TCL allows non-programmers to create new applications

CIM MineSpace 2001
Abstract The process of estimating tailings deposition for a given basin has been a relatively tedious process without dedicated software tools flexible enough to create rapid iterations of alternative design scenarios. Recent innovations in today’s mining software include the widely used scripting language TCL that brings with it the ability to extend functionality beyond the scope of Surpac’s mining software. Through cooperation with engineers from Golder Associates a solution was developed to take advantage of 3D visualization and create a flexible tailings model for unusual basin geometry. Calculating tailings deposition became highly automated. Different design alternatives were easily evaluated using the mathematical model of the tailings surface to calculate elevations at every point in the basin. The project started with the original topographic surface then design information in the form of spigot points, dam centre-lines, drainage basin outlines and finally the tailings flow properties. User input determined whether the elevation of the tailings should be calculated cumulatively along the flow path or directly to the spigot. Slope was defined as a polynomial or linear function and slope changed automatically when pond elevation was reached. The filling process was visualized in 3D with a number of output choices like contour maps, isopachs and basin capacity curves.
Keywords: TCL, Engineering, Automation, Surpac, Computer, Applications, Innovation, Tailings, mining software
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