Modeling Tools for Development of Tailings Management Plans

CIM Edmonton 2008
Marcelo Musse, Marco Barrientos, Mathias Silva, Terry Eldridge,
Abstract Proper management of a tailings impoundment facility during the mine operation can significantly reduce the environmental impact of the facility during operation, reduce operating effort and reduce the effort required to close and manage the facility after operations are complete. Variables that must be considered in development of the tailings management plan are the properties of the tailings, which may change over time as new ore types are processed or the process itself is changed, the slope of the tailings both on a beach and underwater, and how this slope may change with the season and thickening technology used, and desired location, area and depth of the pond to maximize reclaim and to provide flood management capacity within the impoundment. Sensitivity analyses for each of the variables can be made to determine the key parameters that will govern the operation of a specific tailings basin over time, and allow operating rules to be developed and incorporated in the management plan.

This paper presents the concept and application of a new computational tool which is specific to modeling tailing impoundments.

Golder Associates S.A. – Santiago, Chile
Golder Associates Ltd. – Burnaby, Canada
Keywords: Environmental impact, management plans, modeling, Operation, sensitivitity analyses, computational tool, Impoundment, Development, Tailings
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