Today I looked through the abstracts submitted for Paste 2013 in Belo Horizonte in Brazil next year. Here is what I wrote—it will be all over InfoMine soon enough.
Paste 2013 proceeds apace: ninety-six abstracts have been submitted. A near record. And each and every abstract gives promise of a paper that will explore in detail a significant new aspect of tailings management.
There are abstracts that promise papers that defend thickened and paste tailings against the detractors: those who are concerned about thickener performance & reliability; the development of steep beaches; and the post-earthquake stability of such deposits.
There are abstracts on filter-pressing and dry-stacking of tailings: clearly an expanding field of endeavor and a more and more popular way to safely dispose of tailings.
Oil sands tailings are the topic of many abstracts: topics include the Alberta oil sands tailings roadmap; generic models of oil sands technology development; and the performance of wick drains in mature fine tailings.
Polymer amendment of tailings and the impact of polymers on dewatering and strength gain of tailings are the topic of a few abstracts. Controversial as this topic is, we look forward to hearing more from the researchers in Australia and the practitioners in Alberta working on this topic.
Many abstracts deal with the use of paste tailings underground—how to best use a paste tailings to backfill mine workings and hence to keep stopes and tunnels stable for workers and equipment.
The authors come from around the world. There are twenty-five abstracts from Brazil, seventeen from Canada, fifteen from Chile, twelve from Australia, and a good showing from South Africa, the USA, Europe, and Indonesia. The conferences promises to be a truly international examination of tailings practice with an emphasis on filtered, thickened, and paste practice.
It is not possible to list all the individuals and companies proposing papers, but we must single out for praise ARCADIS in Chile, Patterson & Cooke (world-wide), Golders, ACT Williams,and Fraser F Alexander. There is a good balance of academic, consultant, and mine operators in the list of presenters, so we will hear everything from theory, to design, to practice.
Conference registration is now open, and we urge you to mark this event on your calendar and come to the beautiful city of Belo Horizonte to an event that promises to be wide ranging and highly informative.