Spent time setting up sessions for the upcoming conference on paste and thickened tailings in 2013. Along the way, I checked out recent web additions on the topic. Here is what I wrote as a result–I post as the links may be helpful.
The definitive book on the topic is Paste and Thickened Tailings by Richard Jewell and Andy Fourie; it is available at this link.
The fastest and easiest read on the web is by Jon Engels at his Tailings.info website. Here are the links to what he posts on thickened tailings and paste tailings. He nicely summarizes the advantages of both methods.
The definitive conference is the annual series called Paste 2013 of whatever year going back more than fifteen years. The proceedings are available in book format from the Australian Center for Geomechanics.
The definitive course is by Patterson & Cooke; see this link for their website where they announce the next course.
And while not definitive, we continue to like the supplement to International Mining on Paste Tailings Management as available at this link. See also the InfoMine Library for the annual International Mining supplements on Paste from 2008 to 2012.
There are collections of papers on this topic via a standard Google search—look for the pdf marker and you will probably get a genuine technical paper. At OneMine (a pay to enter site) we found 120 papers going back to 1995 on the topic of paste and thickened tailings. And at the InfoMine Library (a non-pay site) we found plenty more technical papers.
Converting to Paste Tailings at the Chevron Mining, Inc. Molybdenum Mine, Questa, New Mexicoby Steve Blodgett and James Kuipers is probably the most overly optimistic assessment of the potential benefits of paste tailings we have read. Still it is worth going through for the level of current and new detail (September 2012) is impressive.
Conversely, the realism that pervades the assessment of possible use of paste tailings at the BHP Olympic Dam Expansion is most sobering. See this link for the document entitled Tailings Storage Facility Design Report. Again we recommend reading this volume before giving in to excessive enthusiasm for paste or thickened tailings.
PS. The two pictures with this post have nothing to do with the post. I took both in Guatemala last year.