Associated Events

Paterson & Cooke Mine Backfill – Design and Operation Course

6 May 2019 | DaGama/Diaz Room, The Westin | Cape Town, South Africa

The one day backfill course will introduce the fundamental concepts of geomechanics and material properties that
underpin decision-making when developing a backfill design. The course will examine the various elements that go into engineering and operating a backfill system,including plant/process design, underground reticulation design and backfill management planning.

Click to view the programme (subject to change)
Welcome and introduction
Backfill study stages and testingStudy levels – scoping, pre-feasibility to feasibility
Pros and cons of paste and hydraulic fill
Backfill testing programs
Sizing a plant and utilisation factors
Backfill system designDesign criteria
Equipment selection
Case studies/various examplesDesign pitfalls
Pipeline distribution system hydraulicsBackground
Hydraulic backfill versus paste backfill flow
Design requirements
Case study – pipeline wearPipeline wear experience
Backfill placement and monitoring considerationsStrength requirements
Advances in pour monitoring
Rise rates and pressures
Backfill system managementScheduling
Wrap-upQuestions and discussion

ACG Is the Future Filtered? Paste and Thickened Tailings Short Course

7 May 2019 | DaGama/Diaz Room, The Westin | Cape Town, South Africa

Thickening of mine tailings is now going beyond the use of large, deep thickeners and addressing a new challenge – filtration of tailings to produce a low water content material that should pose much lower environmental and safety risks than most conventional TSFs. Tailings filtration provides many potential benefits, including improved water recovery and the ability to deposit and compact the filtered tailings to form a stable, engineered landform. However, there are also many concerns and potential pitfalls in adopting a filtered tailings management system, including high capital costs, equipment reliability, clogging of filter cloths, appropriate wash systems and optimisation of placement techniques. Although in the past it has been considered unachievable, large-volume filtered tailings operations are beginning to emerge and there are already a number of operational facilities dealing with medium volume (to the order of 20 ktonne/day) throughputs.

Given the increasing scrutiny of the mining industry and its relatively poor record with regards to mine tailings management, increased requirements to minimise water usage (often accompanied by very high costs of water) and the need to demonstrate achievable long-term closure strategies, it is likely that the option of a filtered tailings system will need to be considered in many operations in future.
It has therefore been decided to dedicate a short course to this topic to provide practitioners and decision-makers with as much information as possible, as early as possible.

Drawing on experiences from a number of operational filtered tailings facilities, the short course will discuss available technologies,
appropriate test programmes to determine relevant design parameters, operational challenges and cost comparisons.

Designers, consultants, owners and operators, mine planners, regulators and researchers would all benefit from attending this short course, which will provide a valuable opportunity to examine a rapidly growing technology that is likely to see increased adoption in the future.

Presenters include:


Andrew Copeland
Technical Director Mining
Knight Piésold (Pty) Ltd.

Presentation: Filtered tailings experience at Skorpion zinc mine – design and 15 years of operation

Andrew is a director of KP RSA and a technical director mining (non-statutory): KP Africa at Knight Piésold’s Head Office (Rivonia). He has had extensive exposure to international mining industry and to the full chain of mining activities and project stages. Andrew is a technical specialist in the area of mineral residue management and has a thorough understanding of the associated infrastructure, environmental, social and economic aspects, including paste and thickened tailings. He has substantial experience in civil geo-technics, heap leach facilities and mine infrastructure. Andrew has also written guidelines and standards for mine residue facilities and carried out numerous audits around the world.


Colleen Crystal
Principal Consultant
SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc., Canada

Colleen Crystal, PEng, is a Principal Consultant with SRK engineering with over 23 years of experience in geotechnical engineering and seismic analysis and design for earthen embankments, landfills, mine-waste tailings and waste rock facilities and water retention dams. Ms. Crystal is the geotechnical lead for the siting, design, construction and operations of several recent filter-pressed dry-stack storage facilities in high seismic risk areas including the El Escobal silver mine in Guatemala and the Buritica Gold Mine in Medellin, Colombia. For these and other waste management facilities she has managed the preparation of PFS/FS and trade-off studies as well as providing detailed design plans and specifications, surface water management plans, OMS manuals, risk assessments and Risk Management Plans in conformance with current international standards of good practice.


Professor Andy Fourie
Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering
The University of Western Australia, Australia

Andy is a Professor in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at The University of Western Australia in Perth.
He has Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and a PhD from Imperial College, University of London. He has worked at the University of Queensland, the University of Witwatersrand and has been a visiting professor at the University of Alberta, the Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile and the University of Colorado in Boulder. His research is in the field of mitigating the impact of mining and municipal solid waste disposal. Outcomes from his research have been incorporated in changes to environmental legislation in South Africa. He contributed to a series of Guidelines for managing mine tailings in Australia, as well as developing a document for the International Atomic Energy Association on barrier systems for retaining uranium mining waste.


McLanahan Corporation

Presentation: Filtered tailings for all – case histories for value in small operations



Dr David Reid
Research Fellow
The University of Western Australia, Australia

Presentation: 2016 Luoyang, China: tailings storage failure

The University of Western Australia, School of Civil, Environmental, and Mining Engineering
David is a tailings engineer with 14 years’ experience in the design, laboratory testing, investigation, and analysis of tailings and tailings storage facilities. He is primarily involved in laboratory and in situ characterisation of tailings with respect to strength, consolidation, and liquefaction. David completed a PhD from The University of Western Australia, which involved studying the properties of polymer-treated tailings and the use of centrifuges to perform consolidation testing. In November 2017, David joined the UWA’s School of Civil, Environmental, and Mining Engineering for an ARC Linkage project focussed on static liquefaction of tailings.


Todd Wisdom
Director Tailings Solutions
FLSmidth, USA

Presentation: Large scale filtered tailings: saving costs and improving safety

Todd is the director of tailings soutions for FLSmidth Todd has a Master of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering and joined FLS in 1993. He is currently leading FLS into the large tonnage tailings solutions market which includes the dewatering, conveying, and placement of filtered tailings.



Click here to view the list of companies that attended this course in 2018, with more than 50 attendees.

Interested in hosting a workshop/short course to accompany the Paste 2019 Conference? Click here for more details.