Study of Tailings Management Technologies

December 22, 2020

Klohn Crippen Berger was commissioned by the Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) Program in 2015 to complete a study to examine and compare alternatives to conventional slurry for the management of tailings (e.g., thickened, paste and filtered tailings). This presentation summarizes the study approach and key lessons learned. The study included an examination of tailings dewatering process technologies that are currently used in Canada and other jurisdictions with similar climatic conditions. The strengths, limitations, and physical and environmental risks of these alternative technologies were compared to those of conventional slurry.  Strengths, limitations, and physical and chemical risks were considered across the entire life cycle of tailings facilities, from design and construction through to long-term post-closure.


Kate Patterson, M.Eng., P.Eng. - Associate, Water Resources and Tailings Engineer
Kate Patterson is a professional engineer and an Associate with Klohn Crippen Berger, specializing in water resources engineering and tailings management. Kate has over 10 years’ experience in mine environment, tailings management and water resource projects throughout Canada and internationally, on some of the largest mining operations in the world. She has worked on all aspects of mine environment and water resource projects, from baseline environmental studies to geotechnical/environmental design, impact assessment/mitigation and closure. Kate currently manages multi-disciplinary design teams for large tailings dams. Her specializations include tailings technologies, climate and hydrology assessments, climate change assessments, dam breach and inundation assessments, sedimentation pond design and cover design. She is based in Vancouver, B.C. and led the MEND tailings technology study from 2015 to 2017.
Lindsay Robertson, M.Sc., P.Geo. - Environment Manager, Associate, Sudbury
Lindsay Robertson is a professional geoscientist and an Associate with Klohn Crippen Berger, specializing in geochemistry and environmental soil sciences. She has almost 15 years’ experience with the assessment of environmental impacts from mining. She has broad experience with the geochemistry of soils, tailings, and waste rock gained from her work on mining dams and projects worldwide. For the past five years, she has had a technical focus on the integration of geochemistry with tailings management and closure. She works closely with the dam engineering teams at KCB to understand and mitigate potential physio-chemical changes in dam materials, and the long-term balance between chemical and physical dam stability. She is based in Sudbury, Ontario where she leads the Ontario environmental group.

MEND Tailings Study Report: content/uploads/2.50.1Tailings_Management_TechnologiesL.pdf

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