Dewatering of copper flotation tailings: Effect of feed dilution on the thickener performance
Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review
Taylor & Francis Group
School of Engineering
Aqueous slurries’ dewatering using gravity-driven thickeners is an essential unit operation in mineral processing. Thickener feed dilution is often used for enhanced flocculation and sediment compressibility. This work investigated the effect of feed dilution on thickener performance for copper flotation tailings. Furthermore, the performance of the feed dilution system (eductor) was investigated from theoretical and practical perspectives. The results indicated that reducing eductor discharge solid loading increased thickener underflow solid loading. Higher thickener feed flow rate also affected eductor performance, reducing its discharge solid loading by 4 wt.%. Finally, a smart thickener dilution system was proposed to maintain optimum dilution.