Paste Backfill Projects
Cemented paste backfill has become an increasingly popular method of optimising underground mine support and tailings management systems to increase project revenue. Cemented paste mine fill is a product that can be pumped or directed underground by gravity but does not release liquid after placement.
GR Engineering Services Limited (GRES) has outstanding capability to assist with all phases of paste backfill projects from initial scoping studies and metallurgical testwork to detailed design, plant construction and project management. Principals of GRES were heavily involved in the Kanowna Belle paste backfill plant definitive engineering study and subsequent detailed design, construction and project management. Kanowna Belle was the first continuous paste backfill plant commissioned in Australia. GRES personnel supervised the metallurgical test work, completed the definitive engineering study and carried out the design and construction of the facility under a lump sum contract.
Paste backfill plant services provided by GRES include:
- Metallurgical test work including sizing analysis, cement consumption, paste strength testing and flow loop testing;
- Flowsheet development and equipment selection;
- Paste pumping and underground distribution piping design;
- Feasibility studies ranging from scoping studies to bankable and definitive feasibility studies;
- Plant operating and capital cost estimating services including preparation of asset management plans;
- Design, construction and project management services.
GRES personnel have been involved in the following mine backfill projects:
- Higginsville paste backfill project study, design and construction;
- Sally Malay (now Savannah) paste backfill project design and construction;
- Barrick Porgera paste backfill project design;
- Kanowna Belle paste backfill plant study, design and construction;
- Barrick Darlot cemented aggregate fill plant design and construction;
- BHP Nickel West Cliffs paste backfill project study.
The Sally Malay (now Savannah project) paste backfill plant was GRES’ foundation design and construction project and was successfully completed in September 2007. The paste plant is a 100 tph continuous paste plant treating all of the tailings from the nickel concentrator. The Sally Malay nickel mine has since been renamed the Savannah Project.
GRES were also selected by Barrick Gold to complete the detailed design of a paste backfill facility at Porgera in Papua New Guinea. Barrick Gold is the world’s largest user of paste backfill technology.
GRES also successfully completed the design and construction of the Higginsville Paste Plant for Avoca Resources.