The Industry Challenge:
Oil sands mining operations generate large quantities of fine tailings that can take many years to consolidate into solid ground under normal environmental conditions.
Technologies for speeding up the consolidation process have proven effective in bench-scale tests; however, questions remain regarding how the processes can be scaled up.
Field tests of these technologies are extremely costly to conduct and many factors are difficult to control.
How We Help:
C-FER assisted in the construction of a 10 m diameter indoor tank to simulate the consolidation process of over 45 m3 of mature fine tails.
The technology vendor developed new procedures for scaling up the deployment of their technology from bench-scale to near field-scale.
Additionally, outdoor tests were run in a smaller tank to assess the impact of winter conditions on the process.
Testing ran continuously for over 16 months and has led to the planning of large-scale field trials.