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A WATER AND MUD MANAGEMENT MODEL FOR BAUXITE RESIDUE DISPOSAL

H Li, S Harris

After discharge into a Residue Disposal Area (RDA), bauxite residue undergoes sedimentation, consolidation and desiccation processes, with desiccation as a dominant process for thickened/pasted residue. Mud farming technology is applied to RDAs to enhance drying and drainage. For a typical RDA, bleeding water and run-off flows to a decant pond. If the decant pond volume or takeoff is too small, the drying beach would be flooded by water during wet seasons, significantly impacting on mud drying, mud farming and the subsequent storage density achieved. Drying, mud farming and water management are integrated parts for residue disposal but are addressed separately in the industry.

This paper describes a RTA model that integrates and models all of the processes for effective and efficient residue management using Goldsim. The model contains approximately 600 individual GoldSim elements for performing separate functions or calculations related to mud drying, mud farming and water balance. It is a powerful tool for residue management and its applications include: a) assisting disposal design and development of an effective residue deposition plan; b) decant ponds and pumps design via water balance modelling; and c) optimisation of mud farming operation.