WIMnet Conference Grant recipient report – 2018 Mine Waste and Tailings Conference

  • By Di Liu AAusIMM, Chief Scientist, Kinetic Group Worldwide

WIMNet Conference Grant recipient Di Liu describes her experience at the recent AusIMM Mine Waste and Tailings Conference.

As a successful recipient of the WIMnet Conference Grant for the AusIMM Mine Waste and Tailings Conference, July 2018, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the grant, the AusIMM WIMnet, and the conference organising committee. From attending and presenting at the conference, I found it is a great opportunity and experience to share the research findings and present my skills to this wide audience. Following the latest advancements in research and participating in discussion at the conference has helped me strengthen my knowledge about the current challenges, strategies and technologies for tailings management. The science updates, new skills learnt and scientific networks developed at the conference are of great importance to my research career.

I have presented the results of my research, titled ‘Improving the dewatering efficiency of clay-rich tailings in saline water’ as the principal author at the conference. The research work has been developed by Kinetic Group Worldwide, a research innovation and commercialisation company, with the collaboration of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland. As is known, the presence of clay minerals slows down the settling rate and mitigates compact consolidation efficiency in tailings dewatering. The increasing use of saline water in many plants affects the dewatering performance and presents the mining industry with new concerns. Efficient tailings dewatering has become a great challenge due to the complex character of tailings, especially clay mineralogy, clay content and water chemistry. As part of our research we have investigated possible strategies to promote more rapid dewatering. We have also discussed the research gaps on how to better manage clay-rich tailings in saline water and identified new research directions including the development of a water management model, supported through in-line monitoring data.

The research proved to be of interest to the scientific community at the conference. I have received positive feedback and suggestions, which will improve my future scientific approaches.

I personally found the entire conference very stimulating. It provided a great chance to engage with industry peers and internal companies and is a truly global gathering of resource industry professionals. I would again like to thank the AusIMM WIMnet for supporting me to attend the conference.

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