DELKOR technology reduces water usage at major steel producer

Paste thickener increases water recovery and extends the life of the tailings dam.

DELKOR Paste Thickener in operation for a major Indian steel manufacturer.
DELKOR Paste Thickener in operation for a major Indian steel manufacturer.

The installation of a DELKOR Paste Thickener to treat iron ore tailings at a plant in India has resulted in significantly reduced water usage, which, in turn, results in environmental benefits for a water-stressed country. 

The 15 m diameter paste thickener was ordered to increase water recovery within the process plant and increase the life of the existing tailings dam by pumping lesser amount of slurry to it. Previously, using a conventional thickener, the mine pumped an underflow with 20 - 25 % (w/w) solids directly to the tailings dam, leading to a high loss of water. 

With the installation of the paste thickener, which was ordered in 2021 and commissioned in 2022, the solids in the underflow have increased to 50 - 55 % (w/w), increasing the process water recovery to 78 - 83 % within the plant. This, in turn, has resulted in a significant reduction in the plant’s freshwater intake. There has also been a significant reduction in the drying time required by the discharged paste in the tailings dam, which in turn has increased the life span of the tailings dam

The scope of work covered:  

  • Design, engineering, fabrication and supply of the paste thickener, featuring a forced dilution feed well, with sheer thinning system. 
  • Design and engineering of the tailings disposal system, featuring a paste pumping system with multiple discharge points for uniform spread inside the tailings dam. 
  • Engineering of ancillary equipment. 

“DELKOR has been proudly associated with this client for nearly 20 years, having previously supplied 16 high-rate thickeners, with diameters ranging from 1 m to 65 m,” says Indu Bhushan Jha, DELKOR Managing Director. “We appreciate the ongoing loyalty of such a major steel manufacturer and commend our DELKOR team for providing the quality of service and technologies that have resulted in our client continuing to support us.” 

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