Image: Potash Mine: Thickened tailings pipeline at -40c

Minerals & Metals1 min read

Potash Mine: Thickened tailings pipeline at -40c

Industrial Minerals; Industrial Chemicals

The IMC Colonsay potash mine is located in Saskatoon, Canada, where winter temperatures drop as low as -40C.

Ausenco was selected by contractor EIMCO to provide conceptual design and basic engineering services for the mine’s 4-inch diameter thickened tailings pipeline, along with laboratory testing, loop testing and cost estimates to ±15%.

The extra-heavy steel pipeline was designed to deliver thickened potash tailings at a maximum rate of 308 tonnes per hour from EIMCO’s thickener plant, located at IMC’s mine site, to deposition sites located around the mine at a maximum distance of 1,500 metres.

As the pipeline was to be installed aboveground (at the client’s request), the pipeline design features included heat tracing and a 2-inch layer of rigid polyurethane foam insulation to accommodate winter temperatures.

Our designs included both a high- pressure option and a low pressure option, with an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of each.