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Paste, filtered tailings, and mine backfill


Whether you’re looking for maximum water recovery, increased tailings strength, or quality backfill for underground mining, Barr can find solutions that meet the needs of your entire site. Effective tailings management requires integrated geotechnical, water resources, civil, environmental, and processing expertise. This holistic design approach sets Barr apart: We can assist our clients with all project phases and disciplines, all in-house.

Drawing upon our experience serving clients in this area for the last 50 years, Barr offers a high level of expertise across virtually all aspects of tailings management. Our capabilities include expanded services in paste, filtered tailings, and underground mine backfill to better serve our clients.

The benefits of tailings dewatering center on increased tailings strength and a reduction in the volume of stored water. Use of tailings as mine backfill reduces surface-storage requirements and allows for beneficial tailings reuse. Barr specializes in finding solutions to the technical challenges presented by implementation of paste, filtered tailings, and mine backfill such as pumping of high-yield stress tailings and adaptive control systems that maintain constant ratio control in a variable environment.

Our tailings management services include:

  • Alternative analyses and feasibility studies
  • Cost estimating and economic analyses
  • Environmental impact assessments and permitting
  • Water balances, hydrology, and hydraulics
  • Rheology and tailings characterization
  • Thickening and filtration estimating and analysis 
  • Sediment transport evaluations, delta slope estimating, and deposition studies and designs 
  • Tailings pumping and piping system design
  • Tailings impoundment dam design
  • Fluid fine tailings management
  • Filtered tailings storage facility design
  • Construction management, startup, and operations assistance
  • Mine backfilling
  • Conveyor design
  • Emergency action plan development
  • Dam break and runout analyses
  • Closure and reclamation

Above-ground tailings management and mine backfill

With a plan to implement above-ground tailings storage and underground mine backfill as part of a proposed potash extraction project, a confidential mining client retained Barr to review alternatives and provide feedback on the above-ground tailings storage design.

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Dry-stack tailings management

Barr was hired to provide emergency response for the dam failure and to evaluate alternative tailings-management approaches.

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Contact an expert

Pierre Mainville

Senior Tailings Engineer

Kurt Schimpke

Senior Geotechnical Engineer

Miguel Wong

Vice President, Senior Civil Engineer

Tom Radue

Vice President, Senior Geotechnical Engineer