Rheology Fundamentals for Slurries and Pastes Workshop

9 April 2018 | Perth, Western Australia

“Integral to process plant design is identification of the slurry system operating window that allows increased throughput while decreasing capital and operating costs. For any system involving thickening or paste production, understanding the material rheological characteristics is prerequisite to identifying this window and successful, optimal and reliable operation”.

About the Workshop

An understanding of slurry and paste rheology or fluid flow, dewatering including thickening and filtration and surface chemistry/rheology interrelationships is fundamental to slurry system design, optimal operation and risk management.

Investment into understanding slurry fundamentals is often insufficient to mitigate against the risk of under or over design and poor operating performance.

The workshop will focus on identifying what information is required, how to interpret measured data and how to apply to new system design and existing operations.

You will learn about slurry physical and chemical properties, how flow properties or rheology are measured and how to meaningfully interpret rheological data for viscosity, yield stress, time dependence and dewatering information.

The workshop will outline how to apply rheology and surface chemistry for pipeline transport and thickening equipment selection and optimal control and operation.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • What constitutes a slurry? – slurry physical and chemical properties
  • An understanding of rheological properties and their impact on pipeline flow and unit operations
  • How slurry flow properties are measured and how to meaningfully interpret /use the data
  • Understand the interconnection between flow properties and physical / chemical factors on pipeline transport and dewatering

Who Should Attend?

  • Managers and decision makers in mining and industrial areas
  • Operational, environmental, tailings and maintenance engineers
  • Plant designers, equipment and reagent suppliers


Fiona Sofra

Rheological Consulting Services Pty Ltd

Fiona is co-founder and Managing Director of Rheological Consulting Services Pty Ltd and an Honorary Fellow of The University of Melbourne . Fiona is an internationally recognised expert in slurry handling & rheology, having consulted to many world leading minerals companies. Fiona’s approach is focused on understanding the complex interrelationships that contribute to rheological phenomena in slurries and pastes, and translating these into relevant and valuable inputs for optimal and reliable plant operation.


Professor Peter Scales

Peter Scales is a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Director of Engagement of the School of Engineering at the University of Melbourne.  He is a founding Director of Rheological Consulting Services and Director of the Particulate Fluids Processing Centre. Peter has 25+ years’ academic and industrial experience in particle processing, conducting research and consulting in the areas of slurry flow, particle dispersion, particle flocculation & separations technologies including thickening, filtration and centrifugation.

Click to view the preliminary programme
April 2018
08:15Welcome and introduction Fiona Sofra, Rheological Consulting Services
08:30What is a slurry? The liquid to solid continuum
  • How do we define a slurry/paste
10:00Morning Break
  • Slurry rheology/flow properties

  • Slurry rheology measurement

  • Flow models - communicating data

  • Slurry rheology roadmap
  • Slurry surface chemistry/rheology relationships

  • Dewatering
14:45Afternoon Break
  • Thickening

  • Filtration
16:00Q&A Session
16:30Workshop Close
16:30ACG Supplier Presentation

17:30Supplier Presentation Close
*This preliminary programme was correct at time of printing.

Is the Future Filtered? Paste and Thickened Tailings Short Course

10 April 2018 | Perth, Western Australia

About the short course

Thickening of mine tailings is now going beyond the use of large, deep thickeners and addressing a new challenge – filtration of tailings to produce a low water content material that should pose much lower environmental and safety risks than most conventional TSFs. Tailings filtration provides many potential benefits, including improved water recovery and the ability to deposit and compact the filtered tailings to form a stable, engineered landform. However, there are also many concerns and  potential pitfalls in adopting a filtered tailings management system, including high capital costs, equipment reliability, clogging of filter cloths, appropriate wash systems and optimisation of placement techniques.
Although in the past it has been considered unachievable, large-volume filtered tailings operations are beginning to emerge and there are already a number of operational facilities dealing with medium volume (order of 20 ktonne/day) throughputs. Given the increasing scrutiny of the mining industry and its relatively poor record with regards to mine tailings management, increased requirements to minimise water usage (often accompanied by very high costs of water) and the need to demonstrate achievable long-term closure strategies, it is likely that the option of a filtered tailings system will need to be considered in many operations in future. It has therefore been decided to dedicate a short course to this topic to provide practitioners and decision-makers with as much information as possible, as early as possible.
Drawing on experiences from a number of operational filtered tailings facilities, the short course will discuss available technologies, appropriate test programmes to determine relevant design parameters, operational challenges and cost comparisons.

Who Should Attend?

Designers, consultants, owners and operators, mine planners, regulators and researchers would all benefit from attending this short course, which will provide a valuable opportunity to examine a rapidly growing technology that is likely to see increased adoption in the future.


Professor Andy Fourie

Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering, The University of Western Australia

Andy is a Professor in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at The University of Western Australia in Perth.
He has Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and a PhD from Imperial College, University of London. He has worked at the University of Queensland, the University of Witwatersrand and has been a visiting professor at the University of Alberta, the Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile and the University of Colorado in Boulder. His research is in the field of mitigating the impact of mining and municipal solid waste disposal. Outcomes from his research have been incorporated in changes to environmental legislation in South Africa. He has recently contributed to a series of Guidelines for managing mine tailings in Australia, as well as developing a document for the International Atomic Energy Association on barrier systems for retaining uranium mining waste.

Click to view the preliminary programme
10 April 2018 
09:00Welcome and introduction Professor Andy Fourie, The University of Western Australia
09:30Testing requirements for designing a filtered tailings option Dr Angus Paterson, Paterson & Cooke Consulting, South Africa
10:15Application of plate and frame pressure filters to red mud residue Dr David Cooling, Alcoa Corporation
11:00Morning Break
11:30Addressing the challenges of filtering large volumes of tailings Todd Wisdom, FLSmidth, USA
12:15Filtered tailings and dry stack facility at Karara Mine Dr Nelson Amoah, Karara Mining Ltd
14:00Filtered tailings disposal - some considerations David Luppnow, SRK Consulting (Australasia) Pty Ltd
14:45Compaction and quality control Professor Andy Fourie, The University of Western Australia
15:15Afternoon Break
15:45Back analyses of the geotechnical failure of a filtered tailings operation Dr David Reid, The University of Western Australia
16:15Overcoming operational challenges TBC
17:00Workshop Close
*This preliminary programme was correct at time of printing.