Botswana is hosting the Paste08, an international conference on paste and thickened tailings in Kasane in May next year on behalf of the Australian Centres of Geomechanics (ACG). The ACG has mandated Debswana, South Africa’s Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Paterson & Cooke to manage the event on its behalf. The conference will attract over 250 high-level delegates from all over the world.
This will be the 11th such conference. Previous conferences were hosted in Australia, Chile, Canada, Ireland and South Africa. Paste08 is an international seminar with the objective of promoting the technology of paste and thickened tailings as an environmentally friendly technological alternative solution to the conventional mine residue disposal. The seminar is internationally recognised as the premier forum for this and related technologies.
What is Paste?
The disposal of tailings or final residue left after extracting the valuable minerals, is commonly identified as being the single most significant element of environmental impact for all mining operations. Paste tailings are tailings that have been significantly dewatered into thick slurry that can still be pumped to a storage dam or used for filling old mined out excavations. In arid regions, the key issue in this process is the water released for reuse for sustainable operations. This is true in many major mining countries, and in Botswana, where sustainable water usage is of critical importance, the efficiency and effectiveness of paste and thickened tailing technology has special significance.
The objective of hosting this seminar in Botswana is to emphasize the importance of responsible water usage in arid regions. Botswana has invested in numerous water related projects over the years, and water scarcity is a reality being dealt with on many fronts. This seminar will be hosted in Kasane, a lush tropical area of the country, surrounded by the arid Kalahari Desert. Not only will Botswana benefit from the focus of cutting-edge technological debate and innovation on its soil, but Debswana believes, the business community will also benefit by showcasing what Botswana can offer. “BEDIA should take advantage of this conference to market the country. Botswana’s tourism sector will benefit, as this seminar will be held in the tourism hub of Botswana, Kasane,” a company statement said.
Papers on water scarcity and global warming challenges in the world and how these are being managed will be of significant importance. International speakers and delegates will become aware of the challenges and successes in Botswana, and will be able to take these lessons back to their countries.
A site visit for conference delegates to Orapa Mine’s operating pilot paste plant will be held on during the conference. Delegates will fly from Kasane to Orapa on a charter flight. There will also be a trade exhibition that will bring together the top operators and leading developers to share their experiences and technological advances.
Delegates will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the latest developments in the field of Paste and Thickened Tailings such as preparation, transport, deposition and the latest treatment advancements.
The Next Decade
Paste08 will propose a way forward for the next decade. The importance of harmony between resource development and nature will be emphasised at this seminar, and different emerging issues on environmental management, legislations and other related issues will be dealt with. Debswana also sees the seminar as a response to legislators’ and environmentalists’ concerns about the negative impact of mining on the environment. It is therefore necessary for all the parties to come together to find technological solutions that will effectively reduce the negative impacts imposed by mining.
“Relevant case studies will be of great interest and real value to mining communities, government planners and strategists at all levels,” says the Debswana statement. “Botswana will benefit from the emphasis on the importance of responsible water usage in arid regions. This conference is well suited to benchmark Botswana’s mining industry against best practice and latest developments in the industry.” The Debswana statement concluded.