New methods are proposed for predicting the hindered settling conditions encountered by concentrated suspensions containing mixtures of sand particles and mud flocs. These methods, based on two-fraction formulations, are developed by consideration of the settling characteristics of monodisperse and polydisperse solid particle suspensions applied to cohesive/non-cohesive mixtures of mud flocs and sand particles. The behaviour of these predictive methods is evaluated over a wide range of mixture conditions and compared with existing formulations, with their parametric dependence on the relative volumetric concentrations and floc/particle sizes for the mud and sand constituents established. The results indicate that consideration of the full return flow effects generated by both fractions provides the best modelling framework for predicting the hindered settling conditions over a wide range of sand-mud mixtures. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.