Hydraulic fill research at James Cook University in the new millennium

9th International Symposium on Mining with Backfill
Nagaratnam Sivakugan, Rudd Rankine, Shailesh Singh, Kandiah Pirapakaran,
Abstract The geotechnical engineering research group at James Cook
University (Australia) has carried out significant research on
hydraulic fills over the past five years. The group has worked
closely with the mining industry in Australia and has studied a
wide range of hydraulic fills, and barricade bricks. The findings,
which were disseminated through several publications in
international journals and conference proceedings, will be
summarised in this paper.
Since permeability of the hydraulic fill is one of the major
parameters that governs the selection of the fill, an extensive
laboratory testing program was undertaken to develop a
reproducible sample preparation technique and to measure
permeability through constant head and falling head tests. A
unique permeability apparatus was developed to measure the
permeability of the barricade bricks, and the appartus gave
consistent results.
A numerical model, simulating the filling and drainage in a
hydraulic fill stope, was developed using FLAC and FLAC3D. A
closed form solution using Method of Fragments was proposed
for 2-d stopes, and attempts are being made to extend this to
3-d stopes.
FLAC and FLAC3D were also used to study the stress
developments within a hydraulic fill stope and these were
compared with the analytical solutions and model tests in the
laboratory.
Keywords: Permeability, geotechnical, Drainage, Hydraulic Fill, FLAC
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