A review of cemented rockfill practices and properties in Canadian mines
Cemented rockfill (CRF) plays a vital role in pillar-less mining. Many factors are associated with optimum design of a CRF material. Factors like strength, placement method, mixing, curing time, water content, binder contents, binder composition and additives require to be studied for appropriate rockfill design. The most important factor is strength of a CRF. The design engineer considers fill strength requirements (FSR) for the estimation of CRF strength requirements. Inappropriate CRF strength can cause excessive ore dilution.
The recent studies on CRF practices at some of the Canadian mines revealed the most common flaws. Comparison of different types of fill determined that most of the failures occur in cemented rockfill, and the compressive strength can be improved by small addition of sand and mine tailings.
This work discusses the studies on determination of unconfined compressive strength, Young’s modulus, density and water contents of CRF being placed in the excavated stopes. It was found that the CRF properties were largely influenced by the variation in gradation and curing time. The 7% binder content improved compressive strength of rockfill significantly but it has an influence on the economics, whereas 4% and 5% binder contents are better choices. The maximum Young’s modulus values were obtained at 28 days curing time for most of the samples.
CRF, Binder Content, Cemented rockfill, Unconfined compressive strength, Canadian mines