WASTE ROCK DISPOSAL TO IMPROVE THE GEOTECHNICAL AND GEOCHEMICAL STABILITY OF PILES

World Mining Congress

M. Aubertin

RIME, Polytechnique Montréal

C.P. 6079, Centre-Ville

Montréal, Qc, Canada, H3C 3A7

(Corresponding author: Michel.Aubertin@polymtl.ca)

Waste rock extracted from a mine is typically stored nearby on the surface. Such waste rock piles must be designed to ensure their geotechnical and geochemical stability during the mine operation and after closure. The optimal construction of a pile requires detailed planning. Deposition should involve benches of limited height to control the global slope angle, based on the long term factor of safety. It can also be advantageous to compact the top of each bench and to give the surface an outward inclination to control water flow by limiting infiltration and favoring lateral diversion. When part of the waste rock contains reactive minerals, it is also deemed necessary to use selective placement with the non-reactive portion to prevent direct exposure to natural conditions. The construction must be well documented, and include data from the monitoring program. These and related aspects are presented and discussed in the paper.
Keywords: Waste rock; Waters; Water; Materials; Mine; Mines; Slopes; flow; Stability;
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