EVALUATION OF TAILINGS MATERIAL FOR THE PREPARATION OF A LOW MODULUS HIGH DENSITY BACKFILL FOR AN OPERATING MINE

World Mining Congress
A study was conducted for an operating mine to determine the appropriateness of its tailings material to be used for the preparation of a low modulus, high density backfill. The research was initiated due to issues arising from increased observations of compressive failure of backfill placed in stopes and inconsistent backfill behaviour (i.e. increased backfill brittleness and modulus). Backfill materials investigated were classified tailings and de-slimed tailings. Characterization of the physical properties of the classified and de-slimed tailings materials was conducted to assess the effect that these material properties would have on the strength and deformation behaviour of high density backfill products made using them. Such behaviour was investigated to determine whether differences in tailings physical properties would influence the strength and modulus character of the backfill materials. Uniaxial (UCS) and consolidated-undrained triaxial compression strength tests were conducted to determine strength performance and deformation behaviour of backfill. This paper presents the results of the backfill material characterization study and how different particle size distributions affected the strength performance and deformation behaviour of the different backfill mixes. It also demonstrates how stress-strain curves generated from material strength tests were used to evaluate variation in high density backfill mix response when such materials were subjected to unconfined and confined (triaxial) compression loading.
Keywords: Backfill; Backfills; Backfill; tailings; Materials; Strength; Density; Tests; test; Behaviours;
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