Author: Bryan Ulrich, Jeff Coffin
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015
The benefits of combining tailings and mine waste in a relatively homogenous manner, in which tailings just fill the voids between the waste rock particles while the waste rock maintains particle-to-particle contact, has been the subject of study over the course of several years. Such a combination of materials could be used for a closure cover or as a singular large-scale facility to store both mine waste products.
The possible benefits of this combination of materials include the creation of a deposit with the footprint smaller than two dedicated facilities, the shear strength of waste rock, the permeability of tailings, low oxygen diffusion rates, and theoretically a decreased potential to develop and emit acid rock drainage. If properly combined and placed, such a landform may be constructible with steep stacking angles, and it may exhibit a low potential for liquefaction. The authors briefly discuss previous work by others and provide information regarding some recently completed advances in this methodology.