Effects Of Weathering And Alteration On Point Load And Slake Durability Indices Of Questa Mine Materials, New Mexico - Preprint 09-019

Ayakwah, G. F.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 50
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
Point load strength (Is50) and slake durability (ID2) indices provide a measure of the strength and durability of rock fragments and are related to the alteration intensity and frictional resistance of the materials. Samples were collected from the rock piles, alteration scars and debris flows at the Questa mine with the purpose of examining relationships between Is50 and ID2, mineralogy, chemistry, weathering, hydrothermal alteration, and other geotechnical parameters. The Is50 from the various rock piles ranges from 0.6-8.2 MPa and the ID2 ranges from 80.9-99.5%. The Is50 and ID2 results indicate that the samples from the debris flows are stronger (average Is50= 4.0 MPa and ID2= 98.4%) than the rock-pile samples and that the alteration scar samples are weaker (average Is50 = 2.8 MPa and ID2 = 89.2%) than the rock-pile samples, but still most of these rocks are strong in terms of their Is50 and ID2. The Is50 decreases as the degree of alteration increases in some rock pile and alteration scar samples, but not in all. However, the majority of the rock fragments within the rock piles still indicate high strength, even after 25-40 years of weathering.
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