Significance Of Measured And Modeled Unsaturated Flow Results In Heap Leach Materials Using Large Diameter Column Tests ? Preprint 09-091

Galla, V.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
In the present paper, two large diameter columns 2 m tall and 1.3 m diameter filled with crushed (finer) and run off mine (coarser) heap leach materials respectively were used to perform unsaturated flow studies. Instruments measuring moisture content and matric suction were placed in the columns at different depths as water was applied at calibrated flow rates from the top of the columns. The outflows from the columns were recorded using tipping bucket rain gauge placed at the bottom of the columns. Unsaturated hydraulic parameters were also obtained for the heap leach materials, scalped (passing 4.75 mm sieve size) and whole (passing 37.5 mm sieve size) sample. The measurements obtained from the columns were later compared with unsaturated flow modeling results. The comparison indicated sensitivity towards the sample size selection for unsaturated hydraulic parameters, and initial conditions considered in the model.
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