Blast Densification Of Fine Tailings

Wilson, Brian W.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2010
A case study is presented that describes the design and implementation of a combined blast densification and deep dynamic compaction program which was undertaken to improve the foundation soils for a proposed tailings dam raise in Ontario, Canada. Based on the results of the geotechnical investigation it was determined that the foundation of the dam would be situated on tailings of both variable thickness and density, much of which would be susceptible to liquefaction under the design earthquake for the region and type of facility. Blast densification trials were completed by the owner and the results of these made available to prospective tenderers in response to a call for a fixed price contract for the design and implementation of a densification program for approximately 800,000 m3 of foundation tailings. The variation in tailings gradation and the impacts of such on the ground improvement program are discussed, as are details of both the additional blast densification field trials completed by the contractor, and the selected blast pattern and explosive charging used for production blasting. The applicability of the various ground improvement techniques to the actual conditions encountered, and the results obtained are also discussed.
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