Subaqueous and Subaerial Kinetic Testing of Paste Tailings

Verburg, Rens ; Atkin, Steven ; Hansen, Bryony ; McWharter, David
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 13
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
The use of paste tailings as underground backfill and for surface disposal is rapidly expanding, and with it comes the requirement to understand and predict its long-term environmental stability. This paper presents the results from a kinetic testing study performed on cemented tailings paste mixtures under both subaqueous and subaerial conditions. In addition, the effects of grainsize reduction are investigated. It will be demonstrated that the long-term weathering behavior of tailings paste is controlled by its physical and chemical characteristics, as well as its placement conditions. The testing indicates that subaqueous disposal of paste inhibits acid generation, whereas the exposed samples produced acidic leachate despite the presence of cement added to meet geotechnical requirements.
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