Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

Stabilization of soft tailings by surcharge loading for re-contouring of the Truenzig tailings pond of Wismut Merkel, Gunter; Lindner, Stefan; Barnekow, Ulf


Since 1991 the Wismut GmbH has been responsible for Truenzig tailings pond as one of the legacies of the uranium mining and milling left behind by the former Soviet-German Company (SDAG) Wismut. The stabilisation and remediation of the tailings ponds of the former uranium ore processing plants for the production of uranium concentrate (yellow cake) constitute one of the greatest challenges to the remediation effort in engineering as well as in ecological and financial terms. A central point of the remediation activities with tailings ponds is to control the re-contouring and covering of areas with the low consolidated fine tailings. The paper presents a case study of controlled tailings stabilization by surcharge loading for re-contouring of the tailings pond. Large embankment fills were placed stepwise on soft fine tailings on each partial pond to enhance the tailings consolidation along the future main trenches for runoff diversion on the final cover. The paper encloses the technical design, the monitoring system installed, the realization experiences made, measurements and modeling results from 2002 to 2010. [All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]

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