Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

Consolidation testing of oil sand fine tailings Znidarčić, Dobroslav; Miller, Robert; Van Zyl, Dirk J. A.; Fredlund, Murray; Wells, Sean


The paper presents the results of several tests performed on a sample of Mature Fine Tailings (MFT) in which the consolidation is induced by seepage forces in the laboratory and by increased gravity level in a geotechnical centrifuge. These tests are particularly suitable for testing soft slurries. The test with seepage forces, the Seepage Induced Consolidation Test (SICT), is used to obtain compressibility and permeability characteristics of the tailings material while the centrifuge modeling test is used to independently verify the obtained properties. The analyses for both tests recognize that the void ratio (solids content) within each sample is variable and no restrictive assumptions are made on the variability of the consolidation properties of the sample. The presented results confirm that the SICT is applicable to the testing of oil sand MFT, and produce repeatable datasets that are useful in building an understanding of the behaviour of these high void ratio materials. While these findings are encouraging, some peculiarities observed in the experiments suggest that more detailed studies will be required before the results could be applied to field conditions with confidence.[All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]

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