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Characterisation of tailings for paste backfill system design Sveinson, Sandra

Abstract

The focus of this work has been to investigate the status of backfill technology, in particular paste backfill, a relatively new technology. A rationale specifically for paste backfill system design has been developed. To date, a limited number of mines have implemented paste backfill systems. An extensive survey of backfill literature and a review of paste backfill operations in practice was undertaken. This has been used to identify target paste backfill design criteria and the critical success factors for paste backfill system design and implementation. Material characterisation for paste backfill has been identified as one of the key elements of paste backfill design. The criticality of determining the physical, chemical, and mechanical characteristics of tailings, which will affect the paste backfill quality and performance, has been illustrated in a case study of paste characterisation test work conducted by the author at a Canadian base metal mine. A number of outstanding issues, primarily technical, related to the reliability of paste backfill systems design have been identified. The future advancement of paste backfill technology will depend on the resolution of these key issues.

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