Authors: McDonald, L; Lane, JC


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McDonald, L & Lane, JC 2010, 'Consolidation of in-pit tailings', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Mine Waste 2010: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on the Reduction of Risk in the Management of Tailings and Mine Waste, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 49-62,

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The use of mined out pits for tailings storage is becoming increasingly popular due to economic and environmental benefits. The main post closure issue with tailings deposition into in-pit facilities is the prediction of the settlement of the final surface in terms of time and magnitude of consolidation (settlement), as this governs when rehabilitation can commence and the type of rehabilitation to promote a free draining surface. Consolidation of in-pit tailings is influenced by factors such as tailings properties, pit geometry and permeability, and available drainage pathways. This paper presents the results of finite element modelling of various in-pit facilities to predict the consolidation and contributing factors. Case studies draw upon historical data from post closure pits from a range of tailings materials to allow the modelling to be correlated with actual field results.

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