Weatherwax, TW, Brosko, W, Evans, R & Champa, J 2010, 'Role of admixtures in the optimisation of paste backfill systems', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 137-146, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1063_12_Weatherwax
Barrick and BASF are working to improve the performance of Barrick’s paste backfill operations through
the use of admixtures. Both super-plasticisers and rheology modifying agents have been trialled and have
shown positive results in terms of enhanced rheology and ultimate strength gain. Multiple trials ranging in
scope from bench scale trials to a two month production trial have been conducted, which has allowed for a
better understanding of both the technical and economic benefits that can be obtained by adding admixtures
to paste fill. The trials to date have shown good results in allowing paste plants to achieve pumping
distances and ultimate strengths that would be difficult or impossible to achieve without the admixture.
Results for trials examining the use of admixtures under typical operating circumstances have been less
clearly beneficial. While the admixtures that have been trialled were concrete admixtures it is hoped to
develop a backfill specific admixture, which will provide the desired results in terms of strength and
rheology with better economics.
Donovan, J., Evans, R. and Brosko, W. (2007) Trial of Superplastizer Admixtures in Cemented Paste Backfill at the
Hemlo Operation, Barrick Internal Report.