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Backfilling practices become widely used by modern hard rock mines helping ore extraction as well as
allowing a more integrated solid waste management. Among backfill types, cemented paste backfill is taking
an increasing interest since its easy placement in the underground stopes and its capacity to use reactive
sulfidic tailings. Various binder agents, including conventional manufactured cements and alternative
additives, can be used in order to set the needed mechanical properties of the backfill during mining
sequences. Due to the high price of binders and their sensitivity towards chemical properties of the backfill
material, backfill recipe optimisation becomes capital. The key note will focus on the various sources and
compositions of the most common binders in paste backfilling. The paper will also contribute in the
understanding of the binder hardening processes in cemented paste; focusing particularly on i) cement
hydration, ii) water demand and water chemical interactions, iii) solid mineralogy, iv) sulfate and sulfide
behaviours, v) temperature role, etc. The main short- and long-terms behaviour types of cemented paste
backfill will be discussed (effects of drainage-consolidation, sulfate attacks, etc.).
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Keynote address – Thickening
Paste 2010, Toronto, Canada 363
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Key issues related to behaviour of binders in cemented paste backfilling M. Benzaazoua et al.
364 Paste 2010, Toronto, Canada