Authors: Slade, NM


Cite As:
Slade, NM 2010, 'Paste backfill — adding value to underground mining', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Paste 2010: Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 99-109,

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The application of paste as backfill in underground mines has been demonstrated in a variety of mining operations to create advantages in delivering improved production rates and reduced operating costs, providing an opportunity to add value to the business. This can deliver short term gains to an operation as well as enable longer term strategic goals to be enhanced. An underground mine normally uses backfill to assist in maximising the recovery of the ore in the mine, as the value of the material processed, refined and sold offsets the cost of the backfill placed. In addition this also allows the mine to recover more of the Mineral Resource, creating an opportunity to increase the Ore Reserve. Historically backfill has tended to be sand and cement placed as a slurry into the mine stope. This is often referred to as cemented hydraulic fill. Variants to this are also used including the placement of additional aggregate and/or rock into the stope with the cemented sand slurry. This paper describes the differing range of backfill materials used in underground mines and highlights the merits of paste backfill from various perspectives of value, cost, operations and ore production scheduling. The paper goes on to describe a case study of the use of two differing backfill materials and describes the financial, mine design, ore reserve and scheduling attributes that deliver additional value to a given underground mining operation.

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Paste backfill — adding value to underground mining N.M. Slade
110 Paste 2010, Toronto, Canada

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