Authors: Guo, LJ; LI, WC; Pan, A; Liu, GS; Xu, WY

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Guo, LJ, LI, WC, Pan, A, Liu, GS & Xu, WY 2019, 'Use of reactive MgO-activated slag in high sulphide-bearing lead-zinc cemented backfill', in AJC Paterson, AB Fourie & D Reid (eds), Paste 2019: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 425-436,

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The long-term strength of cemented backfill mass with ordinary Portland cement binder generally decreases with sulphide content due to the formation of expansive phases such as gypsum. This paper investigates the potential of using commercial reactive MgO-activated ground granulated blast furnace slag (MgO-GGBS) in cemented backfill from high sulphide content lead-zinc mine tailings to prevent long-term strength loss. The study focuses on the effect of MgO-GGBS content and the reactive MgO dosage on the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) and the shrinkage/expansion rate. The test results showed that the 28-day UCS of cemented backfill achieved the target strength (≧1.0 MPa) with 14 wt% MgO-GGBS content, and the reactive MgO dosage affected the long-term UCS and the shrinkage/expansion rate of cemented backfill body. The main hydration products when using MgO-GGBS were hydrated calcium/magnesium silicate (C-S-H/M-S-H) and hydrotalcite-like phases (Ht). Cemented backfill has a porous opening microstructure. Micro-expansion produced by appropriate MgO content can increase microstructure density, which increases short- and longterm UCS of cemented backfill body, while sustained expansion produced by excessive MgO could destroy the MgO-GGBS microstructure, decreasing the UCS of cemented backfill. We conclude that the mechanical and extension properties of cemented backfill body are highly dependent on the reactive MgO content of the MgO-GGBS. The optimum value of responsive MgO content of MgO-GGBS was 2.5–7.5 wt% to achieve the long-term stability of cemented backfill.

Keywords: cemented backfill, slag binder, unconfined compressive strength, shrinkage rate, microstructure

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