Burden, R & Wilson, GW 2023, 'Evaluating the dry stacking performance of commingled waste rock and filtered tailings', in GW Wilson, NA Beier, DC Sego, AB Fourie & D Reid (eds), Paste 2023: Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings
, University of Alberta, Edmonton, and Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 686-692, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2355_53
Dry stacking of filtered tailings is becoming an increasingly widespread approach to tailings
management. Dry stacking can potentially offer some significant advantages over traditional
tailings deposition, such as lower geotechnical risk, greater water return, much lower overall
waste volume, and ease of reclamation and closure, thereby enabling a higher level of post-closure land
use. However, filtration and compaction costs, and the operational complexity of dry stacking, can
make it challenging. It has been shown that commingling of filtered tailings and waste rock can
improve the geotechnical performance of the stack, and it has the potential to allow stacks to be
constructed more rapidly in higher lifts, making dry stacking more economical for large
This paper presents an overview of recent research into the geotechnical properties of filtered tailings and waste rock blends. Results from a series of shear strength and consolidation tests are also presented. It is shown that the addition of waste rock to filtered tailings stacks significantly increases the shear strength and reduces the pore pressure response during placement. This could potentially allow higher and faster lifts to be stacked safely.
Keywords: filtered tailings, commingling, dry stacking
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