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Bulyanhulu Mine in Tanzania is an underground gold mine, located in a semi-arid climatic region where the
net evaporation rate exceeds the rate of precipitation. In these regions, the unsaturated pore spaces in tailings,
exist under suction pressures, which play an important part in determining engineering behaviour. Slow rates
of deposition and consolidation are important in order to achieve the necessary shear strength and volumetric
The potential for Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) is also influenced by the geotechnical properties as pore water
saturation and primary and secondary (crack) porosity are all important influences on the rate that oxygen
can be transported to sulphide minerals, which are the cause of ARD.
Geotechnical and geochemical properties were investigated in a 0.6 m layer of tailings. Drying tests were
also done in three cylinders. Geochemical reactions were investigated through sulphur speciation tests and
modelling with the PYROX sulphide oxidation model.
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