Deschamps, T, Benzaazoua, M, Bussiere, B, Belem, T & Aubertin, M 2006, 'A Laboratory Study of the Hydro-Geochemical Behaviour of Paste Tailings Disposal', in R Jewell, S Lawson & P Newman (eds), Proceedings of the Ninth International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 255-265.
Cemented paste tailings are used regularly for underground backfilling of open stopes. This technique allows
returning acid generating tailings underground, where the backfill serves as ground support. Paste tailings
disposal (PTD) on surface have been proposed for some time as an alternative to “traditional” tailings
impoundments (e.g., Cincilla et al., 1997), which may be difficult to rehabilitate and responsible for many
geotechnical and environmental problems (W.I.S.E., 2005). This technique is already used at the Bulyanhulu
gold mine (Tanzania), where tailings are densified, pumped, and deposited as a paste in thin layers (Theriault
et al., 2003; Shuttleworth and Thomson, 2005; Theron et al., 2005; McMullen et al., 2005). In this particular
case, no binder is added to the paste tailings. However, even if the technique is promising, the interactions of
the paste tailings in the disposal area with the local environment are still not well understood.
This paper presents complementary results ensuing from a study performed by Benzaazoua et al. (2004)
which presented details on the experimental set-up and background information. More specifically, this
paper focuses on: (i) the hydrogeological and geochemical behaviours of paste tailings disposal after a long
curing time and (ii) the microstructural and chemical characterisation of the cemented paste tailings.
Belem, T., Bussière, B. and Benzaazoua, M. (2001) The effect of microstructural evolution on the physical proprieties of paste
backfill. Tailings and mine waste ’01, Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 365-374.
Benzaazoua, M., Pérez, P., Belem, T. and Fall, M. (2004) A laboratory study of the behaviour of surface paste disposal. Proceedings
of the 8th international symposium on mining with backfill, Beijing (China).
Chatterji, S. (2001) A discussion of the paper “Mercury porosimetry – an inappropriate method for measurement of pore size
distribution in cement-based materials”. Cement and concrete Research 31, pp. 1657-1658.
Cincilla, W.A., Landriault, D.A. and Verburg, R. (1997) Application of paste technology to surface disposal of mineral wastes.
Proceedings of the 4th international conference on tailings and mine wastes ’97, Fort Collins, Colorado, pp. 343,356.
Diamond, S. (2000) Mercury porosimetry - An inappropriate method for the measurement of pore size distributions in cement-based
materials. Cement and concrete research 30, pp. 1517-1525.
Diamond, S. (2001a) Reply to the discussion by S. Wild of the paper “Mercury porosimetry – an inappropriate method for
measurement of pore size distribution in cement-based materials”. Cement and concrete research 31, pp. 1655-1656.
Diamond, S. (2001b) Reply to the discussion by S. Chattery of the paper “Mercury porosimetry – an inappropriate method for
measurement of pore size distribution in cement-based materials”. Cement and concrete research 31, pp. 1659.
McMullen, J., Martin, V. and Aubertin, M. (2005) Les résidus en pâte et la déposition en surface des rejets de concentrateur.
Symposium 2005 sur l’environnement et les mines, Rouyn-Noranda.
Ouellet, S., Bussière, B., Benzaazoua, M., Aubertin M. and Belem, T. (2004) Effect of binder type and mixing water chemistry on
microstructural evolution of cemented paste backfill. 57th Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 5th joint IAH-CNC-CGS
Conference, "Geo-engineering for society and its environment". 24-26 October, Quebec city, Canada.
Shuttleworth, J.A. and Thomson, B.J. (2005) Surface paste disposal at Bulyanhulu – Practical lessons learned. Proceeding of the 6th
International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings – Paste 2005, Santiago Chile, April 20-22.
Theriault, J.A., Frostiak, J. and Welch, D. (2003). Surface disposal of past tailings at the Bulyanhulu gold mine, Tanzania.
Proceedings of Sudbury Mining and Environment Conference.
Theron, M., Addis, P.C., Wates, J.A. and Martin, V. (2005) Paste tailings facility: Relating the unsaturated properties of gold tailings
to rate of rise. Proceeding of the 6th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings – Paste 2005, Santiago Chile, April
Wild, S. (2001) A discussion of the paper “Mercury porosimetry – an inappropriate method for measurement of pore size distribution
in cement-based materials”. Cement and concrete Research, 31, pp. 1653-1654.
World Information Service on Energy (W.I.S.E.) (2005) Chronology of major tailings dam failures.
uranium.org/mdaf.html, updated 4 Aug 2005.