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Between December 2003 and December 2004 there were reportedly at least six paste fill barricade failures
worldwide, with each of these failures resulting in an inrush of fill to the mine workings. Many of these
failures are considered to be a result of misunderstanding the mechanisms associated with the consolidation
of paste fill during placement. This paper outlines the importance of consolidation in assessing mechanisms
associated with the early age behaviour of paste fill. To illustrate the importance of consolidation, a series of
numerical simulations have been presented, including a completely drained, an undrained and a coupled
analysis. As the in situ development of effective stress will be dominated by the rate of consolidation,
understanding this behaviour will also assist in replicating in situ curing conditions.
A one dimensional consolidation model capable of simulating the consolidation of a cemented paste fill is
presented. A parametric study is undertaken to illustrate the influence of consolidation mechanisms
specifically related to cemented paste fill. Finally, the model output is compared with a set of in situ pore
water pressure (PWP) measurements to illustrate the relevance of the assumed mechanisms.
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