Authors: Al-Tarhouni, M; Simms, P; Sivathayalan, S

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Al-Tarhouni, M, Simms, P & Sivathayalan, S 2009, 'Seismic Behaviour of Thickened Gold Tailings', in R Jewell, AB Fourie, S Barrera & J Wiertz (eds), Paste 2009: Proceedings of the Twelfth International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 291-300,

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A simple shear apparatus (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute type) has been used to investigate the liquefaction behaviour of gold tailings over a range of confining stresses and void ratios, including monotonic and cyclic loading. The tested samples were prepared by either simply reconstituting the sample at a given water content or by employing a “dry-wet” preparation technique. The latter technique involved drying the sample to the shrinkage limit, re-saturating the sample, and then consolidating it, in order to simulate the stress history that might be experienced in the field. Cyclic resistance ratios for samples prepared by using the dry-wet preparation technique were considerably higher than those of samples prepared by using the standard technique. In general, the tailings could experience significant deformation during cyclic loading irrespective of whether the monotonic response was contractive or dilative. It is recommended that a strain criterion be adopted to design thickened tailings stacks to resist earthquake loading.

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