Frozen fill for underground support

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 885, 1986

JAMES F. ARCHIBALD, Department of Mining Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, JACQUES H. MANTEL, Mining Technology Division, Noranda Research Centre, Pointe Claire, Quebec

Frozen tailings material may be required, in the future, to perform the support functions of underground backfill in mines located in zones of permafrost, notably in the high Arctic. To date, no knowledge of physical support parameters of such materials has been obtained in Canada due to the limited mining activity in permafrost regions. It is therefore judged essential that the important physical and mechanical properties relating to frozen tailings material be assessed. Innovative mining methods will be required to cope with the harsh environmental conditions that exist at mining sites in the Canadian Arctic. A preliminary laboratory study, in the absence of field trials at limited Arctic mining sites, has been completed in which the physical and mechanical properties of several types of representative mill tailings mixtures have been investigated. A variety of tests, to determine frozen slurry andpelletized tailings strength properties, moduli of compression, optimum water contents, deformation characteristics and the like, have been conducted. The results of this study will be used to establish guidelines for the suitability of tailings use in such northern mining environments.
Mots Clés: Underground mining, Ground support, Arctic mining, Permafrost, Frozen tailings, Mine backfill, Granulometry, Pelletizing