Glassfill — An environmental alternative for waste glass disposal

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 90, No. 1010, 1997

E. De Souza, J.F. Archibald, and D. DeGagne Department of Mining Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

The underground mining industry has adopted significant use of mill wastes (backfill) for underground support which has often required the introduction of consolidating agents such as Portland cement or other pozzolanic agents (such as blast furnace slags) to achieve improved cohesive backfill strength. Normal Portland cement, the principal agent material used in Canada for hydraulic fill consolidation, is currently available to mines in bulk quantities at costs as much as $150/tonne. This paper describes the potential use of a new agent material for backfill consolidation, ground waste glass, to be used as partial replacement of Portland cement fractions within backfill. Significant fractions of commercial and residential silica glass production is currently utilized as waste landfill and must be disposed of at high cost and with no foreseeable environmental benefit. This paper also demonstrates that waste glass materials could be effectively recycled as backfill additives, and that a significant, large and stable source of additive supply, currently landfilled, can be developed. This new application will generate added value for such materials, serve to promote positive environmental stewardship and satisfy engineering support requirements in mines.
Mots Clés: Environment, Glassfill, Waste glass materials, Backfill additives.