The testing, design, construction, and implementation of cemented rockfill (CRF) at Polaris

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 89, No. 1005, 1996

Steve Dismuke* and Tom Diment, Cominco Ltd., Polaris Operations, Polaris, NWT

In December 1994, Polaris decided to investigate the use of cemented rockfill (CRF) to supplement the existing frozen rockfill system. Extraction plans for the remaining ore reserves required a backfill with superior stiffness properties and capable of developing high early strengths. Although CRF has been used successfully at several mining operations, there was the additional challenge of making a reliable cemented product in permafrost conditions. There was also the challenge of procuring and storing one year’s supply (13 000 tonnes) of bulk cement. By the spring of 1995, following three months of research, test work and process design, the decision was made to proceed with the procurement and construction of a 3000 tpd batch plant. An ambitious completion date of December 1995 was set. Team Manufacturing of Langley, British Columbia was awarded the contract, complete with the considerable task of having the batch plant fabricated and ready for sea lift shipment by August, 1995.