The geotechnical characterisation and stability analysis of BHP Billiton's Cannington Mine paste fill

Rankine, Rudd McAuslan (2004) The geotechnical characterisation and stability analysis of BHP Billiton's Cannington Mine paste fill. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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BHP Billiton's Cannington mine is a silver-lead-zinc mine located in North West Queensland, which utilizes post-placed backfill technology in tailings disposal. The backfill is known as paste fill. Paste fill is simply mine tailings, with typical effective grain size of 5 μm, mixed with a small percentage of cement binder. As mine stopes are removed, the paste fill is used to backfill the empty space. Paste fill provides substantial benefits to mining operations including an effective means of tailings disposal, improvement of local and regional rock stability, greater ore recovery and greatly reduced environmental impacts.

The studies undertaken as part of this dissertation has included extensive laboratory testing to study the geotechnical behaviour of paste fill. The testing programme included direct shear, triaxial, UCS in addition to the index property tests. These were prepared and cast in the laboratory and cured over different times to include short, medium and long term properties. The study period ranged from less than 24 hours to one year. Additional in-situ testing was conducted at Cannington mine with James Cook Universities' dynamic cone penetrometer to identify the variation of strength with depth. Additional in-situ samples were taken and tested, with the results compared to the laboratory prepared samples.

FLAC³ᴰ was used to study the stress development in paste, taking into account the geometric properties of the stope and material properties of the paste fill. A sensitivity analysis was done on the geometry and material properties of the paste to measure the effect on stress development.

Artificial neural networks were used as a predictive tool to tie all the outputs from the geotechnical characterisation phase and stress modelling phases. By combining the two phases of the study an integrated model for the prediction and optimisation of the cement content in the backfill masses was achieved. The results of which have been presented within the findings.

The stability of fill barricades was also investigated and a relationship between the horizontal stress and the stope geometry, drive location and fill rate developed.

Item ID: 1260
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: artificial neural networks; BHP Billiton; Cannington Mine; FLAC3D; geotechnical engineering; neural network software; NeuroShell; numerical modeling; numerical modelling; paste back fill; paste backfill; paste fill; stopes; strength; stress; tailings
Additional Information:

Additional software is required for the PASTEC program to work. The user interface panels can be viewed, but may not work. The user-defined inputs are used as inputs to the ANN's which return the appropriate parameters (UCS, ε(f), E etc.)

Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2006
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8402 Primary Mining and Extraction Processes of Mineral Resources > 840205 Mining and Extraction of Precious (Noble) Metal Ores @ 100%
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