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SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

EG4010

Civil Engineering

CHARACTERISTICS OF HYDRAULIC FILLS IN

UNDERGROUND MINES

i

ABSTRACT

The recent spate of catastrophic fill barricade failures around Australia and numerous

underground mines worldwide have led to a need for an increased understanding into

the factors which lead to failure of the fill in underground mining operations. Research

suggests that most of these are due to poor drainage and subsequent build-up of pore

pressures, which leads to liquefaction, piping and other types of failures. The focus of

this research is to study the fundamental aspects of permeability and drainage

characteristics of hydraulic fills in selected Australian mines.

An extensive laboratory test programme was carried out to study the permeability

characteristics of hydraulic fill samples obtained from several Australian mines. An

investigation into the effects of the physical properties of void ratio, grain size

distribution and specific gravity of the fill was conducted. During the course of this

investigation a new procedure to determine the maximum void ratio of hydraulic fills

was developed and found to give consistently higher results than the current Australian

Standard for determination of maximum void ratio of cohesionless soils (AS1289.5.5.1

– 1998).

A 1:100 laboratory scaled model, mimicking an actual mine, was prepared. The actual

filling process in the mine was simulated and the discharge measured for various drain

arrangements and barricade positions. These results were verified against a numerical

model developed in FLAC3D.

minefills will provide an increased level of confidence in design, more efficient mining

procedures to be developed, and safer filling practice to be undertaken.

ii

STATEMENT OF ACCESS

I, the undersigned, the author of this thesis, understand that James Cook University will

make it available for use within the University Library and, by microfilm or other

means, allow access to users in other approved libraries. All users consulting with this

thesis will have to sign the following statement:

whole or in part without written consent of the author, and to make proper

public written acknowledgement for any assistance, which I have obtained

from it.

Beyond this, I do not wish to place any restriction on access to this thesis.

iii

STATEMENT OF SOURCES

DECLARATION

I declare that this thesis is my own work and has not been submitted in any form for

another degree or diploma at any university or other institution or tertiary education.

Information derived from the published or unpublished work of others has been

acknowledged in the text and a list of references is given.

iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This thesis was conducted in the School of Engineering, James Cook University,

Townsville, under the supervision of Dr. Nagaratnam Sivakugan (Senior Lecturer in

Civil Engineering) and Mr Dick Cowling (Cowling Associates). With sincere gratitude

I would like to express my thanks, for their continual guidance and support throughout

this project.

Thanks are also extended to Mr Andrew Robertson (General Manager, Operations and

Planning, Newmont Australia) and Mr Alex Brady (Senior Mining Engineer, Osborne

Mine, Placer Dome Inc) for their explanations and assistance; Mr Warren O’Donnell

(Senior Geotechnical Officer) for his guidance with the laboratory testing; Miss

Kirralee Rankine (Postgraduate Research Student) and Mr Rudd Rankine (Pastefill

Engineer, Cannington BHP Billiton) for their help and support throughout the project

and Mr Stuart Peterson (Technical Officer) for his advice in the design and construction

of the laboratory model.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents and family for their patience and

encouragement over the past year.

v

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page i

Abstract ii

Statement of Access iii

Statement of Sources Declaration iv

Acknowledgements v

Table of Contents vi

List of Figures x

List of Tables xiii

Nomenclature xiv

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 General 1

1.2 Mining Methods Used with Minefills 2

1.3 Objectives 3

1.4 Relevance of Research 3

2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 General 5

2.2 Hydraulic Fill and Barricade Bricks 5

2.3 Factors affecting Permeability of Hydraulic fill 7

Grain Size Distribution 8

Grain Shape and Texture 8

Mineralogical Composition 8

Voids Ratio 9

Degree of Saturation 9

Temperature 9

Hydraulic Fill Drainage and Pore Pressure Measurement 9

Numerical Simulation of Drainage through Hydraulic Minefill 1 6

Empirical Relationships for Permeability of Hydraulic Fill 19

The Effect of Consolidation pressure on Permeability 25

vi

3.0 SLURRY SEDIMENTATION

3.1 General 26

3.2 Laboratory Testing on Mine Tailings 26

3.2.1 Preparation of Tailings 27

3.2.2 Grain Size Distributions (GSD) 28

3.2.3 Specific Gravity of Minefill 29

3.2.4 Moisture Content 29

3.2.5 Minimum and Maximum Dry Density 30

3.2.6 Relative Density 31

3.2.7 Bulk Density and Void Ratio 31

3.2.8 Coefficient of Permeability 31

3.3 Geotechnical Database for Hydraulic Fill 34

3.3.1 Effective Grain Size, D10 34

3.3.2 Uniformity Coefficient, Cu 34

3.3.3 Coefficient of Curvature 37

3.3.4 Specific Gravity 38

3.4 Relative Density of Hydraulic Fill 38

3.5 The effect of Wet Placement on Maximum Void Ratio 39

3.5.1 Apparatus for Maximum Void Ratio by Wet Placement 40

3.5.2 Procedure for Determining Void Ratio by Wet Placement 40

3.5.3 Calculations 43

3.5.4 Results of the Wet Placement on Maximum Void Ratio 43

3.6 Empirical Correlations for Permeability 44

3.6.1 Hazen’s Equation 44

3.6.2 Karol’s Empirical Relationship 45

3.6.3 Lambe’s Empirical Relationship 46

3.6.4 Das’ Empirical Relationship 46

3.6.5 Rankine’s Permeability Relationship 50

4.0 LABORATORY MODELLING

4.1 General 54

4.2 Scale Model Testing Apparatus 55

vii

4.2.1 Stope Design 56

4.2.2 Location of Drain Outlets 56

4.2.3 Barricade Design 57

4.3 Experimental Program 58

4.3.1 Preparation of Tailings Slurry 59

4.3.2 Experimental Methodology 60

4.4 Results 61

4.4.1 Drain Arrangement 1 62

4.4.2 Drain Arrangement 2 62

4.4.3 Drain Arrangement 3 64

5.0 NUMERICAL MODELLING

5.1 General 66

5.2 Background Information on FLAC3D 66

5.2.1 Numerical Modelling Methods 67

5.2.2 Review of Available Numerical Modelling Packages 68

5.2.3 Comparison between FLAC3D and Other Numerical 69

Methods

5.3 Numerical Implementation 70

5.3.1 Initial Conditions 70

5.3.2 Boundary Conditions 71

5.3.3 Input Parameters 72

5.3.4 Numerical Simulation 72

5.4 Validation Model 73

5.5 Sensitivity Analysis 75

5.5.1 Grid Sensitivity 75

5.5.2 Permeability Sensitivity 76

5.5.3 Porosity Sensitivity 77

6.0 INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS

6.1 General 79

6.2 Comparison of Numerical and Experimental Predictions 80

6.2.1 Drain Arrangement 1 80

6.2.2 Drain Arrangement 2 85

viii

6.2.3 Drain Arrangement 3 88

3D

6.3 Additional Results from FLAC 91

6.3.1 Effect of Barricade distance on Discharge 91

6.3.2 Flow Vectors within the Modelled Stope 92

6.3.3 Pore Pressures within the Stope 93

6.3.4 Summary of Additional Results 93

7.0 CONCLUSIONS

7.1 Summary 95

7.2 Conclusions 96

7.2.1 Empirical Correlations 96

7.2.2 Relative Density of Hydraulic Fills 96

7.2.3 The effect of Wet Placement on Maximum Void Ratio 96

7.2.4 Numerical and Laboratory Modelling of Drainage 97

7.3 Recommendations for Future Work 97

REFERENCES 99

APPENDIX

APPENDIX A: Laboratory Model Data 103

3D

APPENDIX B: FLAC Drainage Model 108

APPENDIX C: Maximum Wet Placement Void Ratio Data 111

ix

LIST OF FIGURES

Sequence in a Mine-Stope Grid Arrangement.

2.3 Free Water as a function of Placed Slurry Density for Isa Fills 12

1862)

(Lambe & Whitman, 1979)

Placement

x

3.15 Das’ Empirical Relationship 49

2002)

6. 2 Drain Arrangement 1 81

xi

6. 4 Comparison of FLAC3D and Laboratory Model for Barricade Located 83

1 cm from Stope Face

5 cm from Stope Face

Located 1 cm from Stope Face

6. 7 Drain Arrangement 2 85

3 and 4 of Drainage Arrangement 3

5 and 6 of Drainage Arrangement 3

FLAC3D Modelling

xii

LIST OF TABLES

et al. 1996)

Hydraulic Fills

xiii

NOMENCLATURE

AF = Aggregate Fills

SF =Sand Fills

CRF = Cemented Rock Fill

CAF = Cemented Aggregate Fill

CHF = Cemented Hydraulic Fill

RF = Rock Fill

C1 = Hazen’s constant

C2 = Shape factor (Kozeny Equation)

C3 = shape factor (Kozeny-Carmen Equation)

C4 = constant (Amer and Awad equation

Cc = coefficient of curvature

Cu = uniformity coefficient

D10 = effective grain size, diameter of the soil particles through which 10% of the

are finer

D30 = diameter of soil particles for which 30% of the particles are finer

D50 = diameter of soil particles for which 50% of the particles are finer

D60 = diameter of soil particles for which 60% of the particles are finer

Ds = effective particle diameter

e = void ratio

g = acceleration due to gravity

Gs = specific gravity

i = hydraulic gradient

k = coefficient of permeability (cm/s; mm/hr)

K0 = horizontal pressure coefficient

n = porosity

S = Specific surface of grains

Sr = degree of saturation

w = moisture content

ηw = dynamic viscosity of water at 20 degrees Celsius

γt = total bulk unit weight of fill

xiv

γw = unit weight of water

µ = viscosity of water

ρd = dry density

ρm = bulk density

ρw = density of water

σh = bulkhead pressure

xv

Chapter 1 Introduction

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 General

Minefill refers to any waste material that is placed into underground voids, created by

mining for the extraction of ore. Minefill may be placed underground to dispose of

mining waste (tailings) or used to provide additional support to remaining mine

infrastructure (mine pillars etc.) In addition to this, minefill provides the following

benefits: -

• Effective means of tailings disposal;

• Increased local and regional rock stability;

• Improvement in ore recovery; and

• Reduced environmental impacts.

To accurately determine the support benefits that the minefill will provide, it is

important that the geotechnical characteristics are properly understood. This will ensure

that adequate provisions are made for the drainage, static and dynamic strength

considerations. The static and dynamic strength stability requirements are typically

imposed to ensure that the minefill has enough strength to prevent failure during the

exposure of a wall in the mining sequence and during blasting nearby an ore body. The

dynamic and drainage requirements are linked inherently through the in-situ pore

pressure in the fill mass. A significant concern for any hydraulically placed minefill is

the liquefaction potential of the fill mass. Liquefaction occurs when the pore pressure

increases dramatically, thus reducing the effective stress in the fill mass, to the point

where the shear resistance of the soil is so low that the soil begins to “flow” like a

liquid. If the fill mass liquefies, implications arise for the loading on the barricade walls

which retain the fill in the stopes and prevent it from flowing into the mine. During

liquefaction, all arching in the fill mass is lost and the loadings on the barricades will

increase, which is significantly greater than current design strengths for which barricade

walls are designed. A flow of fill material would then follow, with potentially

catastrophic consequences. To reduce the likelihood of liquefaction, hydraulically

placed minefills, excluding paste, are designed for minimum drainage requirements.

1

Chapter 1 Introduction

This ensures that the exposure to liquefaction is reduced, by draining the minefills of all

excess water, and thus potential for pore pressure build-up.

Hydraulic fill refers to the coarser fraction of a deslimed mine tailings slurry, generally

with a solids density of 70 – 75%. The fill material is reticulated, by gravity, through

pipelines and boreholes to the top of the stopes. Paste is a special type of hydraulic fill,

which utilizes the finer fraction of the tailings and will not be discussed within this

thesis.

The focus of this research is to study the fundamental aspects of permeability and

drainage characteristics of hydraulic fills through numerical modeling and laboratory

models.

There are two distinct types of mining methods: stable stope and caving, with a

complete spectrum of methods available between these two extremes. The three stable

stope methods which use minefill are the open stoping, room and pillar and cut and fill

mining methods.

In a simple open-stoping mining operation, ore body is divided into separate stopes for

mining. The solid rock within each stope is blasted and the fragments removed via

drives for processing, thus leaving an empty stope or void. The extracted ore is then

processed, removing the minerals from the rock and leaving a waste material known as

tailings.

6 5 4

3 1 2

9 8 7

Figure 1.1– Plan View of an Ore Body Showing a Typical Stope Extraction

Sequence in a Mine-Stope Grid Arrangement.

2

Chapter 1 Introduction

To contain the hydraulic fill, barricades are constructed at each of the entrances to the

stopes. Permeable barricades are generally made of concrete bricks that are very porous

and have permeability comparable to that of gravels. As hydraulic fill is poured into the

stope, excess water is allowed to drain freely through the fill and exit the stope through

barricades, thus reducing the build up of pore pressure behind the barricades. The

remaining water either pools on the surface as decant water, or is tied up in the

interstices of the fill. A portion of the water filling the interstices would drain gradually,

still leaving some residual moisture in the longer term. After dewatering and resulting

consolidation in stopes underground the fill becomes capable of accepting loads, and

has reduced the liquefaction risk.

1.3. Objectives

The focus of this research is to study the fundamental aspects of permeability and

drainage process’ in hydraulically minefilled stopes.

- Study the drainage through hydraulic fills in underground mines, through

scaled numerical and laboratory modeling of stopes,

- Using these models, investigate the effect of drain location and barricade

distance on discharge.

- Study the empirical relationships relating the permeability of soils, to

their grain size characteristics and other classification data

- Investigate the measurement of void ratio in hydraulic fill according to

Australian Standards for selected Australian mines.

The recent spate of catastrophic fill barricade failures around Australia and numerous

underground mines worldwide has led to a need for an increased understanding of the

factors which lead to failure of the fill in underground mining operations. Two major

factors that have been identified are:

i) The flow of water through hydraulic fill mass, and

ii) Poor drainage that leads to build-up of pore pressures, which results in

piping, liquefaction and other forms of failures.

3

Chapter 1 Introduction

design of minefills will be achieved. More efficient mining, safer mine minefilling

practices and increased cost savings may result from the introduction of the new

designs.

4

Chapter 2 Literature Review

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 General

The concept of using recycled extracted material for minefills in mines dates back

hundreds of years. The original minefills in underground mines consisted mainly of

waste rock. Over the past 100 years however, there has been an accelerating

development of minefill technology from the art to a science. This move towards more

accurate knowledge of minefill performance was given more pertinence as part of any

mining operation during the global recession of the early 1980’s when the need to refine

the production and reduce operational costs arose.

Black (1941) at the South Mine of Broken Hill South Limited, Broken Hill, New South

Wales in 1939. By 1944, all underground transportation of fill within the South Mine

was hydraulic. Hydraulic fill is now used extensively in underground mines throughout

the world. Therefore, a move towards an improved understanding of hydraulic fill

performance is needed.

There are many types of minefilling materials used within the mining industry, however

they can generally be classified into two categories:

i) Uncemented minefills (mainly Aggregate Fills (AF) and Sand Fills (SF))

and

ii) Cemented minefills (which include: - Cemented Rock Fill (CRF), Cemented

Aggregate Fill (CAF), Cement Hydraulic Fills (CHF) and Paste Fill).

Uncemented minefills do not use any binding agents mixed in with the filling material.

The behaviour and performance of uncemented minefills can thus be studied using the

soil mechanics theory. Cemented minefills add small amounts of binder material,

normally Portland cement, or a blend of Portland cement with another pozzolan such as

fly-ash, gypsum or blast furnace slag to the parent minefill material. Cement Hydraulic

5

Chapter 2 Literature Review

Fill (CHF) is the most common type of cemented minefill. CHF is produced by the

addition of cement to deslimed mill tailings. The process of desliming tailings involves

the removal of the very fine fraction of particles from the distribution of grain sizes.

CHF is the most similar form of minefill to paste fill, the significant difference being

CHF has a larger grain size, that is all particles are < 420 µm with any material < 10 µm

removed during dewatering (Bloss, 1992).

Rock Fills (RF) are produced by crushing rock such that the particle sizes are between

25 – 300 mm. The material is then transported to the stope being filled and mixed with

CHF. This combined fill is termed Cemented Rock Fill (CRF). The properties of this

fill vary significantly within the stope as the two fills segregate during placement.

Materials finer than 25 mm that has been rejected from RF production is described as

Aggregate Fill (AF). As with CRF, AF are mixed with CHF and is termed Cemented

Aggregate Fill (CAF). CAF typically suffer from segregation during placement, and

thus properties at any location within a stope are dependent on the ratio of AF:CHF at

that point (Bloss, 1992).

Paste Fill is the newest form of mining minefill. It is produced from the full mill tailings

and has a much finer grain size distribution than any other form of minefill. Typically it

has a minimum of 15% of the material smaller than 20 µm.

hydraulic minefill. The hydraulic fill derives its name from the hydraulic transportation

method used to deliver the fill to underground voids. The hydraulic fill is generally

delivered from a fill preparation plant to underground stopes through a network of

boreholes and pipe lines (Kuganathan, 2001).

Hydraulic fill is produced by standard cycloning or the removal of fines from the full

plant tailings. The overflow (or reject material – usually fines) is sent to thickeners prior

to placement in the tailings dam. The removal of the fines from the full plant tailings

makes the hydraulic fill comparatively coarser and more pervious for water to flow

through the fill. Generally, the hydraulic fill will contain not more than 10 % by weight

6

Chapter 2 Literature Review

of fine particles less than 10 µm in size. This ensures that acceptable permeability of the

placed fill is achieved. Also, slurry solids density is approximately 70% - 75% by

weight. The high density minimises the drainage of transport water that is contained

within the fill.

The barricades constructed at each of the entrances to the stopes are generally made of

concrete bricks. These bricks are very porous and may have a permeability rate as high

as that of coarse gravels. Brick dimensions vary between mines, as does the proportion

of constituent elements in the bricks. Barricade walls are constructed at the entrance to

the drives using mortar to bind the bricks together, in the same manner as surface

masonry work. Barricades are typically only one course thick but have been

constructed two courses thick in walls that were perceived to have a higher requirement

of strength. A typical barricade brick from Mount Isa Brick Works, was mixed for

approximately 5 minutes using the following materials:

- 1000 kg of 16 mm gravel

- 1000 kg of 4 mm river sand

- 260 kg of cement

- 50 liters of water

When laminar flow takes place through soils, Darcy (1856) observed that the velocity

(v) of flow is proportional to the hydraulic gradient (i).

v∝i Equation 2. 1

v = ki

hydraulic conductivity. This constant refers to the volumetric flow rate of water

through the hydraulic fill at a unit hydraulic gradient.

factors, which are summarized below:

- Grain size distribution

- Grain shape and texture

- Mineralogical composition

7

Chapter 2 Literature Review

- Voids ratio

- Degree of saturation

- Temperature

The grain size distribution of hydraulic fill is an important property in determining the

permeability of the fill. The coefficient of permeability depends primarily on the

average size of the pores, which in turn is related to the distribution of grain sizes, grain

shape and soil structure (Craig 1992). In general, the smaller the particle the smaller

the voids between them, and therefore the resistance to flow of water increases. The

‘effective grain size’, D10, is significant in this respect, and provides the basis of

Hazen’s formula (1930):

k = C1 (D10 ) 2 Equation 2. 2

where

k = coefficient of permeability (cm/s)

C1 = constant in Hazen’s equation, discussed further in section 2.6

D10 = effective grain size (mm)

Hazen’s relationship only applies for clean, uniformly graded sands in a loose

condition.

Permeability of fill varies according to particle shape and texture of the soil. When

particles are smooth and spherical, interlocking between particles increases, allowing

easier flow, increasing permeability. Conversely, irregular-shaped particles create

longer flow paths for the fluid to flow through, reducing the permeability. Generally,

rough-surfaced particles produce a greater frictional resistance to fluid flow, thus

reducing the permeability (Head, 1982).

8

Chapter 2 Literature Review

In fine-grained soils different types of minerals hold on to different thicknesses of

adsorbed water and consequently the effective pore size varies. Thus, the mineral

composition affects the permeability of clays, but has little effect on granular soils.

2.3.4 Voids Ratio

The voids within the soil are quantified by void ratio (e) or porosity (n), which are

defined by:

e = volume of void / volume of soil grains

n = volume of soil / total volume of the soil, expressed as a percentage.

Obviously, the way in which soil is placed effects the size and nature of voids between

particles thus affecting the permeability.

The degree of saturation affects the permeability of fill. If bubbles are present in the fill,

flow channels can become blocked, thus reducing the permeability. If the degree of

saturation is less than about 85%, air is likely to be continuous, instead of being in

isolated bubbles, which invalidates Darcy’s (Head, 1982).

2.3.6 Temperature

The coefficient of permeability also varies with temperature, upon which the viscosity

of the water depends. As temperature increases, viscosity decreases thus resulting in a

greater permeability. Permeability is generally quoted at a standard temperature of 20

degrees Celsius.

The first major laboratory research undertaken on characteristics and behavior of

hydraulic fill material was by Thomas (1969). Through laboratory testing, Thomas

provided a basic understanding of the properties and behavior of emplaced fill.

Mitchell et al. (1975), presented findings from a laboratory study into bulkhead

pressures due to cemented hydraulic fill. Piezometers were installed through several

heavily reinforced concrete bulkheads in a stope located at Fox Mine in Northern

Manitoba. These piezometers were used to measure horizontal stresses on the bulkheads

9

Chapter 2 Literature Review

and pore water pressures at several points in the fill. Fill quantities, fill levels and water

balance were continuously monitored in conjunction with the instrumentation.

Mitchell et al. (1975) measured minefill pressures on the bulkheads much less than the

predicted values based on overburden weight (Equation 2.3).

σ h = K 0 Hγ t Equation 2. 3

where,

σh = bulkhead pressure,

K0 = horizontal pressure coefficient, taken to be 0.5,

γt = total bulk unit weight of fill,

H = height of minefill above the bulkhead.

Figure 2.1 illustrates the results obtained from Mitchell et al research and compares his

results to predicted values based on Equation 2.3.

Equation 2.3 fails to consider any pressure reduction due to effects of arching or

cementation. However, the water balance study by Mitchell et al. (1975) showed that

the drainage characteristics of the hydraulic minefill compared well to the predictions

based on laboratory control specimens.

10

Chapter 2 Literature Review

Several major bulkhead failures in the mid 1980’s at Mount Isa Mines prompted a large

research program into drainage mechanisms during stope filling (Grice, 1989). The

recurring failure of bulkheads as a result of piping during the late 1980’s and 1990’s

resulted in further research into the specific process of piping. The research involved

monitoring water flows and pressures in stopes, and testing the limiting strengths of

bulkheads.

being undertaken, and the data gained from monitoring used to verify these models

(Isaacs and Carter, 1983; Cowling et al. 1988; Grice, 1989; and Cowling et al. 1989). It

was concluded that, provided the bulkheads are free draining, there is insufficient total

pressure to cause failure. Observations made through this study led to the development

of the theory of piping within the minefill mass (Bloss and Chen, 1998).

Bloss and Chen (1998) investigate the theory of piping within the minefill mass. They

believed piping in draining minefilled stopes is the primary cause of bulkhead failures.

A series of laboratory and in-situ tests were conducted to improve the understanding of

formation and propagation of pipes. A constant head permeability apparatus was set-up

with a standard uncemented hydraulic minefill sample of 300 mm height. A two meter

constant head of water was applied to the fill and a small hole was then created at the

base of the column to provide a discharge location for water and eroded fill. This set up

is illustrated in Figure 2.2.

In all tests conducted the erosion mechanism commenced immediately and connection

with the upper surface of the fill occurred within minutes of initial erosion. At this time

the flow of water increased dramatically and resulted in significant erosion of the fill

around the pipe.

The research described by Bloss and Chen (1998) illustrates three key issues:

a) The significance of piping mechanism in drainage-related bulkhead failures,

b) The ease with which piping can initiate and propagate in minefill; and

c) The relatively poor understanding that exists in the area of piping in

minefill.

11

Chapter 2 Literature Review

Constant head

tank

Water

2000 mm

Minefill sample

300 mm

The results confirm that the key to successful management of piping is to limit the

potential for occurrence by maximising the slurry density and maintaining quality

control over the minefill product placed in the stope. This is demonstrated in Figure

2.3. By undertaking these recommendations, Bloss and Chen believe the failure of

barricades within industry will be reduced.

45

40

Free water conent (wt % relative to solids)

35

Hydraulic Fill

30

25

20

Cemented Hydraulic Fill

15

10

0

62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78

Figure 2. 3– Free Water as a function of Placed Slurry Density for Isa Fills

12

Chapter 2 Literature Review

minefill does not leak from them. Without a location for the minefill to discharge, the

pipe will not generate.

Recent bulkhead failures in Australia have raised concerns in the mining industry to

wonder whether the current level of understanding in hydraulic filling and bulkhead

construction is adequate. Kuganathan, (2001) highlights four areas of concern, when

dealing with the drainage of a hydraulic fill system. They are:

• Prepared fill mass within the stope

• Fill in the access drive between the stope and the bulkhead

• A properly designed drainage system

• Bulkhead design and installation

Generally, hydraulic fill is produced by removal of fines less than 10 micron from the

fill mass. By removing this fine fraction from the full plant tailings, the fill becomes

comparatively coarser and more pervious for water to flow through. It is recommended

that the fill mass be approximately 70% – 75% solids by weight. Generally,

percentages less than this will create excessive water in the stope and cause drainage

problems.

installation. Kuganathan suggests, that choosing the right location for the bulkhead to

give the maximum drainage is the first priority in bulkhead design. For optimum

drainage conditions, it is suggested that bulkheads be placed closer to the stope. The

further the bulkhead is from the stope boundary, the lower the rate of drainage which is

inversely proportional to the offset distance from the stope boundary. However,

consideration into the safety of the barricade construction must also be thought given

attention. There must be tradeoff between the best location for drainage (stope edge)

and safest for construction (remote from stope edge) is required.

Kuganathan (2001) also relates the rate of drainage from a stope to the number of

bulkheads at the most demanding levels (i.e. draw point levels). Obviously as the

13

Chapter 2 Literature Review

recommended that arched bulkheads be used where possible.

The final area of concern when dealing with the drainage of a hydraulic filled system is

design. Stope access and the drive size cannot be changed but the following factors can

be controlled through engineering design:

• Barricade/bulkhead construction

• Offset distance between the stope and the barricade/ bulkhead

• Additional drainage systems behind the barricade/bulkhead

• Permeability of the fill in the stope

• Permeability of the fill in the access drive

It is evident that, by controlling these factors within a hydraulic filled system, the

drainage rate can be optimized.

Kuganathan believes piping is not the prime cause of bulkhead failures. It is an after-

effect of the bulkhead failure. An experiment was designed to simulate the failure of

free-draining bulkheads.

A 200 mm diameter galvanized steel pipe was used to represent the drive in a real

stope. The bottom end of pipe then was closed and was connected to a water supply

through a 30 mm hole. Inside the cylinder a wire mesh and filter fabric was laid at the

bottom, and the cylinder was filled with hydraulic fill slurry until the fill solids level

reached the top end of the cylinder. At the top end, a flat sheet plate with a 100 mm

diameter hole was clamped to the cylinder. Care was taken to ensure there was no gap

between the fill and steel plate. A perforated wooden disk (100 mm diameter) tightly

fitting in the hole was used at the top end of the cylinder as the model bulkhead. Geo

fabric filter cloth placed between fill and the model bulkhead prevented fill solids from

leaking through the perforations, while allowing the water to drain freely. The model

bulkhead was loaded to resist fill and water pressure during testing. Water pressure was

applied at the bottom end of the cylinder and fill was allowed to drain freely. First,

different water heads were applied at the bottom, and the rate of water seepage was

measured. Fill permeability was calculated from the seepage rates at various water

14

Chapter 2 Literature Review

levels. Water pressure was gradually increased until the model bulkhead failed. When

the failure pressure was reached, the bulkhead was still draining freely. However, when

the hydraulic gradient in the fill reached 30, a plug of fully mobilized fill pushed the

bulkhead first and emerged through the failed bulkhead. Once the fill plug was pushed

out, water was ejected from the failed bulkhead through erosion pipes, which developed

after failure. The experiment was repeated with different sized model bulkheads and

the failure mechanism was the same in all cases (Kuganathan 2001).

The experiment demonstrated that high seepage gradient in the fill caused it to fail, lose

its strength and move like a heavy fluid to pressurize the bulkhead. The bulkhead fails

under high pressure exerted by mobilized fill, and piping develops after the fill and

bulkhead failure, due to the high pore water pressure that still exists in the fill.

From these experiments, Kuganathan concluded that piping is not the cause of the

bulkhead failure; it is an after effect of bulkhead failure.

Martin (2001) performed test work to investigate the effects of introducing engineered

drainage into a hydraulically minefilled stope. The tests were conducted in a laboratory

environment using a custom built vessel to represent the stope. The tests incorporated

the testing of drainage rates under two different conditions. The first test situation was

to measure the drainage rate of the water in the stope through the simulated barricade,

initially with no engineered drainage, and secondly, with engineered drainage.

The 450 mm (thickness) x 450 mm (depth) x 1100 mm (height) scaled stope was

constructed of 3 mm sheet metal. Two drainage outlets were drilled into the base of the

stope. Two fittings were also attached so that 5 mm copper tubing drainage pipes could

be attached to the scaled stope. An access drive constructed of 75 mm square hollow

tubing and measuring 45 mm in length, was welded to the sidewall of the tank. Holes

were drilled along the length of the drive so that pressure readings could be taken. The

internal drainage system was constructed out of 5 mm copper tubing. The copper

tubing had 1 mm holes drilled along its entire length so that water would be able to

percolate through the minefill and into the pipe. To prevent any fine particles from

entering the pipe work, a geotextile fabric was placed over the pipe work. The vertical

sections of the drainage pipe had 1 mm drainage holes drilled on both sides; whilst the

15

Chapter 2 Literature Review

horizontal sections had 1 mm drainage holes drilled on the upper surface. By simply

removing the plugs that screwed into the bottom of the vessel drainage points, Martin

was able to test the effect of engineered drainage on the stope.

The minefill mass in the stope vessel was placed under a constant head of water so that

the pore water pressure in the access drive could be compared with and without

engineered drainage. Martin’s results identify that engineered drainage reduced the flow

of water through the barricade, and the pressure in the access drive behind the

barricade. His results also concluded that lower moisture content developed in the

stope with engineered drainage as opposed to the vessel with no engineered drainage.

Although Martin produced various trends that will aid in the design and construction of

drainage in minefills, there were a number of problems involved within his testing.

Some of these include:

• Scaling of the apparatus. Engineered drainage (5 mm copper tubing with 1mm

holes drilled along its entire length) was not typical engineered drainage within

industry.

• The constant head of water applied to the minefill is not realistic in an actual

operating drainage systems

After barricade failures in July 1999 and January 2000, at Osborne mine, a fill review

was commissioned. Extensive data collation, back-analysis and research involving

numerical modeling were undertaken. Brady and Brown (2002), investigated fill

specification, barricade design, barricade failures, process design, control and

monitoring within the Osborne mine. An issue highlighted by the review process is that

a mine’s hydraulic fill system must be fully integrated with mine planning due to its

requirements and the constraints it places on mine design and scheduling.

Numerical simulation of hydraulic minefill in mine stopes was initiated by a research

contract between Mount Isa Mines (MIM) and L. Isaacs and J. Carter (Isaacs and

Carter, 1983) which resulted in the development of a two dimensional model intended

to provide a basic understanding into the concepts of the drainage of hydraulic minefills

16

Chapter 2 Literature Review

in underground stopes. Through the use of this model, the developers were able to

predict the drainage behavior of hydraulic minefill throughout the filling and drainage

of an underground stope. The model utilized limited parameter inputs, which were

typical for very fine sand, and was restricted in its adaptability due to its fundamental

geometries.

The numerical solution was based on an integrated finite difference method (IFDM –

see section 5.2.1). The model assumes the porous medium as homogenous and

isotropic and that Darcy’s law for laminar flow is applicable. The top surface of the fill

is assumed horizontal and when decanted water lies above the fill, the upper boundary

for the region is used in the seepage analysis as being the fill level. When the fill is not

saturated over the full height the upper boundary for the region used in the seepage

analysis is the phreatic surface and the surface is assumed horizontal. Also, the pore

pressure adjacent to functioning drains was assumed as zero. The position of the

phreatic surface was calculated based on the quantity of water in the stope. When the

new minefill and water were added, the fill was added directly to the minefill, and the

water directly to the phreatic surface. Therefore the addition of each pour had an

immediate effect on the flow from the drains at the base of the stope. These

assumptions introduced error in the times and quantities for predicted drain flows.

The results from the numerical model indicate that unless pour rate is very low, pore

pressures in the lower part of the stope are high and are significantly affected by the

permeability or the pour rate. Isaacs and Carter suggest performance and positioning of

the drains has considerable impact on the pore pressure development within the system.

Although the research conducted by Isaacs and Carter has probably made the most

significant contribution to date, to the understanding of the drainage behaviour of

hydraulic minefilled stopes, further evidence suggests that both pour rate and the

hydraulic conductivity of the minefill have a substantial effect on the pore pressure

development within the system. Considerable pore pressures may develop behind the

wetting fronts in the minefill where the percolation rates have dropped significantly as a

result of unsaturated flow (Wallace, 1969). The incorporation of saturated and

unsaturated flow regimes would detect this effect.

17

Chapter 2 Literature Review

Although Isaacs and Carter (1983) provided valuable trends of drainage in stopes, the

accuracy of the model’s results were limited by the lack of laboratory and field

measurements. Cowling et al. (1988) confirmed the application of the seepage model

derived by Isaacs and Carter through the back analysis of the field measurements. The

research concluded that values of permeability derived from back analysis of field

measurements are significantly different from laboratory values. They also determined

that the influence the moisture content has on the porosity is essential in the use of the

model, and when accounted for, provides close agreement with regard to pore pressure

distribution as well as water balance within the system.

incorporate several features that could not be accounted for in the two-dimensional

model developed by Isaacs and Carter (1983). They take into account irregular stope

geometries, heterogeneous fill and are capable of predicting the pressures and flows at

specific locations within a stope. This model along with relevant field data was able to

provide valuable mine planning information for the scheduling of filling operations and

design of fill mixes.

Traves and Isaacs (1990) use a cell-base approach to model the geometry of the stope

and the flow of moisture through the fill. Flow simulation encompasses both the

saturated and partially saturated regimes. Modeling of the unsaturated region is at a

scale appropriate to the problem, and, particular attention was paid to maintaining

numerical stability despite the use of large time steps and cell sizes.

The expansion to three dimensions and incorporation of the partially saturated flow

region are of substantial value, in simulating the process of fill drainage.

Ouellet and Servant (1998) analyzed how the impact of stratification on hydraulic

conductivity is related to the performance of the minefill drainage system for various

geometries. Field measurements showed that the geometry of the drainage system has a

significant impact on the drainage of the stopes. The mode of filling produces a minefill

showing an evident stratification typical of a sedimentation process. In situ observations

on this material show that this stratification translates into a very strong heterogeneity

in the physical properties of the cemented minefill. Using the finite element code

18

Chapter 2 Literature Review

a hydraulic filled stope.

From these simulations, they were able to assess the impact of observed heterogeneity

of the settled hydraulic minefill. It was concluded that hydraulic conductivity of the

minefill is strongly antistrophic, having the horizontal conductivity higher than the

vertical one. However, the finite element model was based on a 2D simulation, thus

results cannot be compared quantitatively to the actual field data and further

investigation is required to produce a 3-dimensional analysis to confirm the above

conclusions.

Several formulae have been published relating the permeability of soils, especially

sands, to their particle size characteristics and other classification data. Depending on

the type of soil tested, values of permeability (k) can vary quite considerably. Typical

values for various soil types are given in Table 2.1 below.

Permeability (m/s)

10 0

10 -1

10 -2

10 -3

10-4 10-5 10-6 10-7 10-8 10-9 10-10 10-11

Impervious soils

Very fine sands, organic &

Soil inorganic silts, mixtures of sand

e.g.,

Clean sands, clean

Types Clean gravel sand & gravel silt & clay, glacial till, stratified homogeneous

mixtures clay deposits, etc. clays below zone

“Impervious” soils modified by effects of of weathering

vegetation & weathering

Darcy first investigated the flow properties of water through sand in 1856. Darcy

developed the relationship relating the permeability, discharge velocity and hydraulic

gradient of a soil, through a porous granular medium, under steady conditions and

laminar flow as:

v = ki Equation 2.1

19

Chapter 2 Literature Review

where,

v = discharge velocity

k = coefficient of permeability

i = hydraulic gradient (fall in hydraulic head per unit length)

Hansbo (1960) and Holtz and Broms (1972) found that there was a deviation from

Darcy’s Law for low permeability clays at a very low hydraulic gradient. This is in

contrast to Mitchell (1976) who reviewed a number of investigations regarding the

applicability of Darcy’s Law and stated that “with all else held equal, Darcy’s Law is

valid, even for fine grained soils at low hydraulic gradients”. Mitchell (1976) cited the

difficulties associated with obtaining reliable permeability values, testing materials of

very low permeability, materials under laboratory conditions as the main source of

deviation. Removal of entrapped air, the migration of fines and temperature variations

of tests over a long period of time are only some of the significant problems that make

it difficult to get reliable results. A number of empirical relationships (Hazen 1911;

Kozeny 1927; Kozeny-Carman 1939; Taylor 1948; and Casagrande 1937); were

developed to relate the permeability of a porous media to its physical properties.

Hazen (1930) related the permeability to the effective grain size of a soil using the

equation:

where,

k = permeability, cm/s

D10 = grain size for which 10% of the particles pass by weight, mm

C1 = constant ( ≈1.0)

Hazen formulated his empirical equation for permeability using clean filter sands in

loose state. The effective grain size, D10, is an important value in regulating the flow

through soils (Budhu, 2000). The following values reported by Lambe & Whitman

(1979) show a wide spread for the constant, C1, in Hazen’s equation, far less than the

suggested value of 1.0 when applied to a wide range of soils.

20

Chapter 2 Literature Review

Coarse gravel 0.82 0.11 0.16

Sandy gravel 0.2 0.0160 0.40

Fine gravel 0.3 0.0071 0.08

Silty gravel 0.06 0.00046 0.13

Coarse sand 0.11 0.00011 0.01

Medium sand 0.02 0.000029 0.07

Fine sand 0.03 0.0000096 0.01

Silt 0.006 0.000015 0.42

Taylor (1948) suggests Hazen’s constant ranges between 0.4 – 1.5; Das (1997) suggests

1-1.5; Holtz & Kovacs (1981) suggest a value in the range of 0.4 - 1.2, with an average

value of 1.0. Laboratory test also show that permeability can vary by as much as one

order of magnitude between the loosest and densest states of a soil Cedegren (1989).

Kozeny’s (1927) formula and its modification by Carman (1939) use the relationship

of permeability, particle size, porosity, angularity of particles, specific surface and

viscosity of water.

ρwg n3

Kozeny (1927): k= ⋅ Equation 2. 4

C 2η w S 2 (1 − n) 2

ρwg e3

Kozeny-Carman(1939): k= ⋅ Equation 2. 5

C 2η w S 2 1 + e

where,

k = coefficient of permeability (m/s)

ρw = density of water (1.00 Mg/m3)

g = acceleration due to gravity (9.81 m/s2)

n = porosity (refer to section 2.3.4)

ηw = dynamic viscosity of water at 20 degrees Celsius

S = Specific surface of grains (mm2/mm3)

21

Chapter 2 Literature Review

for spherical grains and 7 for angular grains

Using Poiseuille’s law, and considering flow through bundled capillary tubes, Taylor

(1948) developed the following equation, which is in fact a simplification of Kozeny-

Carman equation.

2 γ e3

k = Ds C3 Equation 2. 6

µ 1+ e

where:

k = coefficient of permeability (m/s)

Ds = effective particle diameter (m)

γ = unit weight of water (N/m3)

µ = viscosity of water (m2/Ns)

e = void ratio (see section 2.3.4)

C3 = shape factor (dimensionless)

Casagrande (vide Das 1997) suggested that for fine or medium clean sands the

permeability relationship could be calculated using:

From the permeability equations, several other relations for the coefficient of

permeability and void ratio have been suggested:

Lambe (1951): e3

k∝ Equation 2. 8

1+ e

e2

Das (1985): k∝ Equation 2. 10

1+ e

Amer and Awad (vide Das 2001) suggests that the permeability of a coarse grained soil

is related to the effective grain size, uniformity coefficient and void ratio.

22

Chapter 2 Literature Review

e3

k = C 4 D102.32 C u0.6 Equation 2. 11

1+ e

where

D10 = effective grain size, mm

Cu = uniformity coefficient

e = void ratio

C4 = a constant

Mississippi River Valley, USA, as reported by Leonards (1962) are shown in Figure 2.4

(vide Barnes, 2000) along with a band showing the values predicted by Hazen’s

equation.

Figure 2. 4– Hazen’s Relationship for in-situ permeability tests (from Leonards 1862)

Figure 2.5 below, summarises the documented range of permeability values and

corresponding void ratios of different soils, as measured in the laboratory, Lamb &

Whitman (1979).

23

Chapter 2 Literature Review

Figure 2.5– Documented Laboratory Permeability Values of Various Soils (Lambe & Whitman, 1979

24

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

The process of sediment consolidation for most sedimentary environments is the result

of gravitational loading from the weight of the overlying material. Over time, the

overburden causes a decrease in void space as the sediment particles become more

closely arranged and the pore fluids are expelled. However, the very low permeability

in fine-grained sediments can slow down the process of dewatering. The effect of

consolidation pressure on different soil types is shown in the Figure 2.6.

Note: 1tsf = 95.76 kPa

25

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

CHAPTER 3

3.1 General

Sedimentation is the process in which the solid particles settle out from the slurry under

the action of gravity force. The process of sedimenting from a slurry, simulates the

natural sedimentation process in which soils are often formed in geological time.

By resedimenting the soil, we are able to replicate the fabric formation of the soil, and

in turn perform laboratory testing to calculate various geotechnical characteristics. It is

assumed that no consolidation occurs with sedimentation of the soil. (Cowling 2002).

Thus, the laboratory prepared samples should possess the same characteristics as an in-

situ stope.

In this project, hydraulic fill materials from four different mines were studied.

Generally, there was more than one sample taken from each of the mines. For

confidentiality purposes, the names of the mines are not disclosed with associated data.

The mines are simply referred to as Mine A through to Mine F.

Some of the data was obtained from the consultancy reports of James Cook University

Geomechanics group. Wherever necessary, additional tests were carried out to

supplement the available data.

Initial laboratory testing was used to determine the primary geotechnical characteristics

of the hydraulic fills, including:

• Grain size distribution

• Specific gravity of the minefill

• Coefficient of permeability

• Relative density

• Void ratio

28

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

All tests were carried out in accordance with the appropriate standard procedures

specified in the Australian Standards AS1289.

It was assumed segregation of the hydraulic fill may have occurred during transport

between the various mines and James Cook University. As a result, the hydraulic fill

required significant preparation to ensure homogeneity. A brief outline of the

procedures followed to prepare each of the samples is as follows:

The hydraulic fill were removed from the airtight containers and placed in a

large concrete mixer (Creteangle multi-flow mixer). The samples primary

mixing continued for approximately 15 – 20 minutes to ensure a homogenous

mix was obtained. A small sample of the hydraulic fill were gathered from the

mix and grain size distributions determined.

The entire contents of the 205-liter drum was divided into four approximately

equal portions and transported to the rod mill. One scoop from each bin was

repeatedly placed into the barrel until a sufficient quantity was contained within

the mixer. The sample was mixed for five minutes to achieve a homogeneous

mix, and then the mixed sample placed back into the empty 205 liter drum. The

sample was sieved to 600 µm, and the coarser fraction removed.

27

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

The surface water of the wet sample drum was removed and placed into smaller

containers. The entire solids contents of the 205 liter drum was divided into five

approximately equal portions and transported to the large pan mixer (Figure

3.2). The quantity of water, initially removed from the drum, was divided into

five portions of approximately equal volume. A fifth of the content from each of

the solids containers was placed into the pan mixer, with one of the water

portions (Figure 3.2 a). The contents were mixed for approximately 10 minutes

until a homogenous mix was achieved (Figure 3.2 b). Approximately 10 liters of

this mixture was placed into a 60 liter sealable container and the rest of the

mixture placed back into the 205 liter drum. This procedure was repeated five

times, until the entire contents had been mixed. The 60 liter sealable drum was

set aside as a representable sample for future testing. The sample was sieved to

the grain size determined by the Malvern Laser sizing prior to testing.

(a) (b)

Figure 3.2– Unmixed (a) and Homogenous (b) Samples in the Large Pan Mixer.

The grain size distribution of the samples was carried out as per AS1289.3.6.2-1995.

Instead of a hydrometer, Malvern MasterSizer-X laser particle sizer was used for the

grain size analysis of the fines. For each of the various hydraulic fills, a minimum of

three samples was obtained and a GSD carried out to ensure the grain size distribution

did not vary in different containers.

28

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

The grain size distributions performed within this thesis were conducted by the

Advanced Analytical Centre (JCU, Townsville) or were undertaken on site.

The specific gravity tests of the hydraulic fills were carried out in 250 ml density bottles

(also known as pycnometers), as per AS1289.3.5.2-1995. The density bottles with

hydraulic fill, half-full with water, were placed in a warm water bath for 30 – 45

minutes to remove entrapped air. This was later placed in a desiccator where a vacuum

of 13kPa (using KNF Neuberger vacuum pump, 0.12kW, 1.7 Amp) was applied for

about an hour to completely remove any remaining air within the sample. The water

content of the original sample was determined as per AS1289.2.1.1-1992.

The moisture of the fully drained backfill has to be determined so that when mixing the

backfill to the specified solids density, (usually 70 – 75%), the amount of water could

be calculated. This will vary depending on the moisture content already contained

within the drained backfill. The moisture content of the hydraulic fills was determined

using the standard procedure outlined in Refer to AS1289.2.1.1 – 1992.

29

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

The minimum and maximum dry densities of the backfill were determined using the

standard procedure outlined in AS1289.5.5.1 – 1998.

The mass of the standard compaction mould and base plate (without collar) was

determined. The oven-dried sand was then loosely poured into the mould using

a funnel. The average height of the fall of sand into the mould was maintained at

approximately 20 mm. whilst pouring, the funnel was moved in a spiral motion

from the outside towards the center to form a layer of uniform thickness of sand.

The excess sand was then levelled by means of a steel straight edge and the

mass of the mould and sand determined. The minimum dry density could then

be calculated.

• Maximum Dry Density

A sample of soil was initially soaked for several hours to ensure complete

saturation. The standard compaction mould, complete with collar was then

attached to the vibrating table. The sand was then thoroughly mixed and placed

in the mould using a scoop. The compaction mould was vibrated whilst filling.

After filling, the sand is allowed to vibrate for a further five minutes. Excess

water was removed from the surface whilst vibrating. The surcharge was then

lowered onto the surface of the sand in the mould and vibration continued for

another 10 minutes. The surcharge was then removed and the entire mould

detached from the vibrating table. The collar of the compaction mould was

removed and the surface of the sand levelled with a steel straight edge. The

mass of the mould and the saturated sand was recorded. The wet density of the

soil could then be calculated. The water content of the sand was determined by

placing the entire contents of the mould into a tray then in the oven. From the

water content and wet density, the maximum dry density was computed.

From these dry density values, the minimum and maximum void ratios could be

calculated using Equation 3.1

.

30

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

Gs ρ w

e= −1 Equation 3. 1

ρd

3.2.6 Relative Density

The relative density of the hydraulic fill was calculated using the following formula:

Dr = ×100% Equation 3. 2

emax − emin

Refer to AS1289.5.6.1 – 1998 for the standard method in determining the relative

density of the soil.

These fill parameters can be calculated using previously gathered information and the

following formula:

Gs ρ w (1 + w)

e= −1 Equation 3. 3

ρm

Rearranging Equation 3.3

Gs (1 + w) ρ w

ρm = Equation 3. 4

1+ e

where,

e = void ratio (refer to section 2.3.4)

w = moisture content (as above)

Gs = specific gravity (as above)

Sr = degree of saturation (volume of water / volume of voids)

ρw = density of water (1.00 Mg/m3)

ρm = bulk density (Mg/m3)

ρd = dry density (Mg/m3)

Using the constant and falling head permeability tests the coefficient of permeability

was determined.

Figure 3.4 (a) illustrates a schematic diagram of the constant head apparatus whereas

Figure 3.4 (b) shows the actual permeaeter set-up at James Cook University.

31

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

hL

(a) (b)

Figure 3.4–Constant Head Permeameter (a) – Schematic Diagram, (b) Actual Permeameter Set-up

Initially water flows through the sample until flow (q) and the hydraulic head loss (h)

has reached a steady state. The flow rate and head loss are then measured and the

coefficient of permeability calculated. A schematic diagram is shown in Figure 3.4 (a)

and the actual set-up shown in Figure 3.4 (b).

ql

k= Equation 3. 5

Ah

where, q is the flow rate, h is the constant head loss and, A and l are the cross sectional

area and length of the sample respectively.

The standard procedure for carrying out this test using a constant head permeameter is

described in AS1289.6.7.3 (2001)

Figure 3.5 (a) illustrates the schematic diagram of the falling head permeameter,

whereas Figure 3.5 (b) shows the actual permeameter set-up.

32

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

stand pipe

h

water

column

Figure 3.5– Falling Head Permeameter (a) – Schematic Diagram; (b) – Actual Permeameter Setup

Water flows down the standpipe, through the sample so that the hydraulic head (h) at

any time (t) is the difference between the meniscus level in the standpipe and the over

flow. (Barnes, 2001). The coefficient of permeability is then calculated by applying the

following formula:

al h

k = 2.3 ⋅ log o Equation 3. 6

At h

where, a and A are the cross sectional areas of the standpipe and sample, respectively,

and t is the time taken for the height of water column h to drop to drop from ho to h in

the standpipe. l is the length of the sample.

The standard procedure for carrying out this test using a constant head permeameter is

described in AS1289.6.7.2 (2001).

33

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

The grain size distribution plots of several hydraulic fill samples tested at JCU

Geomechanics laboratory are shown in Figure 3.6. The main parameters from the plots

are summarised in Table 3.2. The permeability data, obtained from JCU Geomechanics

Consulting reports, are summarised in Table 3.1.

The effective grain size of a soil, D10, refers to the diameter of soil particles for which

10 % of particles are finer. D10 is an important value in regulating flow through soils

and can significantly influence the permeability of soils. The higher the D10 value, the

coarser the soil and the better the drainage characteristics.

From Table 3.1, the effective grain size ranges from approximately 6 µm (Mine B) to

31 µm (Mine E). When correlated to Table 3.2, these results agree with the general

trend of higher permeability calculated from higher D10 values.

The uniformity coefficient of a soil is defined as:

D60

Cu = Equation 3. 7

D10

where, D60 refers to the diameter of soil particles for which 60% of the particles are

finer.

that a uniformity coefficient of less then four, indicates uniform grading of soil grains.

Whereas, values greater then four indicate a wider assortment of grain sizes. In general,

the uniformity coefficient of the hydraulic fills (Mines A, C, D, E and F) was greater

than four, indicating that the hydraulic fills were well graded.

34

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

100

90

80

70

60

Percent Finer

50 Mine A

Mine B

Mine C

40

Mine D: D1

Mine D: D2

Mine D: D3

30

Mine D: D4

Mine D: D5

20 Mine D: D6

Mine D: D7

Mine D: D8

10 Mine D: D9

Mine E

Mine F

0

0 1 10 100 1000 10000

Grain size (µm)

35

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

Sample Specific

Mine Avg. Permeability Avg. Permeability Dry Density Bulk Density Avg Moisture

No. Gravity Permeability (cm/s) Void Ratio Porosity

(cm/s) (mm/hr) (g/cc) (g/cc) Content

Constant Head Falling Head

Mine A A1 2.79 2.39E-04 2.65E-04 2.52E-04 9.07 0.67 40.1% 1.69 2.1 24.0%

A2 2.79 2.42E-04 2.51E-04 2.46E-04 8.87 0.61 38.0% 1.75 2.13 22.0%

A3 2.79 2.30E-04 2.39E-04 2.35E-04 8.44 0.64 39.1% 1.71 2.11 23.0%

A4 2.79 2.24E-04 2.39E-04 2.32E-04 8.34 0.67 40.1% 1.73 2.14 24.0%

Mine B B1 2.85 5.53E-05 5.65E-05 5.59E-05 2.01 0.66 39.9% 1.67 2.06 23.3%

B2 2.85 7.94E-05 3.26E-04 2.03E-04 7.29 0.66 39.7% 1.71 2.10 23.1%

B3 2.85 4.96E-05 4.91E-05 4.94E-05 1.78 0.66 39.9% 1.70 2.09 23.3%

Mine C C1 2.77 1.36E-05 1.70E-05 1.53E-05 0.55 0.94 48.4% 1.47 1.96 33.8%

C2 2.77 1.50E-05 1.40E-05 1.45E-05 0.52 0.92 48.0% 1.44 1.91 33.3%

C3 2.77 1.64E-05 1.84E-05 1.74E-05 0.63 0.96 48.9% 1.41 1.89 34.5%

Mine D D1 3.42 5.62E-04 5.86E-04 5.74E-04 20.66 0.58 36.8% 2.16 2.52 18.4%

D2 3.71 6.60E-04 6.00E-04 6.30E-04 22.68 0.66 39.8% 2.23 2.63 17.5%

D3 3.53 1.47E-03 6.32E-04 1.05E-03 37.84 0.70 41.2% 2.08 2.48 20.1%

D4 3.5 5.60E-04 7.96E-04 6.78E-04 24.41 0.72 41.8% 2.04 2.45 20.1%

D5 3.5 6.90E-04 9.94E-04 8.42E-04 30.31 0.70 41.2% 2.06 2.47 20.0%

D6 3.53 8.50E-04 9.90E-04 9.20E-04 33.12 0.66 39.6% 2.13 2.52 18.8%

D7 3.32 5.70E-04 9.72E-04 7.71E-04 27.76 0.68 40.4% 1.98 2.38 20.1%

D8 3.12 8.65E-04 9.78E-04 9.22E-04 33.17 0.72 41.9% 1.81 2.23 23.7%

D9 3.42 7.30E-04 8.36E-04 7.83E-04 28.19 0.72 42.0% 1.98 2.40 20.8%

Mine E E1 2.80 5.20E-04 5.40E-04 5.30E-04 19.08 0.69 40.8% 1.66 2.06 24.4%

Mine F F1 4.26 5.51E-04 5.25E-04 5.38E-04 19.37 0.73 42.3% 2.48 2.91 17.2%

F2 4.38 6.52E-04 5.41E-04 5.97E-04 21.48 0.77 43.5% 2.39 2.81 17.6%

F3 4.37 6.37E-04 7.04E-04 6.71E-04 24.15 0.83 45.5% 2.42 2.88 19.1%

F4 4.37 5.41E-04 4.28E-04 4.85E-04 17.44 0.79 44.3% 2.41 2.85 18.2%

Note: All samples made from a slurry with 50% porosity; sample size 153 mmφ x 306mm; all tested at JCU

36

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

Mine Cu Cc

No. (µm) (µm) (µm) (µm)

A1 12.9 58.9 105.4 131.3 10.1 2.0

A2 13.0 59.8 107.9 135.1 10.4 2.0

Mine A

A3 12.7 58.7 106.0 132.5 10.4 2.0

A4 12.9 59.1 106.4 133.0 10.3 2.0

B1 6.0 9.2 16.3 22.9 3.8 0.6

Mine B B2 5.9 8.8 15.5 22.5 3.8 0.6

B3 5.9 8.8 15.5 22.6 3.8 0.6

C1 13.3 25.8 79.2 112.9 8.5 0.4

Mine C C2 13.7 22.1 80.0 115.8 8.4 0.3

C3 13.2 22.4 82.1 118.7 9.0 0.3

D1 26.0 48.1 77.7 94.4 3.6 0.9

D2 29.4 63.1 81.9 98.6 3.4 1.4

D3 27.8 55.0 95.1 121.5 4.4 0.9

D4 16.9 48.1 77.2 95.5 5.6 1.4

Mine D D5 25.5 73.3 139.5 157.5 6.2 1.3

D6 23.4 83.9 158.2 207.7 8.9 1.4

D7 25.9 70.5 134.6 174.2 6.7 1.1

D8 24.6 66.0 127.0 163.9 6.7 1.1

D9 25.8 79.0 147.1 188.9 7.3 1.3

Mine E E1 31.0 89.2 152.8 191.8 6.2 1.3

F1 17.4 41.2 64.0 78.7 4.5 1.2

F2 22.8 48.5 74.2 90.0 4.0 1.1

Mine F

F3 21.4 46.2 69.3 85.0 4.0 1.2

F4 20.5 45.3 69.2 84.5 4.1 1.2

The coefficient of curvature is defined as:

2

D30

Cc = Equation 3.8

D10 .D60

Where D30, refers to diameter of soil particles for which 30% of particles are finer.

A coefficient of curvature between one and three with the uniformity coefficient greater

then zero, indicates a well-graded soil. A range of values between 0.3 and 2.0 was

obtained from the laboratory testing.

As shown in Table 3.1, Mines A, D, E and F all illustrate well-graded hydraulic fills,

whilst Mines B and C indicate poorly graded hydraulic fills.

37

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

The specific gravity is the ratio of the weight of the soil solids to the weight of water of

equal volume. Refer to section 3.2.3 for the procedure in determining the specific

gravity.

ms

Gs = Equation 3. 9

Vt ⋅ ρ w

Generally, the specific gravity of soils ranges between 2.6 and 2.8. However, the range

of specific gravity values obtained from the hydraulic testing was between 2.77 and

4.38.

Figure 3.7 displays a photograph of the wide variety of hydraulic fills tested throughout

this report. The eight fills from Mine D, obtained at the same time during their fill trial

portray the diverse textures of the fill.

Mine D

Mine F

Mine A

Mine B

Mine C

The relative density (Dr) relates the “actual” or in-situ void ratio (e) with the maximum

and minimum void ratios achievable. The maximum and minimum void ratios are

denoted by emax and emin respectively, and are determined using standard test procedures

38

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

AS1289.5.6.1 – 1998. The relative density of a soil in its densest possible state (i.e.

where e = emin) is 100%. Similarly the relative density of a sample in the loosest

possible state is 0%. The relative density of various hydraulic fills during permeability

testing was determined using the in-situ void ratio obtained from the samples after

testing. Table 3.2 summarises the measured maximum, minimum and in-situ void

ratios for various hydraulic fills.

As discussed in chapter 2, the looser the fill, the greater the liquefaction potential, and

vice versa. Therefore, relative density is a good measure of the liquefaction potential

and is an important parameter for the hydraulic fills.

Table 3.3 summarises the measured maximum, minimum and in-situ void ratios and

calculates the relative density for various hydraulic fills.

Table 3. 1– Measured Maximum and Minimum Void Ratios for Various Hydraulic Fills

Sample

Ratio Ratio Ratio Density

A4 0.452 0.944 0.670 56%

D1 0.431 0.829 0.583 62%

D2 0.438 1.559 0.663 80%

D3 0.477 1.166 0.700 68%

D6 0.412 0.937 0.660 53%

D7 0.544 1.184 0.678 79%

D8 0.567 0.975 0.721 62%

D9 0.534 1.036 0.724 62%

F4 0.673 1.048 0.780 71%

The relative densities of the hydraulic fills tested varied from 50 % to just over 80 %.

From these results, it could be concluded that Sample D6 has the greatest potential for

liquefaction, having the lowest relative densities. Whereas Sample D2 is has the largest

density of the fills and has the least potential for liquefaction. However, these results of

minimum and maximum results seem questionable, and further investigation is required

to verify the results.

The procedure outlined in the Australian standards AS1289.5.5.1 – 1998 for

determination of the maximum void ratio of a cohesionless material, defines the use of

pouring a dry soil into a given volume, with minimal compaction and measuring the

39

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

density. During the sedimentation process, soil particles settle out of a hydraulic

suspension and form a loose, saturated soil matrix, with pore pressures equal to the

depth of the water above that point. This ensured that the effective stress remained

constant through the full depth of the settled mass of particles. The settling of particles

to a rest location rather than mechanical placement was also considered a factor which

could contribute to higher void ratio being produced from the hydraulic, rather than dry,

placement of fill.

To determine the effect of wet placement of maximum void ratio, it was imperative that

the slurry was prepared as a very thin paste (to avoid coagulation of particles). A solids

to water volume ratio of 1:3 was used for all tests.

Figure 3.8 shows the apparatus that was used to determine the maximum wet void ratio.

It was fully designed and constructed as part of the research undertaken during this

project.

Figure 3. 8– Apparatus for Determining the Maximum Void Ratio by Wet Placement

length (Figure 3.8) with a perforated base as shown in Figure 3.9.

40

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

1. The void-ratio testing apparatus was completely dried out.

2. Using Whatman filter paper (No. 52), two 110 mm diameter circles were

carefully cut out and placed at the base of the testing apparatus ensuring all

perforations were completely covered.

3. The mass of the apparatus and filter paper was measured and recorded.

4. The apparatus was then set up as shown in figure 3.10.

Funnel

Void Ratio

Apparatus

Filter Paper

Apparatus Stand

Hollow Cylinder

5. An empty bucket was placed on the scales and the scales zeroed.

6. A predetermined weight of prepared hydraulic fill (1056 g) was placed in the

bucket.

41

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

7. Another bucket was placed on the Mettler PC24 scales, which were

subsequently tared. The predetermined amount of water (1910) was then

measured into the beaker, and added to the hydraulic fill. This gives a slurry

water content of 181%

8. The ingredients were mixed thoroughly until a constant homogeneous mixture

was achieved.

9. After the mixing was complete, the slurry was poured into testing apparatus. A

funnel and piping was used to guide the paste and reduce spillage.

10. The water was allowed to drain through the apparatus for approximately 24

hours or until no decant water was observed as shown in Figure 3.11.

11. The total mass of the ‘drained’ fill and cylinder was then measured and

recorded.

12. The mass of an empty tray was recorded. The tray number was also noted.

13. The contents of the cylinder were poured carefully into the tray and the total

mass recorded. The tray was placed into an oven at 105° C until the soil was

completely dry.

42

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

14. The mass of the dry soil and tray was measured and recorded.

3.5.3 Calculations

Using the procedure outlined in 3.4.2, the maximum dry density and void ratio were

calculated.

msolids

ρd = Equation 3. 10

Vtotal

where,

ρd = dry density (g/cm3)

msolids = mass of solids (g)

Vtotal = total volume of (cm3)

Gs S

e= −1 Equation 3. 11

ρd

where,

e = void ratio

Gs = specific gravity

S = saturation, assumed as 1 for all void ratio testing.

A minimum of four wet-placement maximum void ratio tests was completed for two

different hydraulic fills and the average results presented in Table 3.4. Refer to

Appendix B for results of all void ratio testing.

Sample Dry Void Ratio by Wet % Difference

Ratio Placement

A 0.944 1.041 10%

F 1.048 1.069 2%

These results illustrate that in both cases the maximum void ratio derived using the

hydraulically placed and drained fill, is higher than that predicted by the dry placement,

as per the Australian Standards AS1289.5.5.1 – 1998. The difference of 2% is not

considered overly significant, however the difference of 10% from Sample F is. Further

investigations are required into the how the physical properties (specific gravity, D10

etc) of hydraulic fill affect the sedimentation process time and the final void ratio.

43

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

Several formulae have been published relating the permeability of soils, to their particle

size characteristics and other classification data. An analysis into the validity of some of

these permeability relationships was performed. Results were obtained from past and

present laboratory testing.

Hazen (1930) related the permeability to the effective grain size of a soil using the

equation:

where,

k = permeability, cm/s

D10 = grain size in millimetres for which 10% of the particles pass by weight

C1 = Hazen’s constant, (approximately 1, discussed in section 2.6)

As indicated by Lambe & Whitman (1979), the value of constant C in Hazen’s equation

varies quite significantly from Hazen’s proposed value of 1.0. Table 3.5 illustrates the

values of C obtained from the recent laboratory testing of hydraulic fill at James Cook

University.

Permeability, k

Hazen's Constant C

(m/s)

2.41E-06 1.45

5.26E-07 1.49

1.57E-07 0.09

5.74E-06 0.85

6.30E-06 0.73

1.05E-05 1.36

6.78E-06 2.37

8.42E-06 1.30

9.20E-06 1.68

7.71E-06 1.15

9.22E-06 1.53

7.83E-06 1.18

5.30E-06 0.55

5.73E-06 1.36

From Table 3.4, Hazen’s constant ranges from as little as 0.09 to 2.37.

44

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

permeability test results obtained from Leonards (1962). Leonards data in figure 3.12,

were obtained through field tests on sands in the middle and lower Mississippi River

Valley, USA. There is limited evidence of the validity of Hazen’s equation for

hydraulic fills.

All the hydraulic fill data from the James Cook University database were plotted in

Figure 3.12 and it is quite clear that Hazen’s equation holds quite well with the constant

C around 0.4 to 1.5 for most tests.

The variation exhibited in C1, the constant in Hazen’s relationship are based on a

number of contributing factors. Hazen’s relationship was developed for clean, fairly

uniform sands in a loose condition. Permeability testing conducted at James Cook

University used hydraulic fill, which contains up to 10% fines by weight and is not

uniform. Furthermore, when measuring permeability, a constant head of water was

applied to the fill, thus fill was not in its loosest condition.

Karol (1960) related the permeability of a sample to the square of the void ratio:

k ∝ e2 Equation 3. 12

k = C1e 2

Equation 3. 13

∴ log k = 2C1 log e

This implies that plotting k against e, both in log scales, should give a linear relationship, similar to

Hazen’s.

It can be seen from Figure 3.13 that, while the void ratios for most granular soils varied

within a typical range of 0.6 to 1.0, the spread in the permeability values was in orders

of magnitude, varying from 10-3 cm/s to 10-6 cm/s. When observing the data from the

permeability testing of hydraulic fills, by the JCU Geomechanics Laboratory Testing

(2002), it can be seen that the permeability results obtained, tend to be significantly

higher than those obtained from other researchers e.g. Lambe and Whitman, 1979, on

45

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

similar silty soils. The desliming of mill tailings can thus be assumed to provide a

significant benefit in increased permeability.

Lambe’s relationship (1951) developed a relationship, relating permeability to the void

ratio also. The relationship took the form of Equation 3.14.

e3

k ∝ Equation 3. 14

1+ e

By excluding the use of any constants, Lambe (1951) suggests that the void ratio is the

sole factor that determines the permeability of a soil mass. This approach although

simple to implement and use, may oversimplify the factors influencing permeability.

A validity check of the equation proposed by Lambe (1951) was computed with the

assembled data and is presented in Figure 3.14.

In recent times, Das (1985) also developed an equation relating the permeability and

void ratio of a soil.

e 2

k∝ Equation 3. 15

1 + e

The plot of Das (1985) and Lambe (1951) show strong similarities. In both diagrams

the trends shown appear reasonably strong, suggesting that the void ratio is a significant

factor in the determination of permeability of soils. Both the Das (1985) and Lambe

(1951) approximations are thought to provide a more reasonable approximation to

permeability than Karol (1960).

46

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

1.E+00

1.E-01

Perneability k (cm/s)

1.E-02 C = 10

C = 1.0

1.E-03 C = 0.1

C = 1.5

C = 0.4

1.E-04

JCU

Leonards (1962)

1.E-05

1.E-03 1.E-02 1.E-01 1.E+00

Effective Diameter D10 (mm)

47

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

1.E+00

1.E-01 -2

C = 1 x 10

1.E-02

-3

C = 1 x 10

1.E-03

Permeability k (cm/s)

-4

C = 1 x 10

1.E-04 -5

C = 1 x 10

1.E-05 -6

C = 1 x 10

1.E-06 -7

C = 1 x 10

1.E-07 -8

C = 1.11 x 10

1.E-08

1.E-09

0.1 1.0 10.0

Void Ratio, e

JCU Results, Hydraulic Fill Silty Sand (Lambe & Whitman) Silt Boston I (Lambe & Whitman)

Silt Boston II (Lambe & Whitman) Silt Boston III (Lambe & Whitman) Silt - Nth Carolina (Lambe & Whitman)

48

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

100

10

e /(1+e)

1

3

0

1.0E-09 1.0E-08 1.0E-07 1.0E-06 1.0E-05 1.0E-04 1.0E-03 1.0E-02

Permeability k (cm/s)

JCU Results Silty Sand (Lambe & Whitman) Silt Boston I (Lambe & Whitman)

Silt Boston II (Lambe & Whitman) Silt Boston III (Lambe & Whitman) Silt Nth Carolina (Lambe & Whitman)

10

1

e / (1+ e)

2

0

1.0E-09 1.0E-08 1.0E-07 1.0E-06 1.0E-05 1.0E-04 1.0E-03 1.0E-02

Permeability k (cm/s)

JCU Results Silty Sand (Lambe & Whitman) Silt Boston I (Lambe & Whitman)

Silt Boston II (Lambe & Whitman) Silt Boston III (Lambe & Whitman) Silt - North Carolina

49

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

To investigate the effect of properties, other than the void ratio, on the permeability of

fills, an investigation was conducted using the data obtained from the permeability

testing of hydraulic fills, from Mines A to F.

Initially it was though beneficial to investigate simple property trends, which included

the grain size distribution and specific gravity. The effect of the uniformity of grain size

distribution was considered pertinent for the backfill technology. During the processing

of ore, the rocks material are crushed / pulverized down to a specified grain size, which

is suitable for the extraction of ore. This particular facet of hydraulic fill production

causes the fills to be more uniform, than they would otherwise occur in nature. It was

also considered pertinent to study the effect of specific gravity on permeability.

Specific gravity, as defined previously, affects the rate of settlement from the hydraulic

slurry. The higher the specific gravity of the material, the faster the fill settles from the

slurry. By investigating the effect of specific gravity to permeability, an indication as to

the settlement time on permeability may be obtained.

Figure 3.16 shows the trend of the uniformity co-efficient against the permeability of

the fill. A linear trend can be seen.

10

7

Uniformity Coefficient Cu

0

0.E+00 2.E-04 4.E-04 6.E-04 8.E-04 1.E-03 1.E-03

Permeability, k (cm/s)

50

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

From this, we are able to conclude that hydraulic fills tend to provide better drainage

when they are well graded, as opposed to when they are gap graded.

Similarly the specific gravity was plotted against the permeability samples, in Figure

3.17, with some interesting trends being observed.

4.5

4.3

4.1

3.9

Specific Gravity, Gs

3.7

3.5

3.3

3.1

2.9

2.7

2.5

0.E+00 2.E-04 4.E-04 6.E-04 8.E-04 1.E-03 1.E-03

Permeability, k (cm/s)

In general terms, the permeability of materials of higher specific gravity, had higher

permeability and vice versa.

The following relationship was proposed relating the specific gravity, uniformity

coefficient and permeability.

Cu

k∝ Equation 3. 16

1000 G s

where,

k = permeability (cm/s)

Cu = uniformity coefficient

Gs = Specific Gravity

51

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

4.0E+00

JCU (2002)

3.5E+00

3.0E+00

2.5E+00

Cu/(1000*Gs)

2.0E+00

C = 0.2

1.5E+00

C = 0.4

1.0E+00

C = 0.6

5.0E-01

0.0E+00

0.E+00 2.E-04 4.E-04 6.E-04 8.E-04 1.E-03 1.E-03

Permeability (cm/s)

52

Chapter 3 Slurry Sedimentation

Rankine’s permeability trends have made a definite attempt to quantify the effect of

physical properties of a fill mass on permeability. Previously, only the effect of void

ratio and effective grain size has been investigated and reported in literature. From the

observed trends, it would appear that the effective grain size of a soil plays a larger

more defining role in the permeability of a fill mass. However, it is suggested further

testing on a wider range of minefills (including pastefills, which use full mill tailings),

be carried out to confirm the aforementioned relationships.

53

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

CHAPTER 4

FILLS AND BARRICADES

4.1 General

An investigation into the fundamental aspects of permeability and drainage process in

hydraulically backfilled stopes was undertaken using a laboratory scaled model of a

stope of specific geometry.

The scaled model was designed and constructed to represent a similar stope located at

Mount Isa Mines Ltd in Central Queensland. The primary objectives of the laboratory

model was to investigate the effect of:

• barricade distance along the drain outlet, and

• various drain arrangements typical for a stope,

on discharge through the drains.

The scale applied to the modelled stope was 1:100; that is 1 cm on the model is to

represent 1 m in the operating backfill system. A numerical model developed in

FLAC3D was used to verify the results obtained from the laboratory testing. The

numerical modelling work is discussed in chapter 5.

Figure 4.1 shows the flownet, in a two dimensional stope. The fill was assumed as

homogeneous and isotropic.

Figure 4. 1– Flow net for a 2-dimensional Hydraulic Fill Stope (Kuganathan, 2002)

54

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

As the hydraulic fill is assumed as homogenous and isotropic, the general flow paths of

water through the hydraulic fill of a two-dimensional stope may be assumed as those

shown in figure 4.1.

Darcy (1892), related seepage velocity to hydraulic gradient and defined the

permeability coefficient for flow of water through the soil. It was assumed that the

permeability coefficient remains constant throughout the laboratory and numerical

testing. The hydraulic gradient refers to the fall in hydraulic head per unit length. As

the scale of 1:100 is applied to the entire geometry of the laboratory-modeled and

numerical stopes, the dimensionless value for the hydraulic gradient remains the same

for corresponding points on the modeled and actual stopes. Therefore, when Darcy’s

theory is applied to the laboratory, numerical and actual stopes, the seepage velocities

are equal.

Figure 4.2 displays the model stope used throughout the laboratory model testing. The

testing apparatus was designed and constructed to represent a similar stope at Mount Isa

Mines Ltd. The scale used is 1:100.

55

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

The model stope was designed and constructed to represent a scale model of a stope 15

m wide, 15 m long and 60 m high. After applying the scale factor, this was equivalent

to a modelled stope 150 mm x 150 mm x 600 mm. An additional 150 mm was added to

the height of the modelled stope to allow for any splash when pouring the hydraulic fill.

Thus, the final dimensions of the designed modelled stope were 150 mm x 150 mm x

750 mm. The vessel was constructed from 6 mm thick Perspex (Northern Perspex

Supplies, Townsville) with the sidewalls and base glued together.

A total of six drains are located along faces of the stope walls. These drains have been

numbered as shown in Figure 4.3.

Drain 5

Drai

Drain 6

Drain 1

Drain 3

Drain 4

The hollow drain outlets were also constructed of Perspex and had inside dimensions of

40 mm x 40 mm and with a length of 150 mm. Drains 1 and 2 were positioned along

one face of the stope. As shown in Figure 4.3, one drain was positioned at the bottom

centre of the stope face (drain 1), whilst the other was positioned 450 mm up from the

56

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

base (drain 2). The arrangement was repeated on the opposite side of the stope using

drains 3, 4, 5 and 6. As seen in Figure 4.3, each set of drains (i.e. drains 3 & 4 or drains

5 & 6) were positioned on opposite corners of the stope face.

A ‘drop-gate’ was designed at each of the six drain outlets to allow the stope to simulate

a number of standard drainage-outlet arrangements having any drain either open or

closed. Figure 4.4 shows the components of the drain-outlet.

Drop Gate

Drain 1

In actual stopes, barricades are generally made of very porous, concrete bricks, which

have much larger permeabilities than the tailings they contain. Values of permeability

of the barricades can be as high as that of coarse gravels. In other words, the barricade

can be assumed as free draining for all practical purposes.

mm steel mesh and geo-fabric drainmat was constructed for each of the drain outlets.

Figure 4.5 shows a sample barricade and its components used for the laboratory testing.

To produce a free draining barricade, it was imperative that the drainmat be completely

saturated before testing commenced. If the drainmat was not completely saturated, the

entrapped gave resistance to the flow in the early stages of drainage. The drainmat

57

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

enabled water to seep through the barricade without incurring any head loss; while

preventing the hydraulic fill from being carried away through the pores in the drainmat.

Barricade Components

Barricade

All scale model testing was conducted using MIM tailings. All relevant laboratory tests

were previously carried out on the tailings to determine their properties. The properties

of the hydraulic fill are shown in table 4.1 and the grain size distribution is shown in

figure 4.6.

Tailings Properties

Specific Gravity 2.87

Permeability 4.2x10-4 cm/s

Bulk Density 1.4 t/m3

Porosity 0.44

D10 12.9 µm

D30 58.9 µm

D60 131.3 µm

Cc 10.3

Cu 2.0

*

Determined from the sample obtained by sedimenting the slurry

58

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

100

90

80

70

60

Percent Finer

50

40

30

20

10

0

1 10 100 1000 10000

Particule size (um)

All tailings slurry was prepared at 70 % solids. A brief procedure entailing the

preparation of the tailings is given below.

1. The predetermined mass of MIM hydraulic dry fill (2.4 kg) was placed into each

of the 8 separate buckets.

2. A clean, dry bucket was then placed on the Mettler PC24 scales, which were

subsequently zeroed. The predetermined amount of water (1.029 litres) was then

measured into the bucket.

3. The water was carefully poured into one of the hydraulic-filled buckets.

4. The ingredients were mixed thoroughly, until a homogeneous mixture was

obtained.

5. Steps 2 through 4 were repeated until the remaining 7 buckets contained

homogeneous slurry.

59

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

The experimental methodology consisted of testing three basic drain arrangements,

common to the mining industry.

Table 4.2 displays the various drain outlet arrangements tested. To investigate the effect

of drain arrangement on discharge, the barricade was placed at a constant distance of 1

cm from the stope face.

Drain Outlet

Drain

Arrangment 1 2 3 4 5 6

2 Open Open Closed Closed Closed Closed

3 Closed Closed Open Open Open Open

Procedure

1. The model stope (Figure 4.1) was dried completely and placed on a flat surface.

2. The stope was then set up for drain arrangement 1 as specified in Table 4.2. The

drop gates for all closed drains were completely sealed and the remaining ‘open-

drains’ were fully open to ensure an obstruction-free outlet.

3. The barricades for each of the open drains were saturated and placed within the

drain outlet at the closest point to the stope face. This is equivalent to a

barricade distance of 1cm from the stope face, due to the design and

construction of the apparatus.

4. A small, dry container was placed under each of the open-drains. Initially the

mass of these empty, containers was recorded.

5. One of the previously prepared tailings slurry was obtained and carefully re-

mixed to ensure no segregation had occurred.

6. A timer was started, and the slurry steadily poured into the model stope over a

duration of 5 minutes.

7. Immediately after pouring was completed; at 5 minutes; the drainage rate was

recorded.

60

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

8. The mix was then allowed to rest for five minutes and the drainage rate recorded

9. Steps 5 through 8 were then repeated for the remaining seven buckets.

10. Drainage rate readings were recorded continuously at 5-minute intervals over an

entire duration of 90 minutes.

11. At the end of 90 minutes, the contents of the stope was then poured back into

clean oven trays and placed in oven at 105° C.

12. Steps 1 – 11 was repeated for each drain arrangement outlined in Table 4.2

Drainage rate readings were recorded by measuring the mass of water drained during a

given duration. A minimum of two tests was performed for each of the drain

arrangements.

The effect of barricade position along the drainage outlet was also investigated. Table

4.3 shows the various drain arrangements and barricade positions tested in the

laboratory modelling exercise.

Drain

from face of Stope

Arrangment 1 2 3 4 5 6

(cm)

1 Open Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed 0 5

2 Open Open Closed Closed Closed Closed 0 5

3 Closed Closed Open Open Open Open 0 5

The procedure outlined in Part A was repeated a placing the drain at the various

distances outlined in table 4.3.

4.3 Results

The following figures represent the experimental results obtained for each of the

various drain arrangements. An average of the trials for each test was used. For a

summary of all experimental results, refer to Appendix B.

61

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

0.25

Barricade at 1 cm

Barricade at 5 cm

0.20

0.15

Discharge (g/s)

0.10

0.05

0.00

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

time (min)

• As the position of barricade progresses further from the stope face, the discharge

rate decreases.

• The discharge follows a stepped increase, correlating the rest and pour periods

of the filling sequence.

• Discharge rate fluctuates during the initial 20 minutes of testing

• Initial discharge reading in figure 4.7, is relatively high. This is a result of the

preparation of the barricades. To remove all entrapped air, the barricades were

saturated before filling.

Figures 4.8 and 4.9 illustrate the experimental results obtained for each of the barricade

distances. The discharges through Drain 1 and Drain 2 are plotted separately in Figures

4.8 and 4.9 respectively.

62

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

0.20

Barricade at 1 cm

0.18 Barricade at 5 cm

0.16

0.14

0.12

Discharge (g/s)

0.10

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0.00

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

time (min)

1.2

Barricade at 1 cm

Barricade at 5 cm

1.0

0.8

Discharge (g/s)

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95

time (min)

• As before, drain 1 follows a stepped increase in discharge; correlating to the

pour and rest periods of the filling sequence.

63

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

• The initial discharge reading in Drain 1 was quite high, possible due to

saturating the barricades prior to filling. The excess water appears to have been

flushed out initially causing the high discharge reading.

• As the position of barricade progresses further from the stope face, the discharge

rate decreases.

• Discharge remained at zero, until the slurry height reached the drain, whereby

large discharge values were recorded. This was followed by a sharp decline in

discharge for both barricade models.

• The first discharge reading from drain 2 was measured at 55 minutes for both

barricade distances.

Using drain arrangement 3, the discharge readings were recorded for the stope with a

barricade placed 1 cm from the stope wall. Figure 4.10 and Figure 4.11 illustrates the

experimental results for drains 3 and 4 and drains 5 & 6 respectively. As the stope was

symmetrical, it was assumed values from drain 3 were the same as those from drain 4.

Figure 4.10 illustrates the discharge readings per drain.

0.14

0.12

0.1

discharge (g/s)

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

time (min)

64

Chapter 4 Laboratory Modelling

Figure 4.11, illustrates the discharge readings per drain for drains 5 and 6.

1.2

0.8

Discharge (g/s)

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95

time (min)

• In Figure 4.10, the discharge values fluctuated quite considerably between rest

and pour periods of the filling cycle. However, from this figure it is obvious that

the discharge increases during pouring and decreases during the rest periods of

the filling cycle.

• As discussed in previous drain arrangements, in Figure 4.11 the discharge

remains at zero until the slurry height reaches the upper drains (drains 5 and 6).

Where upon a sharp increase in discharge is recorded. This steep increase in

discharge is representative of the decant water freely flowing through the upper

drains.

•

65

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

CHAPTER 5

AND BARRICADES

5.1 General

A 3-dimensional modelling tool which allows accurate prediction of pore pressure

development throughout the filling and draining of a three dimensional fill stope of

specific geometry was developed using the finite difference program FLAC3D. The in-

built programming language FISH was used to write simple subroutines for functions

that were not available in FLAC3D. The remaining code was written in a batch file.

The model aims to simulate what was observed in the laboratory testing of a scale-

model of a hydraulic-filled stope located at Mount Isa Mines in North West

Queensland, Australia. The program assumes a saturated, flow-only problem thus,

Darcy’s law, which defines the relationship between the specific discharge and pore

pressure, was applicable. It was also assumed that the tailings form an incompressible

soil skeleton and the slurry is assumed as homogeneous. Previous work with hydraulic

fills indicates that they undergo little consolidation (Cowling, 2002); therefore the

coupling effect can be ignored within this study.

FLAC3D (Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua in 3 Dimensions) is a three-

dimensional, explicit finite-difference computer program for solving geo-mechanical

problems. FLAC3D simulates the behaviour of three-dimensional structures built of soil,

rock or other materials that undergo plastic flow when their yield limits are reached.

This program allows simulation of transient flow of fluid in saturated porous materials.

The flow calculation can be performed by itself; independent of the usual mechanical

calculation of FLAC3D, or it can be done in parallel with mechanical modelling, to

capture the effects of fluid/solid interaction.

66

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

The explicit finite difference formulation of the code makes it ideally suited for

modelling geo-technical problems that consist of several stages, such as sequential

excavation, backfilling and loading. The formulation can accommodate large

displacements and strains and non-linear material behaviour, even if yield or failure

occurs over a large area or if total collapse occurs.

dimensional grid that is adjusted by the user to fit the shape of the object to be

modelled. Each element behaves according to a prescribed linear or non-linear stress/

strain law in response to applied forces or boundary restraints. The material can yield

and flow, and the grid can deform and move with the material that is represented. The

constitutive models incorporated in FLAC3D include:

• Null (excavations) model

• Elasticity models (isotropic, transversely isotropic and orthotropic elasticity)

• Plasticity models (Drucker-Prager, Mohr-Coulomb, strain-hardening/ softening,

ubiquitous-joint, bilinear strain-hardening/softening ubiquitous-joint, double-

yield and modified Cam-clay)

excavation, filling and curing of paste fills from BHP Cannington Mine.

Numerical models are generally classified as finite element models (FEM’s), finite

difference models (FDM’s), integrated models or boundary element models. A brief

definition of these models is given below:

• Finite Element Models (FEM): These mathematical models represent a body or

structure by an assemblage of subdivisions called finite elements. Using simple

approximations for the distribution of the variable of interest, a series of element

equations are written that satisfy static equilibrium or the conservation of energy

equation. Equations are then solved simultaneously to obtain the desired

information.

• Finite Differential Models (FDM): The body or structure is divided into a series of

finite zones. A set of algebraic expressions written in terms of forward, backward

67

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

and central difference is written using the derivatives of the governing equations for

the system. These equations are then solved simultaneously for the variable of

interest.

• Integrated Models: There are three subsets to this modelling technique, which

include the boundary element model, the boundary integral model and the

displacement discontinuity model. In these methods it is assumed that the variable

of interest can be modelled as a function of its value at the boundary of the system

of investigation.

• Boundary Element Models: The boundary element method discretises the interfaces

between zones of different properties, characteristics or activity. The boundary

element method requires much less elements to define the volume of interest, but

generally requires more analysis.

There are several numerical software packages that are available commercially. Some

of the more generic programs include:

- ABAQUS (FEM)

- ADINA (FEM)

- ANSYS (FEM)

- STRAND6 (FEM)

- FLAC (FDM)

- FLAC3D (FDM)

- GeoFEAP (FEM)

- SAFE (FEM)

- ZSOIL (FEM)

- AFENA (FEM)

FLAC is a two-dimensional programme that can solve plain strain and axisymetric

problems. Most geotechnical problems can be simplified or approximated into two-

dimensional problems and thus FLAC is adequate. However, in the case of studying

drainage through a hydraulic filled stope with varying geometries, FLAC3D is a more

versatile tool. FLAC3D extends the analytical capability of FLAC into three

68

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

or other materials that undergo plastic flow when their yield limits are reached. Most of

the commands used in FLAC3D are the same as or three-dimensional extensions of,

those used in FLAC. A menu driven, graphical user interface is also available in

FLAC3D for performing plotting, printing and file access.

manipulating pre-defined shapes. The generator permits the creating of intersecting

internal regions (eg. Intersecting tunnels). The 3D grid is defined by a global x,y,z-

coordinate system rather than in a row-and column fashion as in FLAC.

Unlike other more typical finite element modelling packages, FLAC3D employs a finite

difference method to simulate the behaviour of structures built in soil, rock or other

materials. Both methods translate a set of differential equations into matrix equations

for each element, relating forces to displacements at nodes. Although FLAC3D

equations are derived by the finite difference method, the resulting element matrices for

an elastic material are identical to those of the finite element method. However, FLAC

differs in the following respects:

• The full dynamic equations of motion are used, even with modelling systems that

are essentially static. This enables FLAC to follow physically unstable processes

without numerical distress.

• The “mixed discretization” scheme (Marti and Cundall, vide FLAC3D User’s Guide)

is used for accurate modelling of plastic collapse loads and plastic flow. This

scheme is believed to be physically more justifiable then the “reduced integration”

scheme commonly used with finite elements.

• An “explicit” solution scheme is used in contrast to the more common implicit

methods. The explicit solution offers a number of advantages over the implicit

solution technique:

– Small time steps in the numerical integration mean that the solution

can easily handle highly non-linear behaviour and can follow details of

the actual stress path, which can be a very important consideration in

non-linear systems;

69

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

the programs can model the evolution of a system to an equilibrium

configuration or to collapse, without suffering numerical instabilities.

Although these differences are mainly in favour of FLAC3D, there are two

disadvantages.

• The linear simulations run slower with FLAC3D than with equivalent finite element

programs;

• The solution time with FLAC3D is determined by the ratio of the longest natural

period to the shortest natural period in the system being modelled. Since FLAC3D

executes in only a DOS or Windows environment for extremely complicated

problems the solution time may be as high as 12 hours or more. A Unix version is

expected to be released soon allowing FLAC3D to operate on super-computers thus

reducing computation time significantly. The drainage problems in this study have

taken up to 6 – 8 hours to solve for medium size grids.

In order to set up the numerical model three fundamental components of the problem

must be specified:

1) Initial conditions;

2) Boundary conditions; and

3) Input Parameters.

A brief outline of these is given below.

The model developed for this thesis, is a ‘flow-only’ simulation. It is assumed that the

pores of the fill beneath the phreatic surface are completely filled with water, and the

filling rates are designed such that the water level remains above the fill level

throughout the entire filling of the stope. In other words, the entire fill is saturated. The

fluid is assumed as homogeneous, isotropic with a constant fluid density; therefore flow

is governed by Darcy’s law (5.1).

[

qi = − k p − ρ f xi g j ]

,i

Equation 5. 1

70

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

where,

qi = specific discharge vector [m/s]

p = pore pressure [Pa]

k = is the permeability coefficient [m4/Ns]

ρf = is the fluid density [kg/m3]

gi = gravity where i =1- 3, are the three components of the gravity vector [m/s2]

xi = nodal co-ordinate

To define a flow problem with FLAC3D, initial conditions must be specified in terms of

consistent pore pressure and saturation fields. By default a FLAC3D fluid flow analysis

adopts a saturation value of one, and the default pore pressure value assigned to zones,

is zero pascals. For each step in the solution sequence, the zones representing fill are

assigned with fluid flow model parameters, and the remaining zones are assigned the

‘null’ model (i.e. void). Operation of the model requires input of the filling rates,

durations and specific fill flow characteristics for the zones simulating the fill material.

These parameters were obtained from extensive laboratory testing on the fill material

and are shown in Table 5.1.

Hydraulic Fill Properties

Specific Gravity 2.87

Permeability 4.2x10-4 cm/s

Bulk Density 1.4 t/m3

Porosity 0.44

% wt Solids 70%

Moisture Content* 42.9%

Void Ratio* 1.2

* Calculated Slurry parameters

The model consists of a three-dimensional mesh representing the stope and the access

drives, of a typical underground open-stoping mine. All walls and the base of the stope

were assigned impervious characteristics to correspond to the behaviour of adjacent

intact rock in an in-situ situation and the Perspex boundaries used in the scale model.

The grid contains 15 zones in both the width and depth directions, and 60 zones in the

vertical direction. Each zone was designed as a cube, with 1 cm length in all three

directions. These dimensions replicated the dimensions used in the 1:100 scale model,

71

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

used for the experimental study in the laboratory. Depending on the drain-outlet

arrangement, drain(s) were generated along the face of the stope wall. These drains

were also generated on a cube of 1 cm length to maintain similitude with the rest of the

model. The drain outlets were 4 zones in both depth and height, and thus replicated the

16 cm2 drain size used in the scale model and 16 m2 in the field model. The barricades

were located at a distance of 1 – 15 cm away from the face of the stopes along the

various drain outlet arrangements.

Three different drain outlet arrangements were studied. In the first arrangement, there

was a single drain at the bottom of the stope in the centre. The second arrangement had

an additional drain 45cm above the first drain. And finally, the third arrangement had

two drains at each level, at the stope edges. These arrangements are shown in Figure

5.1.

The full geotechnical characteristics of the hydraulic fill, as determined in the

laboratory are given in Table 4.1. From these properties, only permeability and porosity

were required as input parameters for the FLAC3D model. Refer to Figure 4.6 for the

average grain size distribution for the hydraulic fill used within the simulations.

The numerical simulation discussed herein is a perfect replica of what was carried out

in the laboratory modelling. The purpose of this exercise is to compare the

72

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

potential tool for studying drainage through hydraulic fills and barricades.

3D

In the FLAC numerical approach, the flow domain is discretized into brick-shaped

zones defined by numerous nodes. Both fill porosity and permeability are assigned to

the flow region; then filling rates, volumes, durations and the stage of the filling

sequence define the region.

The pore pressure at all drain outlets was fixed at zero Pascals, and a loop was created

incorporating the standard pouring cycle. The fill and water levels were sequentially

lifted in one minute intervals for 5 minutes. At the end of each minute, the discharge

through the drain(s) was computed and the corresponding water level reduction

calculated and subtracted from the total water level. After the five minutes of filling, a

five minute rest period (where only drainage occurred) was simulated by calculating the

discharge at the end of each minute, and once again reducing the total water level

accordingly. This filling and resting sequence was cycled through until the stope had

been completely filled, and then the program was reduced to drainage only. The

program continued to solve in one minute intervals until the water level was reduced to

the height of the lowest barricade, or the program was terminated. The program was

solved for 90 minutes and the results collected for a comparison to the scale model

results.

The total discharge from the free-draining barricades, and individual drain discharge

over every minute interval, was collated and tabulated into an excel spreadsheet. These

values are shown in Appendix B.

The three-dimensional model generated within this thesis was validated against an

existing two-dimensional model developed by Isaacs and Carter (1982), that is currently

being used in industry.

73

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

8.E-01

7.E-01

6.E-01

Volume Discharge (m3)

5.E-01

4.E-01

3.E-01

FLAC

2.E-01

ISAACS &

CARTER

1.E-01

FLAC 3D

0.E+00

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Time (hrs)

The comparison of FLAC and Isaacs and Carter (1982), was based on a simulation

which due to the two-dimensional nature of the program assumes the drain to exist as a

1 m high outlet. FLAC was based on a psuedo 2-D model, that was modelled in the

three-dimensional package FLAC3D, but was simulated as very thin 3-dimensional

stope, essentially representing the two-dimensional situation that exists in the Isaacs and

3D

Carter program. The FLAC results were obtained from the actual 3 dimensional

representation of the stope (15 m x 15 m x 60 m). Isaacs and Carter’s model is based

on a 2-D model. As shown in Figure 5.2, by introducing a third dimension into the

FLAC program, there is little effect on the drainage, thus showing that the stope is a

good 2-D problem. Because the given example is essentially a two dimensional

problem, there is no difference in results between the pseudo 2-dimensional program

prepared in FLAC3D and the actual 3-dimensional model. The permeability coefficient

used for validating the models was 0.004m/hr.

From Figure 5.3, we can see that with regard to the water level within the system, the

various models compare comparatively well. The horizontal segments are for the rest

74

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

periods where there is no increase in water levels. In fact, there is a slight decrease as

some drainage occurs.

70

60

50

40

Height (m)

30

20

10

FLAC

FLAC 3D

0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

Time (hrs)

A sensitivity analysis was used to ascertain how the given model output varied with the

input parameters. This analysis is an important method for checking the quality of a

given model, as well as a powerful tool for checking the robustness and reliability of its

analysis.

- grid spacing

- coefficient of permeability

- porosity

For simplification, the two-dimensional program was used to perform the grid

sensitivity analysis. Grid spacings of 0.5 m, 1 m, 3 m, and 5 m were investigated.

75

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

1.E+00

1.E+00

1.E+00

Discharge (g/min)

8.E-01

6.E-01

4.E-01

1/2 m Grid

1 m Grid

2.E-01 3 m Grid

5 m Grid

0.E+00

3

9

5

1

7

3

9

5

1

7

3

9

5

1

7

1

7

13

19

25

31

37

43

49

55

61

67

73

79

85

91

97

10

10

11

12

12

13

13

14

15

15

16

16

17

18

18

Time (mins)

As seen in figure 5.4, there is little variation in discharge between the 0.5, 1 and 3 m

grid spacings. The deviation in discharge from the 3 m grid spacing to the 5 m grid

spacing is quite considerable. From these results we can conclude that the model

becomes sensitive to grid spacings greater than 3 m.

Although the accuracy in discharge values is improved as the number of grid spaces is

increased, the time required to solve the simulations also increases. Consequently a

balance between the time required for solving and accurateness was necessary. A 1 m

grid spacing was selected for all computations within the simulations.

The coefficient of permeability of the hydraulic fill was determined from constant and

falling head permeability tests. From these results, a range of permeability values was

obtained. These values ranged from a minimum of 2.5 x 10-4 cm/s to a maximum 4.2 x

10-4 cm/s. Figure 5.5 shows the effect of varying the permeability in the backfill.

76

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

3.5

2.5

Discharge (g/min)

1.5

Maximum

Permeability

0.5

Minimum

Permeability

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Time (mins)

expected that the rate of discharge also would be proportional to permeability. This is

clearly evident in figure 5.5.

The maximum permeability coefficient was used for all numerical simulations.

The porosity of the hydraulic fill was obtained from the laboratory tests. The value used

was from permeability samples where slurry was sedimented under its own weight.

These values ranged between 0.39 – 0.49. As seen in Figure 5.6, the value of porosity

has no significant effect on the results. An average porosity value of 0.44 was applied to

all FLAC3D simulations.

77

Chapter 5 Numerical Modelling

3.5

2.5

Discharge (g/min)

1.5

Minumum Porosity

Porosity Used

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Time (mins)

78

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

CHAPTER 6

6.1 General

This chapter summarises the results of the laboratory model studies, and compares them

with the output of a newly developed FLAC3D numerical model. The investigation was

limited to three different configurations as shown in Figure 6.1. The number and

location of the barricades were chosen to represent typical scenarios used in

hydraulically backfilled stopes.

The primary objectives of this exercise using a numerical and laboratory model, was to

investigate the effect of:

• barricade position along the drain outlet, and

• number of drains,

on the efficiency of drainage of excess water used for the hydraulic fill placement.

A summary of the drain arrangements used for the laboratory and numerical model

studies is given in Table 6.1. In all cases the same hydraulic fill was used, which was

considered homogeneous and isotropic. It was also assumed that negligible

consolidation occurs within the hydraulic fill after placement. Therefore, a flow-only

problem was studied and the coupling effect of consolidation was ignored.

79

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

Model

Arrangement from Stope Face

1 cm

Numerical 2 cm

(FLAC) 5 cm

1 10 cm

1 cm

Laboratory 5 cm

1 cm (long term)

Numerical 1 cm

(FLAC) 5 cm

2

1 cm

Laboratory

5 cm

Numerical 1 cm

(FLAC) 5 cm

3

Laboratory 1 cm

The geotechnical characteristics of the hydraulic fill sample are given in Table 4.1 and

Figure 4.6.

The validation of the FLAC3D numerical model is required by comparison with

observed results. The results of both are presented and discussed within this section and

reasons for any anomalous results highlighted. In general the FLAC3D model replicated

the trends of the observed drainage, but under predicted the flow by approximately half.

This discrepancy could be attributed to the permeability value used as the input

parameter for the FLAC3D model. This value was obtained through percolation tests,

where the fill was in the form of a consolidated cake. However, during the

sedimentation process, the fill is in the form of slurry, therefore the permeability

coefficient used within the modelling is under predicted and should be much higher.

Drain arrangement 1 consisted of a single 4 cm x 4 cm drain at the base of 15 cm x 15

cm x 60 cm stope, located centrally along the face of the stope. Figure 6.2 shows the

model as modelled in FLAC3D.

80

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

60cm

Drain 1

15cm

15cm

Figure 6.3 illustrates the general trend in the variation of discharge as the position of the

barricade is varied within the drain outlet. Using the model developed in FLAC3D a

number of barricade positions ranging from 1 – 10 cm from the face of the stope was

investigated.

0.07

0.06

0.05

Discharge (g/s)

0.04

0.03

0.02

1 cm

0.01 2cm

5 cm

10 cm

0.00

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

time (min)

Figure 6.3– FLAC3D Results for Various Barricade Positions along Drain Outlet

81

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

• As the position of the barricade progresses further from the stope face, the rate

of discharge decreases. It can be intuitively explained by saying that as the

barricade gets further away from the stope, the flow path increases and the

hydraulic gradient decreases. This results in the reduction in velocity and flow

discharge. The barricades which are closer to the stope face will drain more

quickly; with those which are further away draining more slowly, but over a

longer period of time

• The horizontal segments are for rest periods where there is no increase in

hydraulic fill. In fact, a very slight decrease in discharge rate occurs during the

“rest periods.” The head of the decant water drops as it percolates through and

out of the fill mass. During filling, the discharge from the drain follows a linear

trend. This sequence is repeated until the stope is completely filled and no more

hydraulic fill is placed in the stope (at approximately 80 minutes). The slope of

the line may be correlated to the density of the hydraulic fill slurry being placed.

A higher slurry density implies that less water enters the stope, (and if all other

parameters remain constant), the height of water will also be less. Hence

drainage rate and gradient will also be less.

Figures 6.4 and 6.5 illustrates a comparison between results obtained from the

laboratory and FLAC3D models for drain arrangement 1, with the barricade positioned

at 1 cm and 5 cm respectively.

In Figures 6.4 and 6.5, the experimental and numerical models compare reasonably

well. In both cases, similar trends were observed:

• Experimental results possess higher discharge values to their corresponding

numerical model. This may be a result of the initial excess water in the system

from preparation of the barricades. Or it may be that the resolution of the

FLAC3D grid is too coarse, especially at the discharge point, where the density

of flow lines increase significantly.

82

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

0.16

Due to preparation

0.14 of barricade

0.12

0.10

Discharge (g/s)

0.08

0.06

0.04

Flac 3D

0.02

Laboratory

0.00

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

time (min)

Located 1 cm from Stope Face

0.25

Barricade

Laboratory

0.20

Discharge (g/s)

0.15

0.10

0.05

0.00

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

time (min)

Located 5 cm from Stope Face

83

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

• During the first 20 minutes of the experiment, the discharge values fluctuated

quite considerably. Also, the initial discharge readings in both models were

large. This is considered to be a result of the preparation of the barricades for the

experiment. Barricades were designed as ‘free-draining’; thus it was necessary

to ensure complete saturation of the barricades before testing commenced.

(Unless saturated, the barricades were not free-draining and provided resistance

to flow.)

• Disregarding the initial 5 minutes of readings, the peak discharge in the

experiment and numerical models occurs at approximately 80 minutes. This is

expected as all pouring has just been completed at this stage, generating the

largest head pressures and thus hydraulic gradient within the model.

Figure 6.6 shows long term results obtained from experimental testing for a barricade

located 1 cm from the stope face. This is simply an extension of the plot given in Figure

6.4.

The general trend in drainage over a 5-hour duration is shown in Figure 6.6. The

discharge increases rapidly until it reaches its peak at approximately 80 minutes (at the

end of filling). From here the discharge initially decreases steeply, then steadies out,

slightly decreasing as time progresses. The steep decline is considered representative of

the time that is taken for the decant water to reach the surface of the placed fill. The

consistent flow and then slowly declining discharge rate is thought to be associated with

the percolation of the water through the backfill mass. Over the longer periods of time,

discharge is expected to decrease until such time as most of the free water has drained

from the stope. It is expected to slow considerably towards the end of drainage, as the

head pressure drops and capillary suction starts to resist the outflow of water. This

process results with the discharge versus time curve having roughly the same

appearance as the consolidation curve for clays (or other porous materials). However

for all practical purposes, when the discharge rate falls under a certain limit it would be

considered to have zero flow. It is recommended that an investigation into a longer

period be undertaken to investigate this.

84

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

0.16

0.14

0.12

0.10

Outflow (g/s)

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0.00

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350

Time (min)

Figure 6. 6– Long-term Readings for Experimental Discharge for a Barricade Located 1 cm from

Stope Face

Drain arrangement 2 consisted of two 4 cm x 4 cm drains placed at the centre of the

stope face at separate levels within the stope, as illustrated in figure 6.7.

Drain 2

60 cm

45 cm

Drain 1

15 cm

15 cm

85

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

Figures 6.8 and figure 6.9 illustrate the discharge of water from drains one and two

respectively for various barricade positions within the drain outlet.

0.20

FLAC: 1cm

Expt: 1cm

0.18

FLAC: 5cm

Expt: 5cm

0.16

0.14

Drain 1 draining Drain 1 & 2 draining

0.12

discharge (g/s)

0.10

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0.00

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90

time (min)

1.2

FLAC 1cm

Exp 1cm

Very high discharge values FLAC 5cm

1.0

were reocorded for both Exp 5cm

numerical models. Peak

values occurred at:

1 cm:17.3 g /s

0.8 5 cm: 18.4 g/s

Discharge (g/s)

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0

50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95

time (min)

Similar trends in discharge from drain 1 of drain arrangement 2 for both experimental

and numerical models were observed and are shown in figure 6.8.

86

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

• Figure 6.8 shows a stepped increase in discharge correlating to the pour and rest

periods of the slurry. This is representative in all four plots.

• The initial discharge reading for both experimental plots is the greatest during

the first five minutes of testing. Again, attributable to the preparation of the

barricades. (I.e. ensuring barricades were completely saturated before testing).

• Disregarding the initial 5 minutes of readings, peak discharge occurred between

75 – 80 minutes. This corresponds to the highest hydraulic gradient within the

stope that occurs at the completion of filling.

• Experimental results of discharge were consistently higher than the numerical

model’s results. This was probably due to the initial water in the system.

• As the barricade is moved closer to the stope face, the discharge rate increases

and vice versa.

• As observed in figure 6.8, once drain 2 starts draining, a slight drop in discharge

from drain one is observed.

Figure 6.9 shows the variation of discharge with time for the numerical and

experimental models from drain 2 of drain arrangement 2. As seen in the figure, the

experimental and numerical models are not consistent. The experimental model relies

on a consistent pour of slurry over the duration of 5 minutes, this is not possible and as

a result, variation in discharge occurred. The numerical programme was developed so

that once the slurry reached drain 2, the decant water would ‘freely’ flow through the

barricade. However, when testing, the decant water did not ‘freely’ flow through the

barricade due to the tailings still being in suspension.

Although, the models in figure 6.9 did not correlate well with each other, there were

various trends present in both models.

• Discharge remained at zero, until the slurry height reached the drain, whereby a

large discharge in water was measured.

• After the large outflow of decant water from the modelled stope, a sharp decline in

discharge was recorded for both experimental and numerical models.

From the results of figures 6.8 and 6.9, it is possible to infer that the hydraulic

conductivity of the tailings is not equivalent in the horizontal and vertical directions.

87

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

Thus, our initial assumption of the fill being isotropic may not be reasonable. However,

experimental observations suggested that more water was draining from the barricade

closest to the bottom and very little from the higher barricade (with the exception of the

large outflow of decant water once the fill reaches the upper drains.) This observation is

in contrast to Ouellet and Servant (1998) who suggested horizontal conductivity to be

higher than the vertical one. Ouellet et al. observations appear to be a very quizzical and

questionable result. Head pressures, hydraulic conductivity gradients and the above

experimental data all seem to concur, that the most drainage occurs through the base of

the stope.

Drain arrangement 3 comprised of four single 16 cm2 drains positioned as shown in

figure 6.10.

Drain 5

Drain 6

60cm

45cm

Drain 3

Drain 4

Figures 6.11 and figure 6.12 illustrate the results obtained from numerical and

laboratory testing for this arrangement. The barricade is positioned 1 cm from the face

of the stope wall in each of the drains.

88

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

0.14

FLAC 3D

Expt

2 per. Mov. Avg. (Expt)

0.12

0.10

Discharge (g/s)

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

0.00

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

time (min)

Figure 6. 11- Comparison of FLAC and Experimental Model Discharge for Drains 3 and 4

(per drain) of Drainage Arrangement 3

1.0

FLAC 3D

0.9 Expt

0.8

0.7

0.6

discharge (g/s)

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0

50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95

time (min)

Figure 6. 12- Comparison of FLAC and Experimental Model Discharge for Drains 5 and 6

(per drain) of Drainage Arrangement 3

89

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

Figure 6.11 illustrates results for discharge per drain for drains 3 and 4. As seen in the

figure, the discharge from both experimental and numerical models follows similar

trends. Initially discharge follows a stepped increase till its peak at approximately 80

minutes. Discharge then steadily decreases, similar to drain arrangements 1 and 2 for

the base drain (drain 1). The experimental results consistently produced greater

discharges than its corresponding numerical model. This variation between points could

be attributable to the lower permeability value used for the fill. The numerical model

cannot take into account variations in the flow path of water possibly taken in the

experimental results. If the model produced a preferred flow path, through piping, a

progressive caving mechanism (which allows an un-interrupted/ or significantly

reduced resistance to flow), then drainage would occur significantly more quickly in the

experimental model stope than the numerical model.

Figure 6.12 shows a comparison of discharge per drain from drains 5 and 6. For both

models, the discharge is zero until the slurry height reaches drains 5 and 6. At this

stage, the decant water at the top of the slurry is allowed to drain freely from the stope

as per drain arrangement 2. This is represented by the sharp increase at 60 minutes in

figure 6.12. The discrepancies between the experimental and FLAC models for drains

5 and 6 from drain arrangement 3 are similar to those discussed from drain 2 in drain

arrangement 2.

Again, the numerical model doesn’t have the ability to pour the fill in over a continuous

period of time; rather it places it in instantaneous lifts of slurry. This effectively negates

the time that the decant water above the fill is able to drain straight through the

barricade, without having to percolate through fill (as it always must be in the

numerical model). This is considered to be the reason for the significant spike in the

experimental versus modelled discharge in Figure 6.12. It may also partially explain

some of the significant flow observed in the “set-up” of previous barricade

arrangements. (i.e. when the slurry was placed –central to the model stope, it is likely

that the solids were deposited closer to the central portion of the stope and the excess

water, spread across the remainder of the floor area. When the drain barricade was

reached, free flow of water through the barricade would have occurred, until such time

as the slurry sediment, flowed up against and covered the face of the barricade wall.)

90

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

The numerical and experimental models helped to identify a number of key factors

affecting discharge:

• Darcy’s (1892) Law holds true for drainage through hydraulically placed

backfills. The rate of discharge was found to be a function of hydraulic gradient.

• The number of drain outlets influences discharge rate from a stope. The greater

the number of drain outlets along the stope face, the smaller the discharge per

drain. In general, the bottom drains cater for most of the drainage that occurs

within the stope, with the exception of when the fill initially reaches the higher

drains, and decant water is allowed to freely flow out.)

• As the barricade is moved closer to the stope face, the rate of discharge

increases.

• The numerical program FLAC3D provides a valuable tool for studying the

drainage through hydraulic fills and barricades. From the comparison of the

FLAC3D and laboratory models, similar trends in discharge were observed.

• Refinement of the developed FLAC3D model is required to more accurately

model the rate of discharge from the model (and real stopes).

• A long term investigation of the rate and quantity of discharge from a stope

should be conducted to model and verify long term characteristics and effects of

drainage through mine fill and barricades.

The numerical model developed in FLAC3D enabled us to observe predicted pore

pressures within the hydraulic fill, flow vectors within the stope and general trends in

discharge as the barricade distance is varied along the drain outlet.

Figure 6.13 demonstrates the variation in total discharge for the initial 90 minutes

draining from drain 1 of drain arrangement one for various barricade distances.

91

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

250

200

Quantity of flow (g)

150

100

50

0

0 2 4 6 8 10 12

Barriacde Distance from Stope face (cm)

Figure 6. 13– Total Discharge versus Barricade Distance from Stope Face from FLAC3D Modelling

For the four different barricade distances studied using FLAC3D, it is clear that the total

discharge during the first 90 minutes decreases with increasing barricade distance

(Figure 6.13). Nonetheless, the same amount of water is placed into the stope in each

of the four cases. Therefore, the additional water that will be drained plus the residual

water will be increasing with increasing barricade distance.

The final flow pattern for the various drain arrangements shows a similar pattern in all

simulations. Figure 6.14 represents the flow pattern from drain arrangement 1. The

specific discharge vectors for fluid flow are plotted at zone centroids.

The numerical value of seepage length is defined as the distance on the downstream

face, between the tail water elevation and the point where the magnitude of the flow

vector disappears. As seepage increases within the stope, the arrows get larger and

bolder. From figure 6.14, it is obvious that seepage is critical along the drain outlet.

The arrows represent steady state flow vectors within the stope.

92

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

As suggested by earlier models, the pore pressure development within the stope

increases as more hydraulic fill is added to the stope. The largest pore pressures within

a filled stope occur at the bottom-of the stope, furtherest from the barricade. Some of

the factors affecting pore pressure development within the stope included the location

of drain outlets and the positioning of barricades within the drain outlets. The number

of drains has a significant effect on pore pressure if additional barricades are at the

bottom of the slope; however, little variation in pore pressure was observed when an

additional drain was placed on the upper level. Secondly, the pore pressure is affected

by varying the position of the barricade within the drain outlet. As the drain is placed

further away from the stope face, the pore pressure increases.

• The rate of discharge of water through a barricade decreases with increasing

distance from the stope face.

• Flow vectors show the profile and flow of water through the stope. Drainage

occurs more freely along the shortest flow path, and thus most water drains from

the face of the stope closest to the barricades.

93

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

• Pore pressure build up, in stopes, is dictated by the amount and location of

drainage provided on the base of the stopes.

o Additional barricades on higher levels alleviate very little excess pore

pressure build up in the body of the stope. A local decrease in pore

pressure around the barricade is observed.

o Distance back to the barricade from the face is the most critical

parameter in pore pressure build up. An increase in the setback distance

significantly increases the pore pressure in the stope, (Note: this has

MAJOR operational implications). It increases the likelyhood of

liquefaction of the backfill – through reduced effective stresses in the

soil. Liquefaction may occur through the transference of any

instantaneous load (seismic event or blasting) to the pore water. In

addition to this, the increased pore pressure has implications to the

design of the barricade walls themselves. With typical design strengths

of approximately 0.4 – 0.6 MPa, a significant build up of pore pressure

may induce failure, which would lead to an inrush of hundreds of

thousands of tonnes of liquefied fill. Which constitutes a significant and

life threatening safety hazard.

94

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

CHAPTER 7

SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS

7.1 Summary

The focus of this research was to study the fundamental aspects of permeability and

drainage characteristics in hydraulically minefilled stopes. This was achieved by

undertaking numerical and laboratory modelling of drainage through a hydraulic filled

stope of specific geometry.

Initially a series of laboratory tests including specific gravity, constant and falling head

permeability tests, grain size distributions, void ratio and relative density tests were

conducted to determine the geotechnical parameters of several different hydraulic fills.

A laboratory scaled model was constructed to simulate the drainage through hydraulic

fill, of a similar stope located at Mount Isa Mines in North West Queensland. An

investigation into the effects of barricade distance along the drain outlet on discharge,

and the effect on discharge of various drain arrangements typical for a stope, were

undertaken.

Using the finite difference program FLAC3D, a 3-dimensional modelling tool which

allows the prediction of drainage and pore pressure development throughout the filling

and draining of a three dimensional hydraulic filled stope was developed. The purpose

of this model was to compare the experimental and numerical simulations, and to

demonstrate the use of FLAC3D as a potential tool for studying drainage through

hydraulic fills and barricades.

literature (Hazen, 1930; Lambe, 1952; Karol, 1965; and Das, 1985), relating the

permeability of soils to their grain size characteristics and other classification data such

as void ratios, were analysed.

Finally, an investigation into the measurement of relative density and void ratio in

hydraulic fill was conducted.

95

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

7.2 Conclusions

The research contained within this report has strengthened the understanding of

drainage through hydraulic filled stopes.

The author believes that Hazen’s equation provides the best estimation of permeability

through hydraulic fill. Das, Karol and Lamb’s relationships, all based on void ratio, are

highly dependent on the source of the material and provided relatively poor correlations

to permeability.

An investigation into the relative density of various hydraulic fills was undertaken using

in-situ void ratios obtained from laboratory testing. The relative densities of the

hydraulic fills varied within the range of 50% to 80% indicating the varying potential

for liquefaction for the various hydraulic fills. As relative density increases, liquefaction

potential decreases.

It is interesting to note that the hydraulic fill samples prepared by sedimenting the slurry

at typical water contents in the range of 25% - 35%, settled under their self weight to

produce such dense material of 50% - 80% relative density. In the mines, hydraulic

fills are placed at slightly higher water content of 30 – 40%, and thus the relative

density may be slightly different. It will be useful to study the effects of slurry water

content on the in-situ relative density.

Currently the Australian Standards AS1289.5.5.1 – 1998, recommends determining the

maximum void ratio of a cohesionless material using loose pouring of a dry soil. An

investigation into the maximum void ratio of a saturated soil was undertaken to

determine whether wet placement of the fill in the form of dilute slurry, can give a

larger maximum void ratio. Results indicate that a higher void ratio is achievable by

placing the fill as thin slurry and careful consideration is required into the calculation of

the ‘true’ maximum void ratio.

96

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

The numerical program developed using FLAC3D provides a valuable tool for studying

the drainage through hydraulic fills and barricades. From the comparison of the

FLAC3D and laboratory models, similar trends in discharge were observed. The

conclusions that have been drawn from the modelling results are:

• The rate of discharge is a function of hydraulic gradient, agreeing with Darcy’s

Law (1856).

• The number of drain outlets influences discharge rate from a stope. The greater

the number of drain outlets along the stope face, the smaller the discharge per

drain. In general, the bottom drains cater for most of the drainage that occurs

within the stope, with the exception of when the fill initially reaches the higher

drains, and decant water is allowed to freely flow out.

• The rate of discharge of water through a barricade decreases with increasing

distance from the stope face.

• Flow vectors show the profile and flow of water through the stope. Drainage

occurs more freely along the shortest flow path, and thus most water drains from

the face of the stope closest to the barricades.

• Pore pressure build up in stopes is dictated by the amount and location of

drainage provided on the base of the stopes.

o Additional barricades on higher levels alleviates very little excess pore

pressure build up in the body of the stope. A local decrease in pore

pressure around the barricade is observed.

o Distance back to the barricade from the face is the most critical

parameter in pore pressure build up. An increase in the setback distance

significantly increases the pore pressure in the stope. This has major

operation implications. It increases the likely hood of liquefaction of the

minefill, through reduced effective stresses in the soil.

Reflection on the outcomes of this work leads to the following recommendations for

further studies:

97

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions

• The numerical and laboratory model were developed considering only one

type of hydraulic fill, therefore further testing should be completed with a

number of hydraulic fills to confirm results.

• Refinement of the developed FLAC3D model is required to more accurately

model the rate of discharge from the model (and also real stopes). Also, the

model assumed an isotropic and homogeneous fill with an incompressible soil

skeleton. Further research is required to validate these assumptions.

• A long-term investigation of the rate and quantity of discharge from a stope

should be conducted both numerically and experimentally to model and verify

long term characteristics and effects of drainage through mine fill and

barricades.

• All model testing was completed for a scaled stope. It would be extremely

beneficial if actual field data were available and compared with existing

results.

• Further investigation is required into a more realistic permeability coefficient

during the sedimentation process. The value used in this study was from the

sedimented cake and thus underestimated the discharge.

• Further investigations into the effect of slurry water content on the maximum

void ratio by wet placement and in-situ relative density is also recommended.

98

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2 http://www.mininglife.com/Miner/Backfill/mine_backfill

102

APPENDIX A – Laboratory Drainage Model Results

Time Drain 1 Drain 1 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2

Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade

(min)

1 cm back 5 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 5 cm back 5 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back

from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope

5 0.1417 0.1950 0.0617 0.0000 0.1733 0.0000 0.0673 0.0673 0.0000 0.0000

10 0.0367 0.0217 0.0300 0.0000 0.0283 0.0000 0.0557 0.0557 0.0000 0.0000

15 0.0517 0.0567 0.0483 0.0000 0.0433 0.0000 0.0723 0.0723 0.0000 0.0000

20 0.0550 0.0450 0.0483 0.0000 0.0450 0.0000 0.0673 0.0673 0.0000 0.0000

25 0.0683 0.0600 0.0600 0.0000 0.0567 0.0000 0.1040 0.1040 0.0000 0.0000

30 0.0733 0.0600 0.0600 0.0000 0.0517 0.0000 0.0923 0.0923 0.0000 0.0000

35 0.0900 0.0700 0.0800 0.0000 0.0600 0.0000 0.1107 0.1107 0.0000 0.0000

40 0.0933 0.0650 0.0817 0.0000 0.0567 0.0000 0.0973 0.0973 0.0000 0.0000

45 0.1083 0.0683 0.0900 0.0000 0.0683 0.0000 0.1157 0.1157 0.0000 0.0000

50 0.1133 0.0733 0.0967 0.0000 0.0700 0.0000 0.1073 0.1073 0.0000 0.0000

55 0.1183 0.0800 0.1017 0.1367 0.0767 0.1033 0.1207 0.1207 0.0000 0.0000

60 0.1183 0.0850 0.1017 0.4300 0.0733 0.3050 0.1007 0.1007 0.0000 0.0000

65 0.1267 0.0900 0.1083 0.4300 0.0783 1.0300 0.1240 0.1240 0.9597 0.9597

70 0.1300 0.0933 0.1117 0.0550 0.0767 0.1183 0.1057 0.1057 0.0513 0.0513

75 0.1383 0.0983 0.1183 0.0567 0.1100 0.2233 0.1096 0.1096 0.0333 0.0333

80 0.1350 0.0983 0.1183 0.0433 0.0771 0.0550 0.1101 0.1101 0.0396 0.0396

85 0.1233 0.0950 0.1083 0.0333 0.0750 0.0433 0.1007 0.1007 0.0130 0.0130

90 0.1217 0.0900 0.1017 0.0300 0.0717 0.0383 0.0973 0.0973 0.0363 0.0363

103

Table A.2 – Drain Arrangement 1

Time

Outflow (g/sec) Average Outflow (g/sec) Average

(min)

Outflow Outflow

Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 1 Trial 2

5 0.023 0.260 0.142 0.303 0.087 0.195

10 0.043 0.030 0.037 0.033 0.010 0.022

15 0.063 0.040 0.052 0.057 0.057 0.057

20 0.057 0.053 0.055 0.053 0.037 0.045

25 0.073 0.063 0.068 0.070 0.050 0.060

30 0.077 0.070 0.073 0.067 0.053 0.060

35 0.093 0.087 0.090 0.087 0.053 0.070

40 0.097 0.090 0.093 0.073 0.057 0.065

45 0.110 0.107 0.108 0.077 0.060 0.068

50 0.113 0.113 0.113 0.083 0.063 0.073

55 0.120 0.117 0.118 0.093 0.067 0.080

60 0.117 0.120 0.118 0.093 0.077 0.085

65 0.127 0.127 0.127 0.100 0.080 0.090

70 0.133 0.127 0.130 0.103 0.083 0.093

75 0.143 0.133 0.138 0.110 0.087 0.098

80 0.137 0.133 0.135 0.110 0.087 0.098

85 0.123 0.123 0.123 0.107 0.083 0.095

90 0.123 0.120 0.122 0.100 0.080 0.090

104

Table A.3 – Drain Arrangement 2 : Barricade at 1 cm from Stope Face

Average Average

Time Outflow at Drain 1 (g/s) Outflow at Drain 2 (g/s)

Outflow at Outflow at

(min)

Trial 1 Trial 2 Drain 1 Trial 1 Trial 2 Drain 2

5 0.010 0.200 0.105 - - -

10 0.033 0.027 0.030 - - -

15 0.047 0.047 0.047 - - -

20 0.060 0.053 0.057 - - -

25 0.073 0.073 0.073 - - -

30 0.070 0.070 0.070 - - -

35 0.090 0.083 0.087 - - -

40 0.093 0.087 0.090 - - -

45 0.100 0.090 0.095 - - -

50 0.110 0.100 0.105 - - -

55 0.113 0.107 0.110 0.137 - 0.137

60 0.113 0.107 0.110 0.420 0.217 0.318

65 0.120 0.120 0.120 0.447 0.197 0.322

70 0.123 0.117 0.120 0.040 0.037 0.038

75 0.130 0.120 0.125 0.040 0.037 0.038

80 0.130 0.120 0.125 0.030 0.033 0.032

85 0.117 0.110 0.113 0.023 0.027 0.025

90 0.113 0.107 0.110 0.020 0.023 0.022

105

Table A.4 – Drain Arrangement 2: Barricade at 5 cm from Stope Face

Average Average

Outflow at 1 (g/s) Outflow at 2 (g/s)

Time (min) Outflow at Outflow at

Trial 1 Trial 2 Drain 1 Trial 1 Trial 2 Drain 2

5 0.257 0.090 0.173 - - -

10 0.037 0.020 0.028 - - -

15 0.060 0.027 0.043 - - -

20 0.063 0.027 0.045 - - -

25 0.077 0.037 0.057 - - -

30 0.070 0.033 0.052 - - -

35 0.080 0.040 0.060 - - -

40 0.077 0.037 0.057 - - -

45 0.090 0.047 0.068 - - -

50 0.097 0.043 0.070 - - -

55 0.103 0.050 0.077 0.103 - 0.103

60 0.100 0.047 0.073 0.293 0.317 0.305

65 0.107 0.050 0.078 1.130 0.930 1.030

70 0.103 0.050 0.077 0.183 0.053 0.118

75 0.110 0.052 0.081 0.223 0.050 0.137

80 0.100 0.054 0.077 0.077 0.033 0.055

85 0.100 0.050 0.075 0.053 0.033 0.043

90 0.097 0.047 0.072 0.047 0.030 0.038

106

Table A.5 – Drain Arrangement 3: Barricade at 1 cm from Stope Face

(min)

Drain 3 Drain 4 Drain 5 Drain 6

5 0.067 0.067 - -

10 0.056 0.056 - -

15 0.072 0.072 - -

20 0.067 0.067 - -

25 0.104 0.104 - -

30 0.092 0.092 - -

35 0.111 0.111 - -

40 0.097 0.097 - -

45 0.116 0.116 - -

50 0.107 0.107 - -

55 0.121 0.121 - -

60 0.101 0.101 - -

65 0.124 0.124 0.960 0.960

70 0.106 0.106 0.051 0.051

75 0.110 0.110 0.033 0.033

80 0.110 0.110 0.040 0.040

85 0.101 0.101 0.013 0.013

90 0.097 0.097 0.036 0.036

107

APPENDIX B – FLAC Drainage Model Results

OUTFLOW (g/s)

Drain Arrangement 1 Drain Arrangement 2 Drain Arrangement 3

Time Drain 1 Drain 1 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2

(min) Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade

1 cm back 5 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 5 cm back 5 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back

from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope

1 0.0007 0.0007 0.0007 0.0000 0.0007 0.0000 0.0007 0.0007 0.0000 0.0000

2 0.0034 0.0031 0.0034 0.0000 0.0031 0.0000 0.0033 0.0033 0.0000 0.0000

3 0.0068 0.0054 0.0068 0.0000 0.0054 0.0000 0.0061 0.0061 0.0000 0.0000

4 0.0099 0.0039 0.0099 0.0000 0.0039 0.0000 0.0083 0.0083 0.0000 0.0000

5 0.0130 0.0054 0.0130 0.0000 0.0054 0.0000 0.0106 0.0106 0.0000 0.0000

6 0.0130 0.0054 0.0130 0.0000 0.0054 0.0000 0.0105 0.0105 0.0000 0.0000

7 0.0130 0.0054 0.0130 0.0000 0.0054 0.0000 0.0105 0.0105 0.0000 0.0000

8 0.0130 0.0054 0.0130 0.0000 0.0054 0.0000 0.0105 0.0105 0.0000 0.0000

9 0.0130 0.0054 0.0130 0.0000 0.0054 0.0000 0.0105 0.0105 0.0000 0.0000

10 0.0130 0.0054 0.0130 0.0000 0.0054 0.0000 0.0105 0.0105 0.0000 0.0000

11 0.0154 0.0067 0.0154 0.0000 0.0067 0.0000 0.0120 0.0120 0.0000 0.0000

12 0.0183 0.0080 0.0183 0.0000 0.0080 0.0000 0.0140 0.0140 0.0000 0.0000

13 0.0206 0.0093 0.0206 0.0000 0.0093 0.0000 0.0154 0.0154 0.0000 0.0000

14 0.0233 0.0106 0.0233 0.0000 0.0106 0.0000 0.0172 0.0172 0.0000 0.0000

15 0.0259 0.0119 0.0259 0.0000 0.0119 0.0000 0.0189 0.0189 0.0000 0.0000

16 0.0259 0.0119 0.0259 0.0000 0.0119 0.0000 0.0189 0.0189 0.0000 0.0000

17 0.0259 0.0119 0.0259 0.0000 0.0119 0.0000 0.0189 0.0189 0.0000 0.0000

18 0.0259 0.0119 0.0259 0.0000 0.0119 0.0000 0.0189 0.0189 0.0000 0.0000

19 0.0258 0.0119 0.0258 0.0000 0.0119 0.0000 0.0189 0.0189 0.0000 0.0000

20 0.0258 0.0119 0.0258 0.0000 0.0119 0.0000 0.0189 0.0189 0.0000 0.0000

21 0.0277 0.0131 0.0277 0.0000 0.0131 0.0000 0.0199 0.0199 0.0000 0.0000

22 0.0301 0.0143 0.0301 0.0000 0.0143 0.0000 0.0214 0.0214 0.0000 0.0000

23 0.0317 0.0154 0.0317 0.0000 0.0154 0.0000 0.0222 0.0222 0.0000 0.0000

24 0.0338 0.0166 0.0338 0.0000 0.0166 0.0000 0.0235 0.0235 0.0000 0.0000

25 0.0359 0.0178 0.0359 0.0000 0.0178

108 0.0000 0.0248 0.0248 0.0000 0.0000

Drain Arrangement 1 Drain Arrangement 2 Drain Arrangement 3

Time Drain 1 Drain 1 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2

Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade

(min)

1 cm back 5 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 5 cm back 5 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back

from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope

29 0.0359 0.0178 0.0358 0.0000 0.0178 0.0000 0.0247 0.0247 0.0000 0.0000

30 0.0358 0.0178 0.0358 0.0000 0.0178 0.0000 0.0247 0.0247 0.0000 0.0000

31 0.0371 0.0188 0.0371 0.0000 0.0188 0.0000 0.0253 0.0253 0.0000 0.0000

32 0.0390 0.0199 0.0390 0.0000 0.0199 0.0000 0.0264 0.0264 0.0000 0.0000

33 0.0402 0.0208 0.0402 0.0000 0.0208 0.0000 0.0269 0.0269 0.0000 0.0000

34 0.0419 0.0219 0.0419 0.0000 0.0219 0.0000 0.0279 0.0279 0.0000 0.0000

35 0.0436 0.0229 0.0436 0.0000 0.0229 0.0000 0.0289 0.0289 0.0000 0.0000

36 0.0436 0.0229 0.0436 0.0000 0.0229 0.0000 0.0289 0.0289 0.0000 0.0000

37 0.0436 0.0229 0.0436 0.0000 0.0229 0.0000 0.0289 0.0289 0.0000 0.0000

38 0.0436 0.0229 0.0436 0.0000 0.0229 0.0000 0.0289 0.0289 0.0000 0.0000

39 0.0436 0.0229 0.0436 0.0000 0.0229 0.0000 0.0289 0.0289 0.0000 0.0000

40 0.0436 0.0229 0.0436 0.0000 0.0229 0.0000 0.0288 0.0288 0.0000 0.0000

41 0.0445 0.0238 0.0445 0.0000 0.0237 0.0000 0.0292 0.0292 0.0000 0.0000

42 0.0461 0.0248 0.0461 0.0000 0.0248 0.0000 0.0300 0.0300 0.0000 0.0000

43 0.0469 0.0256 0.0469 0.0000 0.0256 0.0000 0.0303 0.0303 0.0000 0.0000

44 0.0483 0.0265 0.0483 0.0000 0.0265 0.0000 0.0311 0.0311 0.0000 0.0000

45 0.0498 0.0275 0.0498 0.0000 0.0275 0.0000 0.0319 0.0319 0.0000 0.0000

46 0.0498 0.0275 0.0498 0.0000 0.0275 0.0000 0.0319 0.0319 0.0000 0.0000

47 0.0497 0.0275 0.0497 0.0000 0.0275 0.0000 0.0319 0.0319 0.0000 0.0000

48 0.0497 0.0275 0.0497 0.0000 0.0275 0.0000 0.0319 0.0319 0.0000 0.0000

49 0.0497 0.0275 0.0497 0.0000 0.0275 0.0000 0.0319 0.0319 0.0000 0.0000

50 0.0497 0.0275 0.0497 0.0000 0.0275 0.0000 0.0319 0.0319 0.0000 0.0000

51 0.0503 0.0282 0.0503 0.0000 0.0282 0.0000 0.0320 0.0320 0.0000 0.0000

52 0.0517 0.0291 0.0517 0.0000 0.0291 0.0000 0.0328 0.0328 0.0000 0.0000

53 0.0522 0.0298 0.0522 0.0000 0.0298 0.0000 0.0329 0.0329 0.0000 0.0000

54 0.0535 0.0307 0.0535 0.0000 0.0307 0.0000 0.0336 0.0336 0.0000 0.0000

55 0.0547 0.0316 0.0547 0.0000 0.0316 0.0000 0.0342 0.0342 0.0000 0.0000

56 0.0547 0.0316 0.0547 0.0000 0.0316 0.0000 0.0342 0.0342 0.0000 0.0000

57 0.0547 0.0316 0.0547 0.0000 0.0316 0.0000 0.0342 0.0342 0.0000 0.0000

58 0.0547 0.0316 0.0547 0.0000 0.0316 0.0000 0.0342 0.0342 0.0000 0.0000

109

Drain Arrangement 1 Drain Arrangement 2 Drain Arrangement 3

Time Drain 1 Drain 1 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2 Drain 1 Drain 2

Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade Barricade

(min)

1 cm back 5 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 5 cm back 5 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back 1 cm back

from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope from stope

60 0.0547 0.0315 0.0547 0.0000 0.0315 0.0000 0.0342 0.0342 0.0000 0.0000

61 0.0551 0.0321 0.0551 0.0000 0.0321 0.0000 0.0343 0.0343 0.0000 0.0000

62 0.0563 0.0330 0.0563 0.0000 0.0330 0.0000 0.0349 0.0349 0.0000 0.0000

63 0.0567 0.0336 0.0566 17.3367 0.0336 18.3833 0.0349 0.0349 0.0056 0.0056

64 0.0578 0.0344 0.0524 0.5360 0.0311 0.5591 0.0354 0.0354 0.0105 0.0105

65 0.0588 0.0352 0.0533 0.5402 0.0318 0.5616 0.0358 0.0358 0.0226 0.0226

66 0.0588 0.0352 0.0532 0.0001 0.0317 0.0000 0.0358 0.0358 0.0225 0.0225

67 0.0588 0.0352 0.0532 0.0001 0.0317 0.0001 0.0358 0.0358 0.0224 0.0224

68 0.0588 0.0352 0.0532 0.0002 0.0317 0.0002 0.0358 0.0358 0.0223 0.0223

69 0.0588 0.0352 0.0532 0.0004 0.0317 0.0004 0.0358 0.0358 0.0221 0.0221

70 0.0588 0.0352 0.0532 0.0006 0.0317 0.0006 0.0357 0.0357 0.0220 0.0220

71 0.0591 0.0357 0.0536 0.0014 0.0322 0.0012 0.0355 0.0355 0.0127 0.0127

72 0.0601 0.0365 0.0546 0.0039 0.0330 0.0024 0.0358 0.0358 0.0131 0.0131

73 0.0604 0.0370 0.0548 0.0046 0.0335 0.0032 0.0356 0.0356 0.0116 0.0116

74 0.0613 0.0376 0.0556 0.0067 0.0342 0.0043 0.0358 0.0358 0.0125 0.0125

75 0.0608 0.0374 0.0564 0.0086 0.0349 0.0054 0.0354 0.0354 0.0107 0.0107

76 0.0608 0.0374 0.0564 0.0086 0.0349 0.0054 0.0354 0.0354 0.0107 0.0107

77 0.0608 0.0374 0.0564 0.0086 0.0349 0.0053 0.0354 0.0354 0.0107 0.0107

78 0.0608 0.0374 0.0564 0.0085 0.0349 0.0053 0.0354 0.0354 0.0106 0.0106

79 0.0608 0.0373 0.0564 0.0085 0.0349 0.0053 0.0354 0.0354 0.0106 0.0106

80 0.0608 0.0373 0.0564 0.0085 0.0349 0.0053 0.0353 0.0353 0.0106 0.0106

81 0.0595 0.0369 0.0565 0.0088 0.0352 0.0059 0.0346 0.0346 0.0076 0.0076

82 0.0589 0.0366 0.0571 0.0105 0.0359 0.0069 0.0342 0.0342 0.0063 0.0063

83 0.0576 0.0361 0.0564 0.0086 0.0356 0.0065 0.0336 0.0336 0.0039 0.0039

84 0.0576 0.0361 0.0564 0.0086 0.0356 0.0065 0.0336 0.0336 0.0039 0.0039

85 0.0576 0.0361 0.0564 0.0086 0.0356 0.0065 0.0336 0.0336 0.0039 0.0039

86 0.0576 0.0361 0.0564 0.0085 0.0356 0.0064 0.0336 0.0336 0.0039 0.0039

87 0.0576 0.0361 0.0564 0.0085 0.0356 0.0064 0.0336 0.0336 0.0039 0.0039

88 0.0576 0.0361 0.0564 0.0085 0.0356 0.0064 0.0336 0.0336 0.0039 0.0039

89 0.0576 0.0361 0.0564 0.0084 0.0356 0.0064 0.0336 0.0336 0.0038 0.0038

90 0.0575 0.0361 0.0564 0.0084 0.0356 0.0064 0.0336 0.0336 0.0038 0.0038

110

APPENDIX C – Maximum Wet Placement Void Ratio

Sample Specific Mapparatus Mtray ρd min emax using wet

Mine Cylinder apparatus fill Mdry fill + tray Mdry fill 3

No. Gravity 2 (g) (g) g/cm placement

(cm ) (g) (cm)

Mine A 1 2.8 63.62 1322 4288 11.9 293 1336 1043 1.38 1.032

2 2.8 63.62 1323 4290 12 293 1345 1052 1.38 1.032

3 2.8 63.62 1323 4289 12.1 293 1344 1051 1.37 1.051

4 2.8 63.62 1323 4289 12 293 1336 1043 1.37 1.049

Mine F 1 4.345 63.62 1332 4298 7.7 323 1367 1044 2.13 1.039

2 4.345 63.62 1336 4302 7.9 263 1303 1040 2.07 1.100

3 4.345 63.62 1334 4300 7.8 263 1312 1049 2.11 1.055

4 4.345 63.62 1334 4300 7.9 266 1314 1048 2.09 1.084

111