Tailings have been traditionally stored in ponds surrounded by tailings dams for many years but since many accidents, including fatal ones, took place that involved tailings dams, a new approach has become necessary for their storage. An approach devised by Robinsky in the early seventies for the storage and disposal of mine tailings suggests that it is more advantageous environmentally to strengthen the tailings before disposal. This work attempts to emphasize this point by seeking to explore the possibility of using these hardened tailings as base materials for the construction of unpaved (temporary access) roads. Six different types of tailings that represent a cross section from several mines in eastern Canada are used and preliminary physical characteristics tests were performed followed by unconfined compressive testing. Initial results indicate that the tailings sustained more than the minimum amount of stress normally required for filling stopes and the layer coefficients determined for five of the tailings used match reasonably well with values from ten United States state departments of transportation.
Mahmood, Ali A. and Mulligan, Catherine N.
"Investigation Of The Use Of Mine Tailings For Unpaved Road Base,"
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water and Energy:
Vol. 12, Article 11.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/soilsproceedings/vol12/iss1/11