Numerical Modeling of cemented mine backfill deposition

Matthew Helinski, Martin Fahey, Andy Fourie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


In current underground mining practice, it is common to use tailings, without added cement, to fill mined-out voids ("stopes"). If fine-grained tailings are used, the high placement rates and low permeability can often result in undrained loading conditions and, hence, lower effective stress, when assessed in the conventional manner. Where cement is added, the cement modifies the consolidation characteristics in a number of ways, including increasing the strength and stiffness, reducing the permeability, and inducing volumetric changes associated with the hydration reactions leading to "self-desiccation." As a result, conventional consolidation-analysis techniques are unsuitable for assessing the behavior. The one-dimensional mine-tailings-consolidation program (MinTaCo) has been modified, and renamed CeMinTaCo, to couple cement hydration with conventional consolidation analysis. The fundamental theory behind the modifications is presented. The model is used to undertake a sensitivity study, which highlights some of the important features of the behavior of cemented backfill, and shows how complex interactions between the various properties produce some outcomes that are counterintuitive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1308-1319
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenviromental Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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