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A Meso-Scale Column Test for Co-Mixed Tailings and Waste Rock

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  • The settlement and drainage behaviour of co-mix, or mixtures of waste rock and tailings, are examined in a column study. Three co-mix profiles were observed for settlement, drainage, and pore water pressure response. A fourth profile with waste rock and no tailings was also observed for settlement. Co-mix consolidated faster than predictions for tailings alone, and maintained a saturated void space relative to waste rock alone. Practical benefits of co-mix as a waste disposal technology may include faster time to consolidation than tailings, a reduction in total settlement of placed material compared to tailings alone, and a reduction in acid drainage by limiting the flow of water and oxygen through maintenance of a saturated void space.

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