Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Engineering Science

Program

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Supervisor

Prof. M. Hesham El-Naggar

Abstract

Mine tailings are the byproduct of mining activities, which need to be disposed of once the ore is extracted. They can be disposed of in either dry or wet forms. The latter is most common with the tailings being disposed of in the form of slurry inside retention structures. The retention structure may be a natural, manmade, or built dam, which is the case in most of nowadays mining locations. In this thesis, improving the stability of an upstream tailings dam using soil additives is investigated. The experimental phase of this study involved laboratory tests conducted to characterize mine tailings and to investigate any change in their properties upon stabilization with traditional and non-traditional additives; namely, emulsified polymer and a mixture composed of Cement Kiln Dust, CKD, and re-cycled Gypsum. Afterwards, the soil modified parameters are used to establish finite element model employing the commercial code PLAXIS 2D to simulate the behavior of the improved soil when a tailings dam is formed. The numerical model demonstrated that utilizing CKD: B mix increased the overall stability tailings’ impoundment and indicated it is very useful to construct robust dams yet being environmentally friendly.

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