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W.L. Oliveira‐Filho, UFOP D.R. Silva, SAMARCO F.E. Almeida, SAMARCO

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Presentation on theme: "W.L. Oliveira‐Filho, UFOP D.R. Silva, SAMARCO F.E. Almeida, SAMARCO"— Presentation transcript:

1 W.L. Oliveira‐Filho, UFOP D.R. Silva, SAMARCO F.E. Almeida, SAMARCO
Thickening of iron ore tailings slimes using sub-aerial deposition: field experimental observations W.L. Oliveira‐Filho, UFOP D.R. Silva, SAMARCO F.E. Almeida, SAMARCO

2 Contents Introduction Background Field experimental studies
Analyses of experimental data Conclusion

3 Introduction Desiccation & Sub-aerial Studies Timeline

4 Background Alternative disposal techniques for slimes Types
sub-aerial deposition Thickened Paste filtered Common aspects Intermitent: cycles of waiting and disposal periods Physical processes: sedimentation, consolidation and desiccation

5 Background Desiccation Importance Triggering mechanisms
The most effective phenomena for rehabilitation work, optimizing storage, and reducing risks regarding containment structure failure Triggering mechanisms Surface drying Lowering the GWT Driving force and Phases Suction 1D shrinkage 3D shrinkage (cracking) Comprehensive works Abu-Hejleh & Znidarcic (1995) and Yao et al. (2002) Konrad & Ayad (1997) Fujiyasu (1997)

6 Background Compressibility Constitutive relations Permeability
Main input relationships for analyses with CONDES (Yao et al. 2002) Constitutive relations Compressibility Permeability Cracking function a - function

7 Field experimental studies
Goal & strategies To gain some understanding of the main mechanisms that play a role in the sub-aerial method applied to Samarco’s slimes To investigate consolidation separately from desiccation using a field experiment To focus on slimes desiccation because was lesser known and more challenging

8 Field experimental studies
Site & operations Location: inside the Germano tailings impoundment (Samarco Mineração S.A.) in Mariana, MG. Impoundment figures: 3 m high ring dyke, confining an area of 4,850 m2. Foundation: 2 m of coarse siliceous tailings, grading from fine sand to medium silt, underlain by a deep layer of iron tailings slimes. Ground water table: at the contact of those layers, 2 m below the surface. Drainage system: stop logs installed at the lower part (bottom at 2% slope) Access: a pier to the centre of the testing area for instrumentation maintenance and sampling operations Filling: slimes pumped from an adjacent slimes pond at the Germano impoundment Water cover: 5 to 10 cm deep during the filling process and consolidation period to prevent early desiccation. Surface water removal: for the desiccation part of the test.

9 Field experimental studies
Instrumentation, testing & instalation Devices: Geotechnical: Thermistors, settlement devices (staff gauges), tensiometers, piezometers, time domain reflectometry probes (TDRs) Climate: Weather station and a class A pan test Placement: Thermistors and TDR probes launched at certain pond elevations during the deposit filling (movable position) All other instruments at fixed positions Testing Periodic sampling using a stationary sampler Gravimetric water content determination Specific gravity and bulk density.

10 Field experimental studies
Overview of the testing site

11 Analyses of experimental data
Input data for analyses with CONDES Analyses Data/Parameters Consolidation Compressibility and Permeability parameters A (kPa-1) 2.5438 B C (m/dia) 9.45 x 10-4 D 4.2370 Z (kPa) 0.0495 Boundary conditions Bottom hp= variable Top Surcharge null Specific gravity - G 3.89 Filling rate (m/day) 0.0603 Filling period (day) 34 Desiccation Cracking function parameters A 0.3859 0.0508 C 1.3665 0.626 x 1018 hp= m Evap. rate = 0.002 m/day

12 Analyses of experimental data
Progress of the deposit height (at day 84 starts desiccation)

13 Analyses of experimental data
Progress of volumetric water content (day 84 starts desiccation)

14 Analyses of experimental data
Progress of gravimetric water content (desiccation starts at day 84)

15 Analyses of experimental data
Progress of bulk densities (desiccation starts at day 84)

16 Analyses of experimental data
Progress in solids content (desiccation starts at day 84)

17 Analyses of experimental data
Progress of porepressure at base (desiccation starts at day 84)

18 Analyses of experimental data
Meteorological data during field experiments (desiccation starts at day 84)

19 Analyses of experimental data
Progress of evaporation with data from the weather station and Class A device

20 Analyses of experimental data
Progress of cracking (a) day 89, (b) day 92, (c) day 94

21 Conclusions Characterization of the desiccation behaviour of a fine tailings from the iron ore milling operations was successfully reached. A test section was built and monitored, using an extensive sort of instruments and tests. Material behaviour and boundary conditions were assessed such as settlement, water content, bulk densities, solids content, porewater pressures, evaporation rates, etc. Cracking morphology has also been described. Sub-aerial deposition conditions was examined as a part a large study of alternative methods for slimes. A brief comparison of field data with a numerical modelling of the problem was presented and the results have shown consistent agreement. Overall, the research seems to suggest that reasonable efficiency with slimes thickening can be achieved by the sub-aerial disposition method.


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