Evaluation of Viscosity, Strength and Microstructural Properties of Cemented Tailings Backfill

Cao S., Yilmaz E., Song W.

MINERALS, vol.8, no.8, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/min8080352
  • Journal Name: MINERALS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: cement tailings backfill, viscosity, compressive strength, microstructural properties, curing process, quantitative characterization, PASTE BACKFILL, MECHANICAL-PROPERTIES, COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH, BEHAVIOR, SUPERPLASTICIZER, PERFORMANCE, REACTIVITY, RHEOLOGY, TESTS
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, the particle size distribution and chemical composition of gold mine tailings were examined experimentally. A series of viscosity and uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) tests were used to study the relations between the viscosity of cemented tailings backfill (CTB) slurry, the solid content (SD), and the cement-to-tailings ratio (c/t). Relations between UCS performance of CTB and SD, c/t, and curing time (CT) were discussed while examining the microstructure of 28-day cured backfill with different solid contents. Results illustrate that a major increase in CTB viscosity by increasing the SD leads to the formation of tailings grains for a skeleton formation, which is formed due to consolidation and gravitational forces. The CTB's strength increases with the increase of c/t, SD, and CT, due to a decrease in water-to-cement ratio and porosity, and an increase in hydration products over time. The SEM micrographs show how CTB's microstructure is affected by the SD, generating ettringites and calcium silicate hydrates in the backfill matrix. The findings of this study will lead to an efficient CTB mix design for reaching the higher performance in underground mining structures, thereby reducing expenses related to the backfill.