Location

Arlington, Virginia

Date

14 Aug 2008, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Abstract

This paper presents the studies carried out to determine the stability of a tailings dam for its existing state and for a planned heightening. The dam is made of rockfill; it is about 3 500 m long and its maximum height is presently 38 m. The tailings are heterogeneous; they originate from three industrial enterprises in the region and are transported mixed with water, through supply pipelines. The facility is built on foundation made up of clays, underlain by marl. The present study consists of seepage analysis; consolidation analysis to assess the stress states at different stages during the building of the dam and the filling of the pond; time-domain earthquake analysis to evaluate the maximum response of the structure during seismic excitation; and slope stability analysis. The analyses are performed by means of the finite-element method through the GEO-SLOPE program. Based on the analyses, it is concluded that the structural safety of the existing facility is sufficient for both usual and unusual (earthquake) load combinations. Several alternatives are considered for possible heightening of the tailings dam and the corresponding factors of safety are computed for each one. The best heightening option is selected based on technical and economical consideration.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Meeting Name

6th Conference of the International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Publisher

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2008 Missouri University of Science and Technology, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Stability Analysis of a Tailings Dam: Existing State and Planned Heightening

Arlington, Virginia

This paper presents the studies carried out to determine the stability of a tailings dam for its existing state and for a planned heightening. The dam is made of rockfill; it is about 3 500 m long and its maximum height is presently 38 m. The tailings are heterogeneous; they originate from three industrial enterprises in the region and are transported mixed with water, through supply pipelines. The facility is built on foundation made up of clays, underlain by marl. The present study consists of seepage analysis; consolidation analysis to assess the stress states at different stages during the building of the dam and the filling of the pond; time-domain earthquake analysis to evaluate the maximum response of the structure during seismic excitation; and slope stability analysis. The analyses are performed by means of the finite-element method through the GEO-SLOPE program. Based on the analyses, it is concluded that the structural safety of the existing facility is sufficient for both usual and unusual (earthquake) load combinations. Several alternatives are considered for possible heightening of the tailings dam and the corresponding factors of safety are computed for each one. The best heightening option is selected based on technical and economical consideration.