Analysis of Slurry Dams Through Interpretation of Cone Penetration Data and Slope Stability Modelling

Rahul Verma, Thuto Champi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Most mines that extract precious minerals like gold and diamonds usually process the ore on site to recover the
minerals. The tailings from the processing plants have to be contained in tailings or slurry dams in a safe and an
environmentally friendly manner. Tatama Mine, a hypothetical mine, has been mining and processing ore to
recover a precious mineral over five decades and dumping the slurry from its processing plant initially into one
slurry dam and later in a second slurry dam.
This research involved slope stability analysis of Tatama Mine’s second slurry dam. Finite Element (FE) strength
reduction technique was used, and the findings were compared with the results from three Limit Equilibrium (LE)
analysis techniques, namely Bishop Simplified, Spencer’s and Morgenstern-Price methods. FE analysis was
executed using RS2 2019 while the LE analysis was done using Slide 2018. Cone Penetration Testing with pore
pressure measurements (CPTu) was used to properly define the slurry embankment materials to assess the stability
of the slurry dam.
The results show that the LE and FE factors of safety (FoS) were in agreement with an average difference of
±5.28%. The overall probability of failure of the slurry dam was zero and overall reliability was satisfactory with
factors of safety for all slurry dam walls averaging at 1.65. The key governing parameter was the friction angle of
the materials that make up the dam walls.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Webinar on “NATURAL HAZARDS AND MANAGEMENT”
Subtitle of host publicationBundelkhand University & Institute of Geology, KRC, RAS, Petrozavodsk, Russia
Publication statusPublished - Nov 23 2021


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