Modelling Slope Stability of Slurry Dams Using Cone Penetration Method

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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
secondslurry 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
Pages (from-to)30– 38
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Advances in Engineering and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2022


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