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Minerals 2017, 7(4), 48; doi:10.3390/min7040048

Rational Utilization of Fine Unclassified Tailings and Activated Blast Furnace Slag with High Calcium

1,2,* , 1,2,* and 1,2,3
School of Resources and Safety Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
Hunan Key Laboratory of Mineral Resources Exploitation and Hazard Control for Deep Metal Mines, Changsha 410083, China
Lanzhou Engineering & Research Institute of Nonferrous Metallurgy Co., Ltd., Lanzhou 730000, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mostafa Fayek
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1920 KB, uploaded 26 March 2017]   |  


The utilization of cemented tailings/paste backfill (CPB) by the mining industry is becoming increasingly important. However, it has been difficult to analyze the economic usage of CPB for fine unclassified tailings. Therefore, the physical and chemical properties of fine unclassified tailings, sampled from the Sijiaying Mine, were first analyzed in this study. After this, active excitation of blast furnace slag was examined, with a cement mixture made up of slag, lime, plaster and cement being used to conduct the physicochemical evaluations and proportioning tests. These results were compared with those from ordinary cement. It was revealed that the cement mixture can effectively harden the unclassified tailings. The cement mixture specimens have good performance in early strength, with the seven-day strength being about twice as high as ordinary cement, which meets the requirements for efficient continuous mining. This strength was reduced after 10 days due to expansion and complicated reactions, with an average reduction of 11.8% after 28 days under recommended and better conditions. In addition, analysis of the microstructures was carried out to observe the hydration products and the change in strength. Furthermore, fluidity characteristics of the slurry were measured, with the slurry found to have a mass fraction of 70%–72% in addition to containing an ideal fluidity and a paste-like flow state. Considering the mining conditions, the aggregates with a tailings-cement ratio of 6:1 and a mass fraction of 70%–72% are recommended as high-strength CPB, which should be used for the surface layer and safety pillars. In addition, backfilling materials with a tailings-cement ratio of 15:1 and a mass fraction of 70%–72% are recommended as low-strength CPB, which should be used as ordinary CPB to achieve economic benefits. The application cases showed that the cement mixture is suitable for utilization of unclassified tailings with regards to safety, economics and efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: fine unclassified tailings; slag; high calcium; early strength; strength reduction fine unclassified tailings; slag; high calcium; early strength; strength reduction

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhou, Y.; Deng, H.; Liu, J. Rational Utilization of Fine Unclassified Tailings and Activated Blast Furnace Slag with High Calcium. Minerals 2017, 7, 48.

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