Shear Strength of Homestake Slimes Tailings

by James V. Hamel, (A.M.ASCE), Proj. Engr.; Gen. Analytics, Inc., Monroeville, PA,
James W. Gunderson, (A.M.ASCE), Mining Engineer; Midland Coal Co., Trivoli, IL,


Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 5, Pg. 427-432


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Tailings are waste products from mining and mineral extraction. This paper presents data on the shear strength of silt size tailings (slimes) from a gold mine in South Dakota. Test results are provided from 22 direct shear tests. Slimes from this mine have a relatively high shear strength which increases with increasing density. This high strength is attributed to particle interlock and to attractive electrical forces between layer lattice. As saturation increases, the slimes exhibit a decrease in shear strength which is attributed to hydration of ions on the surfaces of layer lattice mineral particles and the resulting reduction in attractive interparticle electrical force.

Subject Headings: Shear strength | Mine wastes | Shear tests | Mines and mining | Particles | Soil strength | Minerals | Lattices | North America | South Dakota | United States

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