Properties of Mine Tailings for Static Liquefaction Assessment

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Static liquefaction has been associated with numerous recent failures of tailings storage facilities (TSFs) around the globe (e.g., the 2019 failure of Dam I at the Corrego de Feijao mine in Brumadinho). These failures lead to devastating consequences for the environment and civil infrastructure as well as the loss of human lives. This webinar will discuss trends for the mechanical response of mine tailings considering a broad range of states, particle size distributions, and compressibility. The aforementioned trends are evaluated in the context of static liquefaction using critical state soil mechanics concepts, focusing on key aspects such as the shear strength variation (residual and peak), state and brittleness indexes, and dilatancy. In particular, it is highlighted that mine tailings mechanical properties reflect both the properties of the particles themselves and the relative proportions of different particle sizes. Finally, the webinar will also discuss the challenges in assessing static liquefaction at the TSF scale and how mine tailings properties are incorporated in the process.

Learning objectives 

Present static liquefaction as just another manifestation of the response of particulate materials. 

Understand how mine tailings are characterized for liquefaction assessment purposes. 

Present the state of practice and challenges of assessing static liquefaction on mine tailings. 

The participants will learn: 

How mine tailings are characterized under the critical state soil mechanics framework. 

How mine tailings mechanical properties affect their response. 

The challenges on assessing static liquefaction at the TSF scale. 

Jorge Macedo, Ph.D., PE.

Georgia Institute of Technology, chair of the TAILENG center

Dr. Jorge Macedo is an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received B.S. (2007) and M.S. (2013) degrees from the Peruvian National University of Engineering and M.S. (2014) and Ph.D. (2017) degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, all majoring in civil engineering. Dr. Macedo practiced as a geotechnical tailings engineer for six years (2008-2013), working on major mining projects in Peru, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil from conception to detailed engineering design, and he holds PE licenses in California and Peru. Dr. Macedo‚Äôs main research areas are geotechnical earthquake engineering, data-driven risk engineering applied to multi-hazards, and mining geotechnics. His research aims to make geotechnical infrastructure systems (e.g., tailings dams) and cities more resilient against natural and man-made hazards, saving lives, and reducing economic losses. Dr. Macedo is also the founder and chair of the TAilings and IndustriaL waste ENGineering (TAILENG) center that focuses on improving the sustainability of infrastructure in the mining and power industries and is active in investigating intermediate man-made materials such as mine tailings. 


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03/17/2022 at 10:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 04/22/2022
03/17/2022 at 10:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 04/22/2022
Online Workshop Evaluation
2 Questions
PDH Certificate
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available