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ArticleName Geomechanical stress–strain assessment of enclosing rock mass in backfilling mined-out voids with uranium hydrometallurgy residue
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2023.07.01
ArticleAuthor Lizunkin V. M., Bodrov A. S., Lizunkin M. V., Sosnovskaya E. L.

Transbaikal State University, Chita, Russia:

V. M. Lizunkin, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences
M. V. Lizunkin, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences,


E. P. Slavsky PIMCU, Krasnokamensk, Russia:

A. S. Bodrov, Chief Engineer at Central Research Laboratory, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


Institute of Mining, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Yekaterinburg, Russia:
E. L. Sosnovskaya, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences


Over 70 million tons of hydrometallurgical waste have been accumulated in the surface tailings ponds of PJSC PIMCU. The volume of disposal of the waste increases annually, which negatively affects the ecology and financial performance of the Company. It is possible to reduce the volume of old and new ore processing waste by recycling it as a backfill or its components when using mining systems with a cemented paste backfill. The purpose of this work was the geomechanical stress–strain assessment of enclosing rock mass when filling mined-out voids with residue of hydrometallurgical processing of uranium ores. The stress–strain analysis was carried out as a case-study of extraction block 4B-715 of underground mine No. 1 before and after backfilling. The studies used the mixed-type technique of engineering calculations and finite element modeling with the certified FEM software. The simulation was carried out for four geomechanical models along a vertical cross-section across the strike of the ore body and along a horizontal section for the conditions of an empty and backfilled mined-out void. The most unstable areas in the empty mined-out void are the corners of the roof, as well as the local sections in the middle of longitudinal sidewalls in the void and the junctions of the sidewalls with the cross walls. Before backfilling, there can be detachments in the walls and collapses in the corners of the roof and at the wall junctions. After backfilling, the stresses at the boundary of the mined-out space reduce to a level below the strength of adjacent rock mass. The stope filled with a backfill made of hydrometallurgy residue is in the stable condition.

keywords Hydrometallurgical tailings, uranium ore processing, backfill material, rock mass stress–strain behavior, finite element modeling, geomechanical model, enclosing rocks, compressive strength

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