Mining activities are strategic for global development, as they provide the raw materials for a wide range of industrial activities. To do this, they extract and treat the raw material using various extraction processes (crushing, grinding, gravitation, flotation and cyanidation), generating large quantities of waste. Proper management of this waste is a challenge for the mining industry. There are various methods of storing these tailings. Among them, dry stacking of tailings, known as dry stacking, is currently considered to be the most sustainable and safe method. In this method, after drying, the tailings are compacted layer by layer to ensure their stability. Regular operational checks are carried out to limit any breakages that could cause considerable environmental and human disasters.

Sol Solution, in conjunction with the mine operators, have provided a technological complement to the compaction control process currently in place (sand cone, nucleo-densimeter) by using the Panda® variable energy instrumented dynamic light penetrometer. This provides a faster, more cost-effective alternative to current methods. The Panda® makes it possible to multiply the number of tests and thus increase the operational yield of data collection, making it easier to assess the spatial variability of tailings deposits.

In order to apply the Panda-based compaction control method, laboratory tests were carried out to establish reference curves for the controlled residue. An in situ test campaign was then carried out to apply the method and compare it with traditional methods. This study made it possible to optimise the compaction procedure and make layer control more efficient.

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