The Bureau of Mines surveyed waste disposal sites at 18 metal and nonmetal mines and conducted laboratory and full-scale field tests to determine the effects of tailings deposition techniques on physical properties of tailings pond beaches. Survey data included measurements of beach slopes, descriptions of deposition techniques, and measurements of beach physical properties taken at various distances from the point of discharge. Laboratory tests involved depositing two types of tailings, each with different grain-size distributions, into a settling trough and determining the resultant physical properties of settled materials along the length of the beach. Side confinement and the closeness of the water pool to the point of deposition caused the laboratory results to be inconclusive. Full-scale field deposition tests conducted at the tailings pond of a cooperating mine showed that there were similarities in relationships between exit velocities of tailings slurry and physical properties of the settled tailings on the beach.
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