Stability investigation of Eti Copper Mine tailings dam using finite element analysis

Tanrıseven, Esra Nur
In mining industry, waste storage is a very prominent issue; in this respect, safety of storage structures is one of the leading problems in the industry. Most of the tailings dams require remedial measures, throughout their lifespan to increase their reliability. The objective of the study is to investigate stability problems of formerly constructed but newly raised Eti Copper Mine tailings dam and alternative dam geometries for future raises. Plenty of methods were developed to analyze the reliability of structures; limit equilibrium methods, finite element methods and finite difference methods are among them. In this case, stability of the dam was analyzed with finite element method under static loading conditions. In order to determine input parameters properly, disturbed samples obtained at the field investigations were used. For this purpose, several laboratory experiments were conducted to determine natural moisture content, grain size distribution, specific gravity, Atterberg limits, maximum dry density and shear strength parameters of tailings and embankment material.