Monitoring the electrical properties of metal ore mine tailings during sedimentation

Rafael Monroy, William John McCarter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)


Material characterisation and process monitoring in particulate media can be enhanced by measuring electric properties. In this study, temporal changes in electrical resistivity were recorded during the sedimentation of gold and copper mine tailings (i.e. crushed rock particles deposited as a slurry). A small sedimentation column, fitted with four sets of electrodes, was used to perform undrained settling tests on slurries with solid contents over the range 50-65%. It was observed that during sedimentation, the electrical resistivity increased to a constant steady-state value as the porosity of the slurry decreased. The data were modelled using Archie's law to highlight the effect of pore fluid resistivity, porosity and tortuosity on the bulk resistivity of the tailings mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-154
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Geotechnics
Issue number3
Early online date20 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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