TAilings and IndustriaL waste ENGineering Center


Mine Tailings Database

The TAILENG Center is undertaking a research project on the mechanical characterization of mine tailings materials. The project includes collection and generation of experimental data (i.e., laboratory and field tests) to gain insights on the mechanical response of mine tailings. As part of this project, we are willing to provide access to the non-confidential data collected to external collaborators who add significant datasets to the TAILENG miane tailings database.

Details of the collaboration agreement to have access to the TAILENG GT-UCB-UIUC-CSU database can be found at:

The different dataset types considered in the TAILENG GT-UCB-UIUC-CSU database can be found at:

Mechanical Behavior of Filtered Tailings and Mixed Mine Waste

Filtered tailings and mixed filtered tailing with waste rock have the potential to enhance the physical stability of mine waste impoundments while improving water reuse and recycle. Critical questions that will be evaluated in this research thrust include:

  • Do filtered tailings behave as transitional materials?
  • Do filtered tailings have the potential to liquefy if saturated after placement?
  • Can mechanical behavior of waste mixtures be predicted from the tailings fraction alone?
  • How do the target water content and placement density of the filtered tailings alone and mixed mine waste vary as a function of stack height, tailings characteristics, site conditions, etc.?

Innovative mine tailings characterization using a new piezovane vane shear device

Evaluating the stress-strain-strength response of saturated tailings is a challenging issue for engineers. Conventional methods for sands, such as empirical CPT or SPT correlations, may not apply to tailings where penetration is undrained. Similarly, conventional methods for clays, such as undisturbed sampling and testing, may not be possible. The field vane shear test (FVST) often is used in fine tailings and slimes to estimate peak and residual undrained shear strengths, but interpretation is complicated by unknown drainage conditions. This project aims to evaluate a new piezovane shear device to address shortcomings in standard FVs and provide an improved assessment of tailings strength.