British Columbia (BC) has a history of successful design, construction, operation, and closure of major
tailings dams composed of cycloned tailings sand. Fundamental to this success is a solid understanding of
the engineering properties of cycloned sand, such as relative density, void ratio, strength, and permeability.
The two main cycloned sand material parameters typically used in design analyses are strength, often
represented by a friction angle and unit weight, and hydraulic conductivity. However, controlling these
parameters through direct field measurement is not always straightforward. This paper provides insight into
the link between design parameters and quality control (QC) testing programs to inform future engineering
Whitehead, J. and A. Witte. 2019. “Cycloned Copper Tailings Sands: Practical Methods for Benchmarking Design Parameters,” in Proceedings of Tailings and Mine Waste 2019, 17-20 November 2019. Vancouver, BC : University of British Columbia.