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Use of a mini block sampler in bauxite tailings

As part of TAILLIQ we recently carried out laboratory testing on high quality samples obtained through the use of a mini block sampler in bauxite tailings. The mini block sampler concept was developed by Emdal et al. (2016) to allow more practical recovery of undisturbed samples of clays compared to the “full size” Sherbrooke sampler. This capability has been developed by Black Insitu Testing for use in Australia, with a focus on recovery of clayey tailings samples. In the current works, the samples were obtained in an area where a wide range of other in situ tests and sampling had been carried out, including SCPTu, vane shear, and Geonor 76mm piston sampling. Laboratory element testing has thus far indicated high sample quality for specimens trimmed from the mini blocks.


The photographs below show (1) Black Insitu Testing’s mini block sampling system, (2) recovery of a sample, (3) unwrapping a sample in the laboratory, (4) trimming of a sampling using a soil lathe, and (5) placing the trimmed sample onto an oversized lubricated triaxial platen.


We look forward to presenting a comparison of the results obtained from the mini block samples with other, more conventional techniques used for sample recovery.


Image 1 - Black Insitu Testing's mini block sampler

Image 2 - Recovery of a mini block sample


Image 3 - Mini block sample unwrapping after arrival at UWA's laboratory


Image 4 - Trimming of the mini block sample for testing

Image 5 - Setup of the trimmed sample on a lubricated oversized base platen