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PROJECT TOPIC -GEOTECHNICAL PROPERTIES OF MINE DUMPS AT ENYIGBA AND AMERI MINES, ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POTENTIAL USE FOR HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION

GEOTECHNICAL PROPERTIES OF MINE DUMPS AT ENYIGBA AND AMERI MINES, ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POTENTIAL USE FOR HIGHWAY
CONSTRUCTION

 

ABSTRACT

The geotechnical properties of mine dumps from the abandoned Enyigba and Ameri mines were studied to evaluate whether the dumps could be used as general fill and em-bankment,sub base or base course in highway construction. Geo-technical tests carried out included grain size distribution, Atterberg limits, specific gravity, permeability, compaction, California bearing ratio and shear strength. Results indicate that dumps from both sites classify as silty
clay soils. While liquid limit, plastic limit and plasticity index of samples from Enyigba site ranged from 50 to 55, 17 to 19 and 32 to 38 respectively, values from Ameri samples ranged from 52 to 56, 16 to 22 and 33 to 38 respectively. All samples classified as A-7-6 and CH soils according to the AASHTO AND USCS classification systems respectively. Linear shrinkage was found to be 7.0 for Enyigba samples and 8.1 for Ameri samples.

Maximum dry density for the samples from Enyigba ranged from 1.82 to 1.87 Mg/m3 with optimum moisture content between 8.5 and 13.4% while those of samples from Ameri ranged from 1.80 to 1.85 Mg/m3 with optimum moisture content of 7.6 to 12.6%. California bearing ratio for soaked and unsoaked conditions of the samples had mean values of 5.8% and 6.4% respectively for Enyigba samples, and 6.0 and 7.2% respectively for Ameri samples. Shear
strength tests gave angle of shear resistance and cohesion values that ranged from 3 to 6° and 21 to 29 kN/m2 for Enyigba samples while values for Ameri samples varied from 3 to 6° and 20 to 29 kN/m2 respectively. Values of unconfined compressive strength ranged from 28 kN/m2 to 40 kN/m2 for samples from Enyigba while those from Ameri ranged from 27 kN/m2 to 39 kN/m2. A comparison of these test results with the Nigerian Specifications for highway
construction reveals that the samples from the dumps satisfy some of the requirements as fill and embankment, but not as sub base and base course material.

The unsatisfactory behavior of the samples as road material is mainly due to their high plasticity, which indicates susceptibility to expansion on moisture influx and low strength. The results of this study will, to a great extent, guide civil engineers in the area should they ever consider using the dumps
for highway construction.

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

Lead-zinc occurrences in Nigeria (fig.1) are associated with fractures/shear zones and sometimes saline water intrusion. The mineralisation is often associated with minor to significant amounts of copper and silver, occurring in lodes filing the fractures within the sedimentary rocks in the Benue Trough as well as in crystalline basement rocks. The Trough, which is believed to have originated as a failed arm of an aulacogen at the time of the opening of the South Atlantic ocean during the separation of the African plate and the South American plate, is partitioned into the Lower, Middle and Upper regions with Lead-zinc mineralization occurring in almost the entire 800km length.

 

 

DIAGRAM

 

 

 

The Lead-zinc which occurs in the form of veins and veinlets associated with the host rock,are localized along the northern-southern trending belt of slightly deformed sedimentary Cretaceous sequences (Albian Asu River Group) that measure about 500m thick. The leadzinc deposits in Enyigba are mined by the old open-pit mining method. Mine tailings are seen to have been indiscriminately dumped. These dumps are noticed as elongate ridges trailing and parallel to mined out veins. In these tailings, are ore and gangue minerals, which like the mineral veins on weathering, release composing metals into the soils.
The environmental consequences of these open pit mining activities are numerous, as the extraction and processing of the ore deposits, which  unfortunately consist of relatively small percentage of economically valuable minerals, result in the generation of large amounts of waste materials. Thus there has been total destruction of the mined areas and considerable reshaping of the natural topography, resulting to several heaps of abandoned lead-zinc mine waste dumps at the mine sites in Enyigba and Ameri.

 

GEOTECHNICAL PROPERTIES OF MINE DUMPS AT ENYIGBA AND AMERI MINES, ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POTENTIAL USE FOR HIGHWAY
CONSTRUCTION

1.2 Aims and Objectives of research

The aim of the research is to evaluate the geotechnical properties of mine dumps from the abandoned Enyigba and Ameri mines. The specific objectives of the research are: To describe and sample mine dumps. To conduct geotechnical tests on the mine dump samples. The tests include; Particle size, Atterberg limits, Permeability, Specific gravity, Compaction, California bearing ratio,Triaxial shear strength and Unconfined compressive strength.

To compare some of the measured properties with Nigerian construction specifications for fills and embankment, sub base and base course.

To ascertain if the mine dumps could be used as sub base, base course or general filling and embankment in highway construction.

 

GEOTECHNICAL PROPERTIES OF MINE DUMPS AT ENYIGBA AND AMERI MINES, ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POTENTIAL USE FOR HIGHWAY
CONSTRUCTION

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