Mechanically activated mine tailings for use as supplementary cementitious materials

Sivakumar Ramanathan, Priyadharshini Perumal, Mirja Illikainen, Prannoy Suraneni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Two mine tailings were evaluated for their potential as supplementary cementitious materials. The mine tailings were milled using two different methods – ball milling for 30 minutes and disc milling for durations ranging from 1 to 15 minutes. The modified R3 test was carried out on the mine tailings to quantify their reactivity. The reactivity of the disc milled tailings is greater than those of the ball milled tailings. Strong correlations are obtained between milling duration, median particle size, amorphous content, dissolved aluminum and silicon, and reactivity of the mine tailings. Fineness and the amorphous content increase appreciably in the first 8 minutes of disc milling but not beyond that duration. The reactivity increases significantly beyond a certain threshold fineness and amorphous content. Cementitious pastes were prepared at 30% supplementary cementitious materials replacement level at a water-to-cementitious materials ratio of 0.40. No negative effects of the mine tailings were observed at early ages in cement pastes based on isothermal calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis, demonstrating the potential for these materials to be used as supplementary cementitious materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalRILEM Technical Letters
StatePublished - Mar 15 2021


  • Activation
  • Mine tailings
  • Reactivity
  • Supplementary cementitious materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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