The Groundwater Project

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Hydrogeology and Mineral Resource Development

Book cover for Hydrogeology and Mineral Resource Development

Publication year: 2021
Number of pages: 67
ISBN: 978-1-77470-002-0

Author:
Leslie Smith
Professor Emeritus,
Faculty of Science,
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Updated: 4 April 2021

Book Description

The hydrogeological setting of a mineral resource development project is often a central component in mine planning, safe mine operations and sound environmental stewardship. This book illustrates many of the considerations involved in and methodologies applied when assessing the impacts of groundwater on mine operations, on mine water supply, on mineral waste management and in closure of a mine site following resource depletion. In most countries, strict regulation is in place that recognizes the need for management controls to minimize impacts on groundwater systems and nearby surface water flows. This book discusses the principles of hydrogeology that need to be considered to achieve those goals.

Contents

1 SUMMARY

2 INTRODUCTION

2.1 Climatic and Geologic Settings

2.2 Types of Mining Wastes

Mill Tailings
Waste Rock
Spent Heap leach

2.3 Management of Mine Wastes

Waste Rock
Mill tailings
Spent Heap Leach
Filtered Tailings

2.4 Potential Contaminants of Concern

3 KEY HYDROGEOLOGICAL CONCEPTS APPLIED IN MINING OPERATIONS

3.1 Mine Dewatering and Control of Water Pressures in Mine Workings

3.2 Hydrodynamic Containment

3.3 Representative Hydraulic Properties of Mine Wastes

Introduction
Tailings disposal facilities
Waste rock stockpiles

3.4 Contaminant Loading to the Receiving Environment

3.5 Groundwater As a Component of the Mine Site Water Balance

3.6 Use of Groundwater Simulation Models in Mining Practice

4 HYDROGEOLOGICAL FIELD INVESTIGATIONS AT MINE SITES

5 DEWATERING/DEPRESSURIZATION OF UNDERGROUND WORKINGS AND OPEN PITS

5.1 Overview

5.2 Underground Workings

5.3 Open Pits

6 SEEPAGE ASSESSMENT FOR TAILINGS STORAGE FACILITIES

7 SEEPAGE MANAGEMENT DURING OPERATION OF a TAILINGS FACILITY

8 SEEPAGE ASSESSMENT FOR WASTE ROCK STOCKPILES

9 HYDROLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN MINE CLOSURE

9.1 Underground Mines

9.2 Open Pit Mines

9.3 Tailings Storage Facilities and Waste Rock Stockpiles

9.4 Spent Heap Leach

9.5 Landscape Restoration

10 WRAP UP

11 SUGGESTED READING

12 EXERCISES

Exercise 1 – Solute Loading
Exercise 2 - Inflow Prediction to Open Pit Mine
Exercise 3 - Water Balance for a Tailings Storage Facility
Exercise 4 - Hydrodynamic Containment
Exercise 5 - Impact of Rock Mass Depressurization on Regional Flow

13 REFERENCES

14 EXERCISE SOLUTIONS

Solution Exercise 1
Solution Exercise 2
Solution Exercise 3
Solution Exercise 4
Solution Exercise 5

15 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Interview with the Author