Controlling water flow in waste rock covers

Baumgartl, Thomas and Gonzales, Chris (2013). Controlling water flow in waste rock covers. In: Stuart Winchester, Fernando Valenzuela and David Mulligan, enviromine2013: 3rd International Seminar on Environmental Issues in Mining. Proceedings. enviromine2013: 3rd International Seminar on Environmental Issues in Mining, Santiago, Chile, (161-169). 4-6 December, 2013.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Baumgartl, Thomas
Gonzales, Chris
Title of paper Controlling water flow in waste rock covers
Conference name enviromine2013: 3rd International Seminar on Environmental Issues in Mining
Conference location Santiago, Chile
Conference dates 4-6 December, 2013
Proceedings title enviromine2013: 3rd International Seminar on Environmental Issues in Mining. Proceedings
Place of Publication Santiago, Chile
Publisher Gecamin
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9789569393044
Editor Stuart Winchester
Fernando Valenzuela
David Mulligan
Start page 161
End page 169
Total pages 9
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Mineral waste material from mining activity including waste rock and tailings requires in many cases, some form of encapsulation to prevent the potentially hazardous material from polluting the environment by the ingress of water from precipitation leaching contaminants. Mining environments, particularly metalliferous mines, often lack suitable material for the construction of covers, such as weathered, clay-enriched materials. Alternatively, benign waste rock with varying proportions of fines may be used. As the blocky component of cover material increases, pathways for water flow are increasingly characterized by macropores. The ability of the cover to serve as a buffer for storage of pre- cipitation may be compromised during high intensity rainfall events, resulting in water by-passing the majority of the substrate that could potentially adsorb precipitation. In such cases, an additional barrier may be required to prevent water during excess rainfall events permeating into the underlying hazardous waste material.

By using examples, this paper explains the phenomenon of preferential flow pathways and the associated risk for the cover performance. A potential solution discussed herein is the installation of a sloped hydraulic subsurface barrier to divert water and prevent it from draining into the hazardous waste material stored below. The paper communicates the process required to design and construct such a cover, including determining material properties for hydrological modeling purposes, in addition to the installation of a trial site.
Keyword Preferential flow
Cover design
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Presented during Session 12 "Sustainable use of water and dust control".

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Created: Wed, 11 Dec 2013, 04:08:32 EST by Thomas Baumgartl on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation