British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Design of waste dumps with flow-through rock drains Lighthall, Peter C.; Sellars, C. David; Burton, W. D.


A number of mines in mountainous regions of British Columbia are being forced by topographic constraints to dump large quantitites of waste rock in valley fills. As stream diversions around dumps are often very costly, a flow-through rock drain may be an economical alternative for conveying streamflow, particularly if suitable mine waste rock is available. Aspects to be considered in design of flow-through drains include analysis of the availability and quality of waste rock, the method of waste rock selection and placement, determination of design floods by hydrologie analysis, hydraulic design, stability of the downstream slope, assessment of sediment production, reclamation and abandonments. At the Teck Bullmoose Coal Project, a valley fill with a flow-through rock drain was an economical solution to waste rock disposal. The rock drain in being constructed by end-dumping selected, good quality sandstone. Construction of the dump began in early 1984 and observations indicate that the drain in functioning well.

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