British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Use of shotcrete to control acid mine drainage in waste rock piles Wong, J. Y.; Jones, Carol Elizabeth, 1953-; van Dyk, R.


A research program supported by Westmin Resources and the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA), has evaluated the use of cementitious dry surface covers in the prevention of water and oxygen infiltration into acid waste rock piles. This paper presents the results of a field trial of a dry cover over a large test area on a waste rock pile at the Westmin Myra Falls site. The field trial was supported by Westmin Resources and CANMET under the Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) program. The objectives of this study were to apply the cementitious cover in the most cost effective manner and to evaluate the material properties and the long term efficacy of the cover system. Approximately 3500 square metres of area was covered using the shotcrete process. A robotic arm mounted onto a vehicle was used to apply the shotcrete onto the rock slope. The cementitious material used in the project incorporated high volumes of fly ash (a waste product) to reduce the material cost. The shotcrete mix also included the use of polypropylene fibres to control cracks. The test area was instrumented with infiltration boxes and survey markers to monitor seepage through the shotcrete and settlement in the rock slope. The performance of this test area will be monitored over the subsequent years to evaluate the long term durability of this cover when subjected to field conditions.

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