British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Britannia Mine hydrology Zabil, David; Lawrence, Gregory A.


For the purpose of treatment plant design, the hydrology of the Britannia Mine area was investigated. Precipitation data were collected from four precipitation gauges near the Britannia Mine and flow data were collected from the two major outflow points of the mine. The data were analyzed to determine the relationship between precipitation and flow rate. In addition, return period analysis was performed to determine the treatment plant design flow rate. The possibility of storing water inside the mine to attenuate the peak flows and decrease the treatment plant design flow rate was examined. The precipitation/outflow relationship indicated that a complex routing mechanism exists in the mine workings. Groundwater appeared to contribute a significant portion of the total flow rate. Flow peaks were delayed for up to one week before exiting the mine. Forty-two years of record were available to generate return period graphs for mine outflows and precipitation events. There was a strong relationship between the annual precipitation volumes and the annual mine outflow volumes over the period of record. Calculations indicated that the treatment plant design flow rate may be reduced to nearly half of the average annual maximum flow if the mine workings are used as a storage reservoir.

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