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British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Red Mountain Mines : 5 years of closure work Marsland, Rob; Virtanen, Hannu


This paper reviews the closure activities undertaken at, and reclamation standards applied to, the tailings facilities of the abandoned Red Mountain molybdenum mine. The selection of the appropriate criteria was based on an assessment of the consequence of failure. Design and construction work included water diversion channels, spillways, and a toe berm. The paper summarizes the results from the geochemical and aquatic monitoring programs for the past 6 years. Predictions regarding the potential effects of closure activities on water levels and seepage rates from the tailings facilities indicate that water levels within the tailings would drop and seepage rates would be reduced. Mass loading of molybdenum, copper and other trace elements are presented and the implications for downstream water users are discussed. Despite elevated molybdenum in the tailings solids and the mobility of molybdenum at neutral pH, downstream water quality has not been adversely affected.

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