British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

SNIP Mine : seven years after closure Sibbick, S. J.; MacGillivray, Randy


Closure of the Snip Mine was successfully completed in 1999. Portals into the lower underground workings were sealed with water tight plugs while the upper mine openings were sealed with plugs designed to minimize airflow into the mine. The lower third of the mine was allowed to flood naturally. Discharge from the mine flows through a short channel into the upstream end of the adjacent tailings impoundment. Tailings in the impoundment were regraded and covered with a layer of inert waste rock. A spillway was constructed that allows for limited ponding within the impoundment and maintains a saturated condition within the tailings. Regular inspections of the mine facilities and ongoing field monitoring have occurred since closure. Monitoring of 13 humidity cells representing tailings, backfill and waste rock materials has continued since 1998. Discharges from the tailings impoundment into the receiving environment have maintained concentrations below the acceptable water quality criteria for the site. Discharges from the underground workings are slightly elevated for a few metals in comparison to the receiving environment criteria. However, these concentrations are mitigated by the tailings impoundment, which acts to reduce the metals load. Monitoring results over the last 7 years indicate that discharge water quality from the site to the receiving environment will continue in its current state.

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