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British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Sullivan Mine waste dump characterization, part 2 Hockley, Daryl; Dawson, Bruce B.; Kuit, Walter J.; Klein, D.; Phillip, Mark


Premature snowmelt areas on the No. 1 Waste Dump at the Teck Cominco Sullivan Mine near Kimberley, British Columbia. Canada have been documented annually since their discovery in March 2007. Surface vents discharging pore gas through the dump cover were discovered February 2008; further surveys on three mine site dumps revealed more extensive venting areas during the 2008-2009 winter. In nearly all cases, oxygen levels returned to normal at a height of 15 cm above the dump surface. In October 2008 the No. 1 Dump seepage collection system was modified as a remediation measure, eliminating the 400-mm drainage pipe as a conduit between the dump and atmosphere. While it was expected that this action would reduce the respiration flow rate through the dump and internal oxygen levels would be seen to decrease, oxygen levels did not decrease, suggesting that the 400-mm drainage pipe was more a preferential flow path than a primary respiration conduit. To examine the diffuse nature of dump respiration a total of 48 gas traps — inverted plastic storage containers - have been placed across three mine site dumps and in control areas. Gas traps are installed on unaltered cover, on biased locations with small holes through the cover, and over known surface vents. This paper provides the internal pore gas composition results that demonstrate the inability of the U-trap to limit respiration, and discusses gas trap and vent monitoring results.

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