British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Linking waste rock dump construction and design with AMD risk : a quantitative approach Pearce, Steven; Birkham, Tyler; O’Kane, Mike; Dobchuk, Bonnie


The characterization and assessment of waste rock has been the subject of considerable published research. While these documents provide detailed information on the technical aspects of geochemical characterization of waste rock, there is lesser published detail on how to integrate these studies into engineering planning decisions and waste management. These planning decisions require quantitative assessment to balance environmental management (risk) and operational constraints (cost). For example what is the risk/cost tradeoff for using different placement methods e.g. end tipping vs paddock dumping. Because current industry practice and the majority of guidance documentation focuses on geochemical classification, there is a disconnect between the outputs of the studies and the operational requirements for a direct assessment of placement method such that risk and cost can be quantitatively assessed. An assessment approach is presented to address the need for a qualitative risk/cost tradeoff assessment based around a quantitative risk tool. This tool captures multifaceted inputs, and employs an analytical model to provide quantitative analysis and outputs. This method of assessment allows risk to be assessed on the basis of waste placement technique, and whole waste facility engineering design, and not just on material properties such as geochemical characteristics in isolation.

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