Including mine rock facility design to enhance progressive reclamation Meiers, Greg; Phillip, Mark; Birkham, Tyler; O’Kane, Mike
While the exact language may vary, progressive mine reclamation is similarly defined across the mining industry, yet the consensus is that it represents “best available technology” for reducing environmental risks at closure and optimizing closure costs. In terms of mine rock storage facilities (MRSFs) that contain potentially acid generating material, the current industry practices and the majority of guidance documents focus on phased cover system construction and revegetation. This paper examines whether an enhanced methodology can be applied for progressively reclaiming MRSFs during construction to change the typical physical environment in which sulfide materials are placed. The MRSFs are designed using mine rock placement strategies that focus managing gas transport as the MRSFs are being constructed. This approach limits sulfide oxidation and generation of stored acidity, increases longevity of any available alkalinity, and thus moves us closer to the essence of progressive reclamation than the typical approach. General illustrative modeling examples and a case study are provided to illustrate MRSF design methodology.
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