Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

Mapping wall rock chemistry on the ultimate pit surface of an open pit mine utilizing GIS Moran, Patsy; Richers, David


Knowledge of the composition of the ultimate pit surface (UPS) of a pit mine is essential when predicting the final chemistry of any ensuing pit lake. The spatial distribution and makeup of rocks present in the pit wall directly affects acid-base-accounting (ABA) predictions and are used in planning of post-mining phases. 3D GIS methods afford a simple and effective means of mapping geologic block model data to spatially fit the contours of the UPS and provides a means to “buffer” the intersection using a distance filter in x, y, z space. Due to the uncertainties in the block model, this distance often can range anywhere between 10, 20, 50, or more feet. Values that place the block model closer to the UPS are preferred if they result in a large enough population of the wall being represented by the block model. Once the intercepts are established, kriging or other gridding methods can be used to calculate areas of sparse surface exposure of each lithology. Exposure areas can then be calculated using simple GIS tools and accounting for the average slope corrections for each UPS –Lithology grid node. [All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]

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