Tailings and Mine Waste Conference

Final results of the cover system test panel trials at the Pierina mine Milczarek, Michael; Orellana, R.; Ludwick, W.; Zhan, G.; Baumann, W.; Rice, Robert C.; Yao, Tzung Mow; Keller, Jason


Two large-scale multi-layer cover system test panels were constructed on a side-slope at the Minera Barrick Misquichilca Pierina mine near Huaraz, Peru. The test panels consisted of the following layers: 1) 38 cm of clay/silt material compacted to approximately 90% of maximum density overlain with 30 cm of topsoil and 2) 55 cm of uncompacted clay/silt material overlain with 30 cm of topsoil. Suction breaks were installed in the topsoil every 10 meters along the slope. Precipitation, evaporation, stormwater runoff, water content, soil water potential and direct percolation data was collected for three years followed by a post-test excavation and field testing program. Net percolation into the leach ore increased over time, especially in the compacted clay test panel. The post-test excavation data showed that the hydraulic conductivity of both clay liners increased to similar ranges and that rooting of grass species was significant in both panels up to depths exceeding 1.5 meters. Rooting frequency and size were generally larger and deeper in the uncompacted clay test panel. Based on these data, there appears to be no long-term advantage to compacting the clay liner. [All papers were considered for technical and language appropriateness by the organizing committee.]

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