Challenges in the mitigation of ARD: Case studies from British Columbia

Symposium Rouyn-Noranda 2002
Abstract A large number of mines in British Columbia, are faced with the high cost and technical challenges associated with ARD mitigation. The objective of this paper is to use British Columbia mines to demonstrate some of the components of cost effective mitigation, how increased understanding of this complex subject can reduce both environmental risk and the post-mining liability, and a number of the remaining challenges.

Potential mitigation strategies for individual mine components should be evaluated in terms of how well they must perform, how long they must last, what they will cost and their contribution to the cumulative risk and liability of the site. For a mitigation strategy to be cost effective, it must be compatible with the mine and the environmental conditions of the site, and typically able to function for hundreds of years. The examples provided indicate how British Columbia have dramatically reduced mitigation costs by using supportive site attributes, by considering post-closure costs, and by addressing ML/ARD concerns prior to mining.
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