An Alternative Approach to Estimating the Composition of Existing Waste Rock Facilities
The use of existing mine records in conjunction with an appropriate classification scheme can be used successfully to identify and characterize the composition of existing waste rock facilities where traditional approaches based on sampling may be impractical or costly. This paper describes an alternative approach used in an acid rock drainage investigation at a porphyry copper mine with numerous waste rock dumps of varying ages and composition. The approach integrated detailed lithologic and mineralogic information about the ore body and overburden materials with records of pit development and dispatch. A waste rock characterization matrix was developed for the site to meaningfully classify lithology and mineralogic composition of the waste rock. The approach resulted in a focused geochemical testing program and facilitated interpretation and application of the test results.
Waste rock, porphyry copper mine, Acid rock drainage