Mine Planning Guidelines for Development of Sustainable Closure Drainage Systems
CIM Edmonton 2004
Dejaing Long, Getu Biftu, Femi Ade,
Mine Planning Guidelines for Development of
Sustainable Closure Drainage Systems
Soil erosion is one of the principal processes that threaten sustainability of mine closure facilities but its effect can be remedied by appropriate design of mine closure drainage facilities. The feasibility of mine closure facilities that minimize erosion need to be established during the early stages of mine planning, before mine disturbances make sustainable closure uneconomical. Experience in oil sands developments shows there is often enough latitude in mine plan development to allow changes with neutral economic consequence and positive environmental benefit that is of significant benefit during regulatory approvals. Project managers need to resist the temptation to develop mine plans and closure drainage plans independently. Integrated mine planning with effective inputs by environmental specialists and drainage designers may affect the overall mine configuration, footprint and schedule. Key issues pertain to the end pit location, waste dump configurations, pit infill elevations, fluid impoundments, diversion channel routing and preservation of flows to receiving waters. Guidelines with illustrations of suitable and faulty practices are presented to assist mine planners.