LABORATORY EVALUATION OF RECLAMATION SCENARIOS FOR THE SPILLAGE AREAS OF THE ABANDONED MANITOU MINE SITE USING GOLDEX TAILINGS

World Mining Congress
The abandoned Manitou mine site covers an area of approximately 190 ha near Val d’Or, Quebec. This old site has been generating acid mine drainage for several decades. In 2006, a partnership was established between the Quebec Ministry of Ressources Naturelles (MRN) and Agnico-Eagle Mines to reclaim the Manitou site using tailings from the nearby Goldex mine. These neutral tailings were to be deposited on top of the Manitou site. An extensive study was performed to evaluate specific reclamation scenarios to control acid mine drainage using Goldex tailings as cover material. The article first describes the global approach used for this evaluation, which includes in-situ hydrogeological monitoring, tailings characterization, laboratory column tests, and numerical modelling. Of the thirteen column tests, three were conducted to evaluate the parameters affecting the performance of covers made of Goldex tailings placed over the spillage area of the Manitou site. Geochemical and hydrogeological parameters were assessed during the leaching column tests for almost two years. The tests aimed at evaluating the effect of water table level and monolayer cover thickness on the overall performance. The testing procedure involved monthly leaching and measurement of geochemical parameters. Results indicate that water table position is the most important factor affecting the monolayer cover performance to control AMD. Based on these results, it was established that the water table must be located near the interface between the Goldex and Manitou tailings to effectively reduce AMD generation. Cover thickness also has an impact on cover performance, which is however less significant than the water table position. The testing scenario with a water table located at the interface with a one-meter Goldex tailings cover showed progressive improvement in effluent quality.
Keywords: tailings; Waters; Water; test; Tests; Performance; leaching; Reclamation; Materials;
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