Application of water covers, remote monitoring and data management systems to environmental management at uranium tailings sites in the Serpent River Watershed

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1033, 1999
D. Berthelot, Mine Waste Management, Elliot Lake, Ontario M. Haggis*, R. Payne, Rio Algom Limited, Elliot Lake, Ontario D. McClarty, Envista Technologies, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan M. Courtin**, Elliot Lake Research Field Station, Laurentian University, Ell
Abstract Over forty years of uranium mining in the Elliot Lake region of Ontario (1956Ð1996) has resulted in the production of over 300 million pounds of uranium. With the completion of mining activity, Rio Algom Limited and Denison Mines Limited are utilizing progressive environmental technologies and management systems to reduce and manage the environmental risks associated with the 150 million tonnes of potentially acid-generating tailings in nine regional waste management areas. Water covers designed to reduce oxygen entry and, thereby, significantly inhibit acid generation, have been applied at six of the sites with the Quirke site serving as a demonstration site for the Mine Environmental Neutral Drainage program. All five of Rio Algom LimitedÕs effluent treatment plants are monitored and controlled from a central control station utilizing a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system based on ÒFix DmacsÓ technology. Scheduling, auditing and reporting of plant operating and environmental monitoring programs for the entire watershed are controlled utilizing the Regional Environmental Inf
Keywords: Data management systems, Environmental management, Telemetered Environmental Operating Control System, Regional Environmental Information Management System, Uranium, Tailings, Water cover, SCADA, Elliot Lake.
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