This year I have visited at least sixteen tailings facilities from the far north of Canada to the far south of Chile. Mainly I was there to see about the state, safety, and ongoing operation of the facilities. But along the way I had an incredible opportunity to observe and photograph mine water management facilities and systems. In next week’s EduMine webcast on Mine Water Management, I will have a chance to distill these many observations into a coherent whole. So come join us in the webcast next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. But three hours a day each morning and I will update you on the many systems, practices, components, and ideas I have gleaned from these trips and observations. Many new case histories courtesy of the mines I visited. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
Posted in About the news, acid mine drainage, British Columbia, Geosynthetics, Mining history, Tailings, tagged cpmference, edumine, infomince, management, mine water, mine water solutions on October 21, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in About the news, British Columbia, Colorado, consulting, environmental, People, Reclamation, Tailings, tagged BC, bc. ministy of energy and mines. environment, dirk van zyl, geoff blight, gordon mcphail, mem, mt polley, risk, steve vick, Tailings and Mine Waste on October 7, 2014 | 25 Comments »
The first day of presentations at the Tailings and Mine Waste 2014 Conference. Gordon McPhail delivered a talk in honor of Geoff Blight, who passed away earlier this year. Geoff made so many contributions to tailings that we were talking for at least an hour about him and his genius. I honor him here in the only way I know: record my opinion that he was one of the great of tailings. (more…)
The translation above the pictures reads:
It doesn’t matter that it is Sweden’s most modern mine, built according to environmental laws, which the Government says is the world’s strongest. In addition, Northlands mine outside Pajala is a financial flop, it is now also an ecological disaster.
One million cubic metres of water with toxic heavy metals such as nickel, cadmium, lead, copper, and more flows straight out of the wrecked mine dam to Muonioälven and later the Torne River, which is classified as a national river.
At this link you will find four photos that appear to show the breach of the perimeter embankment or dike and spillage of tailings into the surrounding countryside. Above is one of them.
The reports make little mention of the causes of failure. Although the four pictures appear to show more than one breach. A posting on Facebook dates the failure as 19 July 2014.
Please comment if you know more.
I write this fifty percent in jest, fifty percent in earnest, fifty percent with tounge in cheek, and fifty percent as a concerned citizen. You decide which is which in what follows, for I cannot decide. After the failure of the Bafokeng tailings facility, we built a dike across the failed area and picked up the tailings on the mine property. We put these picked-up tailings back in the slimes dam. Then we built a rockfill dike with an upstream filter across the valley just at the edge of the mine property. Thus any tailings we did not pick up were washed down to the dike and were in due course picked up and put back in the slimes dam. In due course, they filled in the failure volume with new tailings as the mine continued production. (more…)
Posted in About the news, British Columbia, consulting, environmental, Mining history, People, Tailings, tagged cracking, fault tree, Morgenstern, morgernster, mt polley, review panel, van zyl, vick on September 3, 2014 | 11 Comments »
The oft-asked question I get is this: how do you prevent a recurrence of the Mt Polley failure? I have touched on some aspects of the answer in previous postings. But let me, here, state my opinion succinctly. Sure to be controversial, but this is what I truly believe is necessary to prevent a recurrence of Mt Polley, at least here in BC. At least the following should be done for every tailings facility (in BC?): (more…)