Archive for the ‘Enviromental’ Category

I am working on a new EduMine course on Cover.  It will probably be a year or so before it is available.  SO here is some interesting information I compiled yesterday.

Undoubtedly the best way to control erosion on sideslope covers is to place a layer of durable rock. We perfected the design procedures on the UMTRA Project, and full details of the design and analytical approaches can be found in the Technical Approach Document. The methods described in the Technical Approach Document for selection of the size of the rock are based on methods described in Methodologies for Evaluating Long-term Stabilization Design of Uranium Mill Tailings Impoundments NUREG/CR-4620 and Development of Riprap Design Criteria by Riprap Testing in Flumes NUREG/CR-4651. It is worth downloading these three documents and reading them even if you never need to calculate the size of rock for cover erosion control. At the very least see a magnificent summary of the methods in a paper Erosion Cover Design for Disposal Sites by Berg Keshian and Mike Bone, who in truth deserve the credit for the methods and their practical implementation.

The guidance documents referenced above were written in the 1980s. Since then many more rip rap design guidance documents have been published. One that is easy to read is Riprap Design and Construction Guide from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. Many other jurisdictions have published similar guidance document that focus on local conditions and requirements. A good example is the National Cooperative Highway Research Program’s Report 568 Riprap Design Criteria, Recommended Specifications, and Quality Control. Seek them out if you need to size the rock for a cover. Finally see Steven Abt’s 2013 assessment of the many methods for designing riprap in the paper Evaluation of overtopping riprap design relationships. A good example calculation of the rock size is at this link which is an appendix to the Sequoyah Facility Reclamation Plan.

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Here is the link to the new report Lower Athabasca Region Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands.  In some fifty pages it sets out a new way of dealings with oil sands tailings.  Lots of detail yet not much detail. The document sets itself these goals: (more…)

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Flexible Evaporation Solutions

Walked around the exhibit hall at the Denver SME convention.  Chatted to old friends and met new people–and learnt of new products. Suddenly my mind was cast back to my days as a kid on the East Geduld Mine in South Africa where we grew up.  The area was arid; there were no natural water bodies within two-hundred miles.  One of our favorite places was the mine’s evaporation ponds.  On our rickety bicycles we would break through the flimsy security gate and spend hours around the ponds.  They were magic: a wonderland of color and water.  Better than those fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. (more…)

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This evening I watched the Mariinsky version of Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet.  This is the only ballet I like.  Mostly because of the music.  And, I suspect, because once I could recite the entire Shakespeare play.  (I was Friar Lawrence in the  high school production.)  And now in the ballet I can hear the words of every emotion. (more…)

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Here is the outfall of the Pebble Mine and Mt Polley Mine debacles.  A report on the Seabridge Gold’s KSM Mine in BC.  The report is authored by Salmon Beyond Borders, a coalition of Alaska Native tribal members, commercial, sport and subsistence fishermen, and other groups, in consultation with Earthworks.  The press release is at this link.  The full report is at this link.  Here from the press release on the five key risks associated with the mine: (more…)

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Foto: Peter Öhman

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.

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I have written extensively in this blog about the Alberta Directive 74. Generally I have been derogatory about the Directive. For example at this link I write the following: (more…)

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