Posts Tagged ‘groundwater’


Today a jury in New Hampshire decided that Exxon Mobil should pay the state $236 million.  The jury concluded that the oil company had caused MTBE contamination of groundwater at gas stations state-wide, and this amount was Exxon’s share of the cleanup costs.  Obviously Exxon said they would appeal the jury verdict, even as their share price rose. This is noted in a full report on the verdict: (more…)

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The seventh flight of the week in pursuit of mining.  From Vancouver to the airport of many names: Santa Ana, John Wayne, or Orange County, California.  Call is what you will.  The sun is shining, the sea sparkling, and the grandkids lively and curious. (more…)

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There are many guidelines for groundwater modeling.  Up until now there has been nothing specific to mining.  Now that is changed.  At this link is a guidance document specific to groundwater modeling for mines.   (more…)

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One of the enduring mysteries of professional practice is why groundwater experts never apply the Observational Method in their ever-more sophisticated groundwater modeling and monitoring work. (more…)

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Today I went to HR Block and had my taxes calculated.  It is a disaster: I owe lots and the total taxes I paid is more than the average Canadian salary.   I am seriously considering selling up and moving to Las Vegas.  And stopping working.  Why work to merely pay great sums to the government that squanders the money on frivolous pursuits?   I could blog away at no cost to anyone; to no income to me; and to no taxes to a far-distant gobbler and distributor of my earned income. (more…)

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The journal of the scientists and engineers division of the National Groundwater Association, is called simply enough groundwater.  No capitals that I can find.  The contents are learned and often obtuse.  Here is the abstract of a paper Rationales Behind Irrationality of Decision Making in Groundwater Quality Management in the January-February 2012 issue.  It does not deal with mining, but the ideas and conclusions are too relevant to too many situations in mining to be passed-over lightly. (more…)

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147 Collahuasi Mine Closure Plan.jpg

On my desk are the Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on Water Management in the Mining Industry.  I would not presume to review the many papers therein.  They range from the spectacular to the insane.  There are many papers that remind us of the shortage of water in northern Chile and how tenuous mining is there, being so dependant on limited supplies of water.  Seems desalination is the only solution to a certain supply of water for mining in the high desert.  (more…)

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Here is a brief recollection of times past and how a consultant enters a new area of practice. (more…)

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The December issue of  Soutwest Hydrology deals with groundwater and uranium.  Here is how they introduce the subject:

Groundwater was involved in the formation of many large uranium ore deposits, and increasingly groundwater (fortified with other compounds) is being used to mine them using in-situ leaching methods. Uranium mining in the 20th century left a legacy of surface water and groundwater contamination that is still being dealt with today. Water quality standards for uranium were not enacted until after mining began, which means insufficient or no background data were collected to serve as baseline remediation goals. Love it or hate it (there doesn’t appear to be a middle ground), uranium mining is on the increase in the Southwest.

If you are the least interested in the subject, I recommend this for weekend reading.

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Critics of mining harp on two impacts: 

  • Forest or farm land turned to open pit, waste dump, or tallings pile; and/or
  • Surface and groundwater impacted by increased constituent flow from the mine.

Both are real issues.  Trying to avoid these impacts, legislator and miners have resorted to backfilling pits, backfilling underground mine workings, turning the tailings impoundment into an apple orchard, and, most interestingly in situ mining. 

In the oil sands Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) promises profit and reduced footprints. 

In uranium mining, in situ leaching is all the rage.  


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