SLR delivers international project work on an ongoing pit lake closure mining project
For several years, we have noted the increased focus on addressing the perceived negative legacies in mining and sustainability or ESG drivers in general, which includes a drive to improve the post operational reputation of the mining sector. As an industry leader in addressing mining challenges, SLR has responded with an increasing project portfolio of international projects across our operating regions in Europe, Australia, Africa, and the Americas. In support of our international projects, UK based hydrologist Paul Klimczak, civil engineer Navika Erriah, and geochemists Jamie Robinson and Olivia Milton-Thompson have been working on an ongoing international pit lake closure mining project.
This example includes a detailed dynamic simulation model (GoldSim and its Contaminant Transport Module) and geochemical model (PHREEQC) built in 2019. This was used to model and evaluate four different mine closure backfilling options to understand the water quality of the remaining pit lake once mining operations have ceased. This model later required a significant update to estimate both the quantity and quality of the pit water to supply an irrigation scheme for crops on post-closure.
The team’s expertise in dynamic and geochemical modelling enable SLR to demonstrate sufficient and acceptable water quality targets that would be met over approximately 10 years under the most conservative conditions. More realistically, modelling showed that irrigation could successfully run for 200 years without causing detrimental effects on the envisaged crops.
The techniques applied in this project underscore SLR’s reputation and position in international mining projects focussed on the water environment.