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Modelling water flow and transport of contaminants from mine wastes stored in open pits

Summary: Modelling water flow and transport of
contaminants from mine wastes stored in open pits
within fractured rock
Farouk Ben Abdelghani, Richard Simon et Michel Aubertin
École Polytechnique Montréal, Département de Génie Civil, Géologique et des Mines,
Montréal,Québec, Canada
John Molson et René Therrien
Université Laval, Département de Géologie et de Génie Géologique, Québec, Canada
The flow of water and transport of contaminants from mining wastes disposed of in fractured rock is largely
controlled by the presence of discontinuities. Numerical simulations have been carried out to assess the
influence of joints on underground flow in and around surface mine openings. The unsaturated flow modelling
was performed with HydroGeosphere, a 3D numerical flow and transport model (Therrien et al. 2005). A
parametric analysis was conducted by simulating various 2D cases using experimentally obtained material
properties and controlled boundary conditions. The effects of material hydraulic properties (i.e. the water
retention curve and hydraulic conductivity function), fracture network characteristics, variable recharge rates
and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the joints are investigated. The parametric analysis illustrates how
water and contaminants may migrate around waste disposal areas created in fractured rock at mine sites.
L'écoulement de l'eau et le transport de contaminants dans les rejets miniers entreposés dans les massifs


Source: Aubertin, Michel - Département des génies civil, géologique et des mines, École Polytechnique de Montréal


Collections: Engineering; Environmental Management and Restoration Technologies