Maximizing Efficiency of Abandoned Mine Remediation
A common factor at many mine sites is the presence of large volumes of source materials (often in the range of 103 to 107 cubic yards). Mining-influenced water (MIW) is generated when rain or snowmelt percolates through the source materials and causes leaching of contaminants into the environment. Source materials are commonly addressed using a low permeability repository or cover system to mitigate MIW generation. Planning for this time-proven remedy should be expedited to prioritize remediation on actions that will provide the most benefit to the environment.
A larger short-term expenditure for control of primary source materials may reduce, though not eliminate, long-term expenditures for water treatment.
Remediation of MIW often requires a combination of short-term expenditures to mitigate source materials and long-term expenditures for water treatment. A larger short-term expenditure for control of primary source materials may reduce, though not eliminate, long-term expenditures for water treatment.
Innovative approaches such as alternative covers, development of local sources of construction materials, passive interflow diversions (PIDs) and biochemical treatment present further opportunities to maximize efficiency and sustainability of mine remediation.
These approaches present excellent opportunities to reduce costs, expedite project schedules, and improve sustainability of mine remediation projects.