Climate, Time, Contaminants

April 12-15, 2015 | Vancouver, Canada

About the Conference

Mine Water Solutions in Extreme Environments is the second in an innovative new conference series that aims to examine a wide range of issues associated with mine water management in extremely wet, dry, and cold climates and with extreme hydrogeological and geochemical issues. The conference will provide a forum for presentation and discussion about successful practices that enable responsible mining to be undertaken in challenging environments while minimizing water use and/or preserving water resources. All aspects of mine water management, including hydrology, hydrogeology, diversion, containment, water conservation, minimization of water-quality impacts, seepage interception and treatment may be addressed. Management of water associated with mine dewatering, waste rock and tailings are of particular interest.

Scope of Conference

The program will include sessions by practitioners and recognized experts on the themes below. Preference will be given to case histories and solutions that emphasize leading management practices. The conference will include exhibits and short courses.

THEMES

Climate

    • Water Management in Extremely Wet Areas
      • Precipitation, prediction of flood conditions
      • Diversion design, erosion management & water control during extreme events
      • Waste management & disposal challenges, control of impacted waters
      • Mine and tailing closure to protect surface water & groundwater
      • Water storage & treatment
      • Water balance modeling
      • Mine dewatering in wet environments
      • Laws and regulations

 

    • Water Management in Extremely Dry Areas
      • Water source efficiency / conservation & alternate water supply strategies
      • Tailings management to minimize water losses
      • Tailings closure to protect groundwater
      • Managing salts accumulation & dust
      • Dry processing alternatives
      • Water reuse and recycling
      • Optimizing water use vs. energy use
      • Optimizing water use vs. geotechnical stability

 

    • Water Management in Extremely Cold Areas (Glacial, Periglacial and Permafrost)
      • Seasonal effects on water management
      • Permafrost characterization, hydrology and water yields
      • Cold regions mine site hydrology & hydraulic issues
      • Geochemistry issues in cold regions
      • Climate change design criteria & permafrost impacts
      • Dam design, operating practices & mine closure in cold environments
      • Mining close to glaciers
      • Mine dewatering in permafrost areas
      • Legal & environmental aspects

 

  • Water Management and Climate Change
    • Issues associated with el Niño
    • Prediction tools, strengths, weaknesses, and regulatory requirements
    • Modeling climate change for operating and future mines
    • Climate change modeling on regional and project specific scales
    • Water management lessons learned from other industries
    • Contingency planning
    • Reaction kinetics as a result of climate change
    • Uncertainty and the use of historical data to forecast future trends
    • Addressing climate changes in EIAs permits and engineering design
    • Mitigation measures and monitoring

Temporal Conditions: Modeling and Assessment of Environmental Impacts during Construction, Operations and Closure

    • Challenging Geochemical Conditions Over Time
      • Investigation, testing & predicting water quality for water management
      • Geochemical control measures for underground and open pit mines, mine waste & tailings deposits
      • Contaminant transfer modeling

 

    • Surface Water Over Time
      • Long term modeling associated extreme dry and wet sequences
      • The geomorphic / surface water management nexus
      • “Zero discharge” through regeneration, reuse and recycling
      • Modeling of pit lake hydrology and water quality

 

    • Groundwater Over Time
      • Contaminant transport modeling in mine waste disposal areas
      • Long-term dewatering of orebodies (monitoring and prediction)
      • Modeling approaches in fractured and karstic rock environments
      • Managing zero discharge facilities
      • Steady state vs. transient modeling
      • Learning from diverse ground water models and approaches

 

    • Regulatory and Social Challenges
      • Contaminant transport modeling and the implications of moving to transient modeling
      • Capacity for reliable prediction vs. evolving regulatory regimes for EIA’s and permitting
      • Surface water, groundwater, geochemical regimes
      • Conceptual models, calibration targets, long-term transients
      • Role for judgment in prediction / forecasting / uncertainty / decision making
      • Site characterization and conceptual models as a back up to numerical models
      • Working with local communities and regulators on water supply and quality issues
      • Creative solutions for mine / community resource sharing

 

  • Hydrogeology in Deep Mining Environments
    • Maximising ground water data collection methods in deep, expensive drill holes
    • Monitoring methods for deep systems
    • Geochemistry issues related to sampling from depth (degasification, etc.)
    • Isotope analysis for source characterisation
    • Reservoir mechanics for deep waste fluid injection systems
    • Geophysical methods to enhance geological and hydrogeological characterisation
    • Coupled in-situ hydraulic and geomechanical characterisation
    • Coupled hydro/geomechanical modelling for deep open pit slope analysis
    • Crossover from nuclear repository and/or petroleum engineering studies to mining

Water Quality

    • Physical Control of Contaminants
      • Contaminant immobilization
      • Diversions, barriers, interception and collection systems
      • Liner systems
      • Engineered measures to reduce seepage & piping of tailings materials
      • Immobilizing and treating salts

 

  • Water Treatment
    • Passive and active treatment approaches
    • In-situ treatment approaches
    • Evolving water quality standards & implications related to applicable water treatment technologies
    • Residual waste stream management
    • Water desalination
    • Treatment costs
    • Proven vs. emerging technologies
    • New business models for water treatment

Who Should Attend?

Suggested attendees include engineers, corporate mining personnel who oversee long-term policy and planning, consultants, geoscientists, regulatory personnel, researchers and mine and mill managers involved with mine water supply, water recuperation, contaminated water migration control, tailings and tailings water management, hydro-geochemistry, and water treatment. The conference committee encourages a diversity of disciplines across all levels of the conference including authors, speakers, and conference participants. This will be an exciting opportunity to share ideas, learn about innovative approaches, make contacts, and discuss approaches to problems of mutual interest.

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