Mine dewatering and impact assessment in an arid area: Case of Gulf region Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Analytical and empirical solution coupled with water balance method were used to predict the ground water inflow to a mine pit excavated below the water table, final pit lake level/recovery and radius of influence, through long-term and time variant simulations. The solution considers the effect of decreased saturated thickness near the pit walls, distributed recharge to the water table and upward flow through the pit bottom. The approach is flexible to accommodate the anisotropy/heterogeneity of the real world. Final pit void water level was assessed through scenarios to know whether it will be consumed by evaporation and a shallow lake will form or not. The optimised radius of influence was estimated which is considered as crucial information in relation to the engineering aspects of mine planning and sustainable development of the mine area. Time-transient inflow over a period of time was estimated using solutions, including analytical element method (AEM). Their primary value is in providing estimates of pit inflow rates to be used in the mine dewatering. Inflow estimation and recovery helps whether there is water to supplement the demand and if there is any recovery issue to be dealt with in relation to surface and groundwater quality/eco-system, environmental evaluations and mitigation. Therefore, this method is good at informing decision makers in assessing the effects of mining operations and developing an appropriate water management strategy.

publication date

  • 2016