Alex is a principal consultant in SRK’s mine waste team based in Sydney, and has over 20 years’ experience in environmental projects. He has worked on projects covering a range of resources including gold, copper, zinc, iron and coal, in various countries and climates across the world. Alex specialises in geochemical characterisation and acid rock drainage prediction and control, metal leaching and water quality modelling.
Pit Lake Water Quality Modelling at Century Mine
The Century open cut zinc mine at Lawn Hill recently changed ownership from MMG Limited (MMG) to Century Mining Limited (CML). Closure planning for the site was initiated by MMG, and is continuing under the new ownership. The waste rock dumps will be covered with low infiltration covers to meet closure objectives. However, the open pit which is partially backfilled with waste rock, is expected to fill with water post closure to form a pit lake. As part of developing the site closure strategy, the final pit lake level (i.e. risk of discharge), and water quality that may develop within the lake post closure, were identified as potential risks to meeting downgradient water quality objectives. To evaluate this risk, a pit lake model has been developed that integrates outputs from geochemical characterisation programmes, water balance studies and hydrogeological modelling. The model quantifies solute production from pit walls and mineralised wastes located within the pit, and accounts for potential influence from out-of-pit waste dumps. Pit lake water quality is calculated over time, allowing assessment of potential impacts to surface and groundwater, and third party receptors. Using the predictions from the model it has been possible to compare potential environmental outcomes for different closure strategies and assumptions, thus allowing prioritisation of forward works and informed selection of optimal closure measures.
Stream 1 - Pathways to relinquishment and opportunities to transition to productive alternate land usesUnderstanding Acid Mine Drainage / Acid Rock Drainage and the implications for rehabilitation and closureHarnessing Hyperaccumulator Plants to Phytoremediate Contaminated Mining SitesIssues in Tropical Forest Rehabilitation Post Mining in Borneo