Events Schedule

  • Technical Streams

    • tailing management

      tailing management
      • Mon 08:30 - 09:10

        4443: keynote speaker - mount polley mine tailings dam embankment breach: impact, risk assessment and remediation

        Author/Presenter: Lyn Anglin, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        On August 4, 2014, a layer of glaciolacustrine clay underlying the Perimeter Embankment of the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) at the Mount Polley Mine failed, causing the embankment to slump and breach, releasing approximately 25 million cubic metres of supernatant and interstitial water, tailings, and embankment construction materials (rock, engineered fill, and till). The resulting debris flow extensively scoured and deposited material along the approximately 9 km valley of Hazeltine Creek and deposited material in Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake. Emergency response, remediation and rehabilitation activities began immediately, in parallel with a comprehensive, ongoing, monitoring program. Stabilization work was completed in the Hazeltine Creek channel within five months of the breach. Post-event environmental impact assessments, and human health and ecological risk assessments, have been completed. The impact assessments found indicators of effects to aquatic and terrestrial organisms associated with physical mechanisms (e.g. scouring and smothering), but limited evidence of effects related to chemical mechanisms. Geochemical studies have consistently indicated the released materials to be non-acid-generating with low leaching potential in the subaerial environment, and the potential for oxidative and reductive dissolution in the subaqueous environment is considered to be negligible. The mine is continuing its comprehensive monitoring program and extensive remediation is ongoing. Much remediation work has already been completed, including planting of over 300,000 native plants and shrubs, and construction of almost 3 km of new fish habitat, in impacted areas.

      • Mon 09:10 - 09:35

        1913: thickened tailings: industry learnings and new analysis tools

        Author/Presenter: Paul Simms, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Thickened or high density tailings technology has now been employed in multiple mining sectors for many years. Notably, the Kidd Creek mine in Northern Ontario has recently commenced closure, after using thickened talings deposition since the 1970’s. The oil sands industry is required to use a dewatering step in all operations to meet closure regulations. While there have been some hard lessons learned at some mines, many other sites successfully employ this technology, using innovations to reduce known risks associated with deposition control or geoenvironmental performance. Additionally, recently developed analysis tools may allow designers or operators to i) more accurately extrapolate from known to future performance in terms of density, strength, and susceptibility to acid generation, and ii) to better understand and manage tailings deposition behavior. Field learnings are reviewed and discussed, and application and limitations of two analysis tools (a desiccation-consolidation model, and a 3D tailings deposition model) to field cases is briefly demonstrated.

      • Mon 09:35 - 10:00

        1932: reclamation of tailings as civil-engineering materials as part of a circular economy: examples of applications in morocco

        Author/Presenter: Rachid Hakkou, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        The reuse of non-acid generating waste rock and mine tailings mainly as sand and/or aggregates in civil-engineering works constitutes a promising means of reclamation that will help reduce the environmental impact of mining activities. The main areas investigated by the authors and their team include embankments, roads, mortar and concrete, bricks, etc. After the concept of the circular economy applied to the mining industry is presented, the article will provide examples of opportunities arising out of the Moroccan environment. First, the pilot project for an eco-industrial area proposed for the reclamation of waste rock from the former coal mine of Jerada will be presented. This will be followed by the reclamation of mine tailings from the mining of phosphates and from concentrated sludge in the industrial ceramics industry and as aggregates in concrete and in road sub-layers. Lastly, the reclamation of mine tailings from Upper Moulouya and Touissit-Boubker as sand for mortar will be presented.

      • Mon 10:15 - 10:40

        4418: waste rock inclusions in tailings facilities: analysis and design based on the canadian malartic case

        Author/Presenter: Michel Aubertin, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Recent and current work shows that waste rock inclusions can help better manage the disposal of mine tailings and improve the geotechnical stability of structures. Waste rock has beneficial hydrogeotechnical characteristics that favour the reinforcement and drainage of tailings facilities. This innovative technique is currently being applied at the Canadian Malartic mine in Abitibi. The specific features of the technique, with its main benefits and the problems it may pose, are assessed based on a detailed investigation consisting of laboratory tests, in-situ measurements, and numerical analyses. The presentation will outline the main principles of the waste rock inclusion method and will describe the specific context of the use of inclusions at the Canadian Malartic mine, as well as the components of the study that is under way. The main results obtained to date will also be presented and discussed.

      • Mon 10:40 - 11:05

        1916: reuse of crushed waste rock in mining backfill (mixed backfill): acquired knowledge and gaps to address

        Author/Presenter: Tikou Belem, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Mining backfill is crucial for certain underground mining operations, especially when the ground is unstable due to seismicity or a lack of country rock competency. Under certain geological conditions, and based on the mining method being used, the required tensile strength of the mining backfill in terms of ground support is high (UCS 4 MPa). However, with cemented paste backfill (CPB), the UCS for this level can only be attained with the use of high levels of binder. Unfortunately, binders account for 12 to 16% on average of the operating costs of a mine that uses CPB. An alternative may be to add aggregates (crushed waste rock) in the conventional paste backfill to produce a mixed backfill that would meet this new technical and economic requirement. This study reviews the preliminary results of a study on the characterization of this new type of mixed backfill. Two types of waste rock (acid-generating and non-acid-generating), crushed to four different grain sizes (0/5, 0/10, 0/15 and 0/20 mm), and a typical mine tailing were incorporated into mixtures at proportions ranging from 10 to 50% v/v. The UCS obtained with the mixed backfill attained about 3 and 4 MPa at 28 and 90 days, respectively, with 5% binder (20% type GU Portland cement and 80% slag). It was shown that the UCS is influenced by the grain size, quantity and mineralogy of the aggregates used.

      • Mon 11:05 - 11:30

        1917: waste rock management at the barrick goldstrike mine

        Author/Presenter: Johnny Zhan, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Mined for over 30 years, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. (BGMI) is one of the largest gold deposits in the world. To date over 3 billion tons of waste have been produced at BGMI, with waste being placed in waste rock facilities (WRF), open pit and underground backfills, and tailings dams. During the course of mining, almost 300,000 static and hundreds of kinetic humidity cell tests have been conducted to evaluate the acid generation risk of waste rock and a criterion was developed to separate potentially acid generating (PAG) from non-acid generating (non-PAG) waste rock. Monitoring of soil water movement at the AA leach pad over 11 years has shown that a soil cover can be extremely effective in reducing or eliminating the percolation of water to less than 1 % of average annual rainfall. BGMI has developed a comprehensive closure planning, materials characterization, and in-situ monitoring program for the closure of its mine waste facilities. Even though the known reserves provide more than a decade of mine life remaining, BGMI has been aggressive in developing and testing reclamation techniques during concurrent reclamation of WRF. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of the waste management systems at BGMI.

      • Mon 11:30 - 11:55

        1918: filtered tailings: overview of the design and operation of the raglan mine tailings area

        Author/Presenter: Anne-Marie Dagenais, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Located in Nunavik, the Raglan Mine has been operating nickel deposits since 1997 through four underground mines, which are among the richest base metal mines in the world. The concentrator processes about 1.3 Mt of ore annually, which generates about 1.14 Mt/year of tailings, which are thickened then filtered and stored at the tailings facility since 1998. Based on the available information, this is the only mining operation in Canada to use filtered tailings under permafrost conditions. The tailings transported to the tailings facility are first thickened at the plant to about 63-65% solids content, then filtered to 86-88% solids content. They are then transported to the tailings facility by 35-tonne trucks. Filtration of the tailings produces a material with a low enough moisture to enable deposition using earthmoving equipment. The deposition of the tailings at the tailings facility is done using deposition plans developed to schedule activities associated with tailings area management, validate the storage capacity, and guide the construction of the pile. The tailings facility operations and development are namely intended to promote freezing within the tailings in order to create a stable frozen pile and limit acids generation. The presentation includes an overview of the design elements, then describes the tailings deposition operations and the challenges encountered, the planning stages supporting tailings facility development, and the follow-up that was done.

    • prediction and water treatment

      prediction and water treatment
      • Mon 13:15 - 13:55

        1919: keynote speaker: acid mine drainage in the iberian pyrite belt: geochemistry, passive remediation and valorization of wastes

        Author/Presenter: Carlos Ayora, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        The Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain and S Portugal) is one of the largest massive sulphide provinces in the world with estimated reserves of 1700 Mt. Thousands of years of mining has resulted in large number of wastes and more than one hundred fifty orphan sources of high-acidity acid mine drainage (AMD). These drainages have made the rivers Tinto and Odiel deliver a significant percentage of the global flux of continental metals to the oceans. Present day passive remediation systems are based on fine-grained limestone sand dispersed on the surface of a coarse inert matrix of wood shavings. Limestone dissolution raises pH to values around 6, and Fe(III) and Al oxyhydroxides (schwertmannite and basaluminite) precipitate. The high porosity of the wood shavings allocates the new precipitates maintaining a high hydraulic conductivity. A subsequent treatment with caustic magnesia dispersed in wood savings increases the solution pH to 9, and divalent metals (Zn, Cd, Mn, Co, Ni) are also precipitated as complex carbonates. The accumulation of wastes from AMD treatment motivates the research for their valorization in a circular economy perspective. Thus, copper, scandium, yttrium, and lanthanides are entirely retained within the basaluminite.

      • Mon 13:55 - 14:20

        1920: molybdenum stable isotope analyses as indicators of mo attenuation in mine drainage

        Author/Presenter: Elliott Skierszkan, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        This presentation describes a field and laboratory program investigating the application of molybdenum stable isotopes to track processes that limit Mo transport in mine waste. First, a reliable method for Mo isotopic analysis by multi-collector ICP-MS was developed. Second, this method was applied to investigate Mo isotope systematics at the Antamina mine in Peru, and at the Thompson Creek mine (TCM) in the USA. Water samples from experimental waste-rock piles and field barrels at Antamina were enriched in heavy Mo isotopes by > 1 ‰ relative to waste rock. At TCM, drainage from full-scale waste rock impoundments also had elevated δ98Mo (ranging from 1.6 to 1.9 ‰) relative to waste rock (0.7 ± 1.0 ‰; 2 SD, n = 36). Fractionation was caused by Mo adsorption. Chemical sequential extractions targeting Fe-(oxy)hydroxide phases in weathered waste rock revealed lighter δ98Mo of 0.2 ± 1.1 ‰ (2 SD, n = 7). In a parallel study, laboratory batch experiments showed that the precipitation of Mo in the secondary minerals powellite (CaMoO4) and wulfenite (PbMoO4) can increase the δ98Mo of aqueous Mo by more than 2 ‰. Taken together, these results show how δ98Mo signatures can reveal Mo attenuation processes occurring in mine drainage environments.

      • Mon 14:20 - 14:45

        4326: contribution of applied mineralogy in the prediction of the potential for contaminated mine drainage

        Author/Presenter: Mostafa Benzaazoua, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Mineralogy applications to geology and ore treatment is nowadays widely recognized, while its role in environmental assessments still need more efforts to ensure valuable findings. The aim of this paper is, through case studies, to show how applied mineralogy using a multitechniques approach, including data reconciliation and SEM-EDS automated mineralogy, is very useful for ores and by-products characterisation in the design of optimal waste management methods. This must be achieved as early as possible during exploration steps in the mine life cycle. The first case study is the Raglan mine, and consists in the evaluation of the acid generation potential (AGP) of their concentrator tailings. It aims in assessing the efficiency of the pyrrhotite-rich tailings desulfurization by flotation and its capability to produce desulphurized material suitable for their use as covers for reclamation. Partial desulphurization of the main tailings stream at the end-circuit allows lowering the sulphur down to the 0.4 wt.% that is mainly locked within lizardite. The second case study consists of an in-depth, representative characterization of the Canadian Malartic waste rocks to asses their acid generating potential (AGP). An important attention was given to sample sizing (centimeter to micrometer scale). The results showed that quantifying the degree of liberation of pyrite and carbonate minerals allows to precise significantly the absolute AGP of the waste rocks.

      • Mon 15:00 - 15:25

        1921: water quality model: tool for estimating environmental impacts and water treatment needs

        Author/Presenter: Valérie Bertrand, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        The modelling of mine contact water is an important tool that can be used at all stages of project development. This tool is useful in order to guide the water management decision-making process, namely to identify and amend polluting infrastructures, anticipate water treatment needs rather than respond to changes, and direct investments to structures that will minimize environmental, and therefore financial, risks. This article presents examples of modelling strategies for different levels of complexity based on actual cases. The following elements are also discussed: potential accuracy of a model based on the available inputs; information needs (design, hydrology and geochemistry); current pitfalls in water quality prediction; verification of inputs and predictions; use of predictions for environmental impact assessment purposes and water treatment needs.

      • Mon 15:25 - 15:50

        1922: biological treatment of industrial water in northern regions

        Author/Presenter: France Trépanier, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        In fall 2014, the Élénore mine, located in northern Quebec (James Bay), commissioned its gold concentrator. In the weeks that followed, a major increase in nitrogen compounds was observed in the final effluent. Contrary to conventional mining operations, the configuration of the tailings facility (filtered tailings) does not allow water to be stored over long periods of time and contaminants to degrade naturally. The need for treatment proved necessary. A pilot test, conducted in the winter, confirmed the possibility of using biological treatment Involving a Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor for the degradation of nitrogen compounds (CNO, SCN, NH3-NH4, NO2). The system was designed to be operated at a temperature of 8°C in order to take into account reduced efficiency in cold water. A heating system was still used, mainly to accelerate the restoration of bacteria populations in the event of unwanted effects. The new biological treatment system was put in operation in May 2017. The bacteria acclimatization period is expected to take until winter 2018. The first year of operation will serve to validate the results obtained during the pilot test and the reliability of the biological treatment in an industrial environment.

      • Mon 15:50 - 16:15

        1923: emerging contaminants in mine effluents: operational challenges of their treatment and research needs

        Author/Presenter: Carmen Neculita, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Emerging contaminants in mine effluents include three categories: 1) new contaminants (e.g. Mn, Se, sulfate, salinity), 2) common contaminants (e.g. As, Cu), but with very low target in sensitive environments, such as in cold climate; and 3) nitrogen compounds (e.g., ammonia, nitrites, nitrates), indirectly controlled now (through aquatic toxicity) but for which limits are expected in the very near future. The discharge criteria for these contaminants would be difficult to comply with because of the operational challenges of their treatment due to a complex chemistry, persistency, requirements of oxidizing or reducing condition, lack of a proven best available technology economically achievable, and insufficient knowledge as to the optimal efficiency conditions with mixed contamination and evolutive effluents. Therefore, the two priorities of mining companies for responsible water management are: 1) the improvement and/or development of sustainable treatment technologies for emerging contaminants, and 2) the safe management of sludge produced. To address these needs, research must focus on new treatment approaches, which would require no residual salinity creation and involve technologies such as advanced oxidation processes (e.g. ozone microbubbles, hydrodynamic cavitation) and modified (natural and residual) materials.

      • Mon 16:15 - 16:40

        1924: sulfate removal from process water in agnico eagle kittilä gold mine

        Author/Presenter: Laura Nevatalo, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        The Agnico Eagle Kittilä gold mine process water contains elevated sulfate concentration, and to meet new environmental permit, a sulfate removal process was needed to treat process water. The new environmental permit required to decrease the sulfate concentration in the water released to environment to below 2000 ppm starting from 2017. The sulfate in process water origins from the pressure oxidation (POX) stage, where sulfate is liberated from sulfide minerals to the process water. Existing tailings neutralization process removes a major part of the sulfate as gypsum, but after this step soluble, magnesium-associated sulfate still remains in the process water. Different process options were evaluated for sulfate removal from water, and finally precipitation as gypsum at alkaline pH with the aid of lime milk was selected. The gypsum precipitation process was validated in laboratory-scale pilot tests to confirm pH, retention time, solid characteristics, and lime milk consumption. These test results were used as the process and equipment design basis. The sulfate removal plant started to treat water in December 2016. This paper describes the background of the water treatment process evaluation, the laboratory pilot test work for process validation, a general description of the plant design, and operational results of the plant.

    • mine site reclamation

      site restoration and sustainable development
      • Tue 08:30 - 09:10

        4320: geochemical characterization of legacy mine wastes to develop

        Author/Presenter: Carol Ptacek, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        The oxidation of sulfide minerals in mine tailings can lead to the release of soluble constituents that can migrate into the subsurface and eventually discharge to surface water bodies. The rate and extent of contaminant release depend on a series of physical, chemical and microbial processes, leading to large differences in the timing and magnitude of contaminant loadings. The development of remediation systems at legacy mine sites needs to consider the highly weathered nature of the wastes. For example, sulfide oxidation reactions may be well-advanced, indicating that an O2-limiting cover would no longer provide significant benefit. Similarly, soluble secondary solids produced through sulfide oxidation reactions may accumulate within tailings pore spaces. Remediation approaches that enhance dissolution of these products have the potential to increase contaminant release. Case studies illustrate the importance of conducting detailed characterization studies to determine the extent of oxidation reactions, the depletion of acid-neutralizing phases, the accumulation of soluble secondary solids, and utilization of this information to predict the geochemical evolution of wastes to guide decision-making for development of effective remediation strategies.

      • Tue 09:10 - 09:35

        4321: la restauration de grande superficie : cas du site minier abandonné mine principale

        Author/Presenter: Alexandre Couturier Dubé, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Localisé sur l’île Merrill dans le lac aux Dorés et à quelques kilomètres de la ville de Chibougamau, le site minier Mine Principale a fait l’objet d’activités d’extraction et de traitement de minerais d’or et de cuivre pendant plus de cinquante ans. L’exploitation du site et de mines avoisinantes a successivement créé trois aires d’accumulation couvrant près de 170 hectares, où sont entreposées environ 19 millions de tonnes de résidus miniers. Après la faillite de la compagnie en 2010, le site a été inscrit au passif environnemental minier du Québec, et c’est le MERN qui travaille depuis aux étapes menant à sa restauration. Les principaux défis reliés à la restauration de ce site sont l’incertitude reliée aux galeries souterraines, la variabilité spatiale et géochimique des résidus miniers dans les trois aires d’accumulation et l’importante superficie des sites (170 hectares). Plusieurs campagnes de forage géomécanique ont été réalisées, afin de déterminer des méthodes de sécurisation spécifiques à chaque chantier problématique. Des caractérisations hydrogéologiques et géochimiques sur le terrain et en laboratoire ont été réalisées afin d’optimiser l’ingénierie du scénario de restauration. Les résultats des essais statiques et cinétiques sur les différents types de résidus miniers montrent que les résidus miniers du parc A sont fortement générateurs de drainage minier acide, ceux du B sont générateurs d’acide et les résidus du parc C sont non générateurs d’acidité. Le site étant entouré de lacs et les parcs à résidus presque tous endigués, la nappe phréatique se retrouve près de la surface, et c’est le concept de la nappe surélevée avec recouvrement monocouche qui a été retenu comme technique de restauration. L’étendue du site ne favorisait pas le recours à des techniques utilisant des épaisseurs de matériaux importantes, tel que requis pour les recouvrements standards comme la géomembrane ou la CEBC. La revalorisation de matériel tel que des cendres d’usine de cogénération, des déblais d’un projet de la ville de Chibougamau et la réutilisation de résidus miniers à potentiel neutralisant sur le site a aussi permis de minimiser le volume de matériel provenant des bancs d’emprunts avoisinants. Plusieurs autres aspects sont aussi requis pour compléter la restauration du site, tels que la réfection d’un pont, la gestion et le démantèlement des infrastructures, la réhabilitation de sols contaminés, la sécurisation de la fosse et la mise en végétation du site qui fait présentement l’objet de cellules expérimentales sur le site.

      • Tue 09:35 - 10:00

        1925: root colonization of mine covers and impact on their functioning

        Author/Presenter: Marie Guittonny, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        In mine reclamation, covers aim at controlling fluid migration down to reactive wastes to limit contaminant production. Their functioning relies on particular hydrogeological properties of materials which allow to control deep infiltration (barrier to water) or to accumulate water in a moisture retaining layer (barrier to O2). At the short or long term, vegetation becomes established on these covers, either through aided revegetation or through natural colonization. Yet plants affect water balance of the substrate where they develop, especially through their roots. Roots directly influence water balance by absorbing water lost by transpiration. They indirectly change material properties by producing organic matter and creating biopores. However, models which predict cover functioning partially take into account root effect on their water balance and hydrogeological properties, and do not integrate their development distinctive characteristics in mine substrates. In this conference some examples of root colonization in mine covers will be presented, as well as the quantification of root effect on the hydrogeological properties of cover materials. A better understanding of root and mine cover interactions will allow to better predict the long-term performance of covers to limit contaminated drainage.

      • Tue 10:15 - 10:40

        1930: evaluation of reclamation approaches for meadowbank mine’s tailings storage facility

        Author/Presenter: Bruno Bussière, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        The Meadowbank mine is currently designing the final reclamation cover for the closure of its tailings storage facility. In parrallel, a field and laboratory research program was undertaken at the RIME in order to evaluate the performance of three soil cover scenarios entirely made of a non-potentially acid generating waste rock unit. The tested scenarios are two insulation covers (2 and 4 m thick thermal barriers) made of waste rock and an insulation cover with capillary barrier effects (2 m thick thermal and oxygen barrier) in which the moisture-retaining layer is made of fine compacted waste rock. This article aims at presenting the hydrogeotechnical properties of cover materials and at giving details concerning the design of the field experimental cells. The temperature and volumetric water content profiles that were obtained through the monitoring of the field experimental cells are presentend and discussed. Finaly, an evaluation of the durability of cover materials to withstand freeze-thaw and wet-dry cycles was done using various laboratory methods. The conclusions of this research will be used to develop long term reclamation solutions relevant to the Meadowbank site and other similar mine sites located in the North.

      • Tue 10:40 - 11:05

        4322: the design and performance of paste rock covers for mine waste management

        Author/Presenter: Ward Wilson, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Paste Rock is a material produced by the blending of dewatered tailings with waste rock to create a new material with superior physical and hydraulic properties. This new material can be used to construct cover systems for mine tailings and waste rock that restrict oxygen entry and water infiltration to minimize acid generation and metal leaching in sulphide bearing mine waste. Large field scale test trials using paste rock blends of waste rock and tailings have been constructed at the Copper Cliff mine in Sudbury, at the LaRonde and Canadian Malartic mines in the Abitibi region, Quebec. The meso-scale test trials consisted of experimental cells measuring approximately 15m x 15m, with a total depth of about 2.5m. The cells were constructed with various mixtures of waste rock and tailings to produce paste rock cover layers ranging between 600mm to 2000mm thick. The cells’ construction, measured field performance and lessons learned are presented in this paper.

      • Tue 11:05 - 11:30

        4323: geosynthetics clay liners: pushing the application boundaries, but how far?

        Author/Presenter: Abdelmalek Bouazza, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Over the past two decades geosynthetic clay liners have become one of the dominant construction materials in modern municipal solid waste landfills and consequently have gained widespread acceptance for use as contaminant barriers. As our knowledge of the issues related to their use has advanced, their use in harsh or severe environmental conditions has significantly increased. However, their application under these specific conditions generally pushes their performance beyond recommended limits typical for other environmental and engineering applications. Thus transferring technology from applications common to landfills to applications where severe extreme conditions (high/low temperatures and stresses, extreme range in leachates) will be encountered is not a simple matter. Although geosynthetic clay liners can provide new solutions at the same time they can pose new challenges. The lecture will present the latest findings with respect to their performance under severe environmental conditions and will explore the practical implications of these findings.

      • Tue 11:30 - 11:55

        4416: space observation and quantitative risk assessment synergy delivers value to miners

        Author/Presenter: Franco Oboni, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        In this paper we demonstrate how Space Observation and Quantitative Risk Assessment synergy delivers value to the mining industry and site restoration programs. Space Observation refers to a mix of radar and optical satellite image data, and related algorithms that are input into a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) platform. We describe a QRA platform capable of using that “Rich Data” context to deliver an enhanced, timely updated risk landscape of a project or operation. The QRA platform has to be updatable, scalable, drillable and convergent to maximize benefits. Preliminary QRA, using multiple data sources, deliver initial estimates regarding probability of occurrence of various failure modes, consequences of those failure modes, and preliminary alert thresholds. Thanks to Space Observation technologies, it is then possible to confirm and gradually calibrate extant data, as well as related assumptions. High resolution imagery can be used to perform quantitative analyses of surface features which can be employed to verify the volume of mass movements, as well as whether they are due to man-made (construction) or natural (slides, displacements, erosion) hazards. This paper provides examples of specific applications this joint technology provides to miners, allowing for better Risk Informed Decision Making, which in turn generates value.

    • responsible development and mining innovation

      responsible development and mining innovation
      • Tue 13:15 - 13:55

        1926: keynote speaker: from liability to opportunity: developing resource-efficient approaches for the management of sulfidic mine waste

        Author/Presenter: Jennifer Broadhurst, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        The long-term generation of acid rock drainage (ARD) from sulfide-bearing mine waste is a major environmental liability for the mining sector, and frequently also represents a long-term economic burden and loss of valuable resources. Studies have demonstrated that these ARD risks can be effectively avoided, and value recovery simultaneously improved, through the pre-disposal removal of sulfide minerals. Further benefit is attained by consideration of the pyrite-rich and sulfide-lean tailings as resources for further utilisation, thereby minimising waste burden and maximising resource efficiency. Such an approach is consistent with the emergent principles of resource efficiency and the circular economy, and has the potential to contribute to local social and economic development, by stimulating additional business opportunities. Leveraging technological innovations to realise these benefits requires a comprehensive understanding of the available options, and the consequences of these options on a case by case basis. This paper outlines an approach for the early stage identification, analysis and development of opportunities for the desulfurisation and down-stream utilisation of coal processing waste. This multi-phased approach is based on the innovation value chain and entails application of a combination of quantitative and qualitative tools and methodologies, including laboratory-scale testwork, multi-criteria and life-cycle based performance analysis, and a qualitative assessment of technology innovation barriers and drivers.

      • Tue 13:55 - 14:20

        4450: mechanisms and terms of environmental protection and monitoring of mines in impact and benefits agreements with first nations

        Author/Presenter: Olivier Courtemanche, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        It is nowadays current practice for First Nations and mining companies to negotiate agreements on exploration projects and natural resource exploitation located on native community territories. While these agreements are encouraged in Quebec by the ministries involved in environment and natural resources management, they are not contained in a legal framework. In parallel with environmental evaluation processes, these commercial agreements are used to plan, reduce and manage the environmental impacts caused by mining projects on the rights and territory of First Nations. This presentation aims at exploring some terms negociated between mining developers and First Nations relative to environmental protection and monitoring processes implanted throughout the mine life cycle. Through recently negociated examples, the presentation will expose some terms from these agreements, special and innovative initiatives, as well as comment on the role given to First Nations in environmental protection of their ancestral territories.

      • Tue 14:20 - 14:45

        1927: efficiency of methods used for the restoration of mine tailings in the face of climate changes in abitibi-témiscamingue

        Author/Presenter: Émilie Bresson, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, mine tailings restoration is designed to avoid the production of acid mine drainage, which pollutes the surrounding environment, by acting as an oxygen barrier. Tailings facilities, which are surrounded by dikes, have very long lifespans and are designed based on the current climate. Extreme events (e.g. heavy precipitation and periods of drought) may have a significant impact on the effectiveness of restoration efforts as well as cause unstable conditions and dike failure. Climate projections for the next century in this region provide for an increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation and prolonged periods of drought in the summer. Climate change for 2100 has been quantified for three mine sites: Lorraine, Doyon-Westwood and Canadian Malartic. Extreme precipitation defined in climate science is linked to probable maximum precipitation used in engineering. A drought index has been set up. These climate indices are then incorporated into numerical simulations (VADOSE/W) to assess the long-term efficiency of two restoration techniques: a cover with capillary barrier effect (CCBE) and a single-layer lining. The impact of climate change is also studied for dike failure.Les changements climatiques à l'horizon 2100 sont quantifiés pour trois sites miniers : Lorraine, Doyon-Westwood et Canadian Malartic. Les précipitations extrêmes définies en sciences du climat sont mises en lien avec les précipitations maximales probables utilisées en ingénierie. Un indice de sécheresse est mis en place. Ces indices climatiques sont alors introduits dans des simulations numériques (VADOSE/W) pour évaluer l'efficacité à long terme de deux techniques de restauration : couverture avec effets de barrières capillaires et recouvrement monocouche. L'impact des changements climatiques est aussi étudié pour les ruptures de digues.

      • Tue 15:00 - 15:25

        4373: toward mining certification based on principles of sustainable development

        Author/Presenter: Suzanne Durand, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Mining companies and investors that support them are increasingly concerned about compliance with environmental standards and the social acceptance of mining projects. To implement an industry certification standard that promotes the use of good environmental, social and economic practices by exploration companies and their service suppliers, the Association de l’exploration minière du Québec (AEMQ) initiated a certification project based on sustainable development principles in 2013. The UQAT-UQAM Chair in Mining Entrepreneurship has developed a project to establish the standard jointly with the AEMQ and the MISA Group, and was then designated as the project proponent. Drafting of the standard, which is the outcome of three investigations among all mining exploration stakeholders and the joint efforts of a balanced committee created to determine the standard’s contents, was completed in 2016. The final version includes 10 principles, 20 criteria and about 100 indicators. An independent organization is in charge of releasing the standard and the compliance checks, which should soon allow the standard to be implemented in the companies involved.

      • Tue 15:25 - 15:50

        1928: co-development of whabouchi mine project: monitoring the integration of local communities at the design, construction and mining stages

        Author/Presenter: Simon Thibault, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Social acceptance is a dynamic and collective issue which must be considered early on in a mining project until closure. Despite an increase in the positive socio-economic impacts of the project when it takes shape, local communities, especially First Nations, often feel left out of major decisions, which in each case will have both a positive and negative impact on their lives. To avoid such feelings of exclusion, it is important to consider joint development of present-day large-scale mining projects with the stakeholders so that these projects benefit not only the promoters but also the communities involved. This presentation discusses the main steps completed by Nemaska Lithium and the Whabouchi project stakeholders, with the construction phase beginning in late 2016, in order to maintain harmonious cooperation and enable a mining development that is beneficial to all.

      • Tue 15:50 - 16:15

        1929: responsible development and innovation specific to the renard mine project

        Author/Presenter: Martin Boucher, | Room: Rooms 5-6

        Responsible and sustainable mining development undoubtedly involves social acceptance, which represents an investment in time and money. Communication and consultation with the stakeholders cover and quantify future investments and most certainly allow the design criteria for a mine project to be better defined. Having in-depth knowledge of the issues makes it easier to plan, design, optimize and innovate. The Renard project uses the latest technology to meet the community’s expectations, which makes its environmental, social and economic integration all the more easier. The use of unconventional technologies allows high standards to be met and current and future environmental standards to be exceeded. The various innovations specific to the Renard mine project have enabled responsible development that is respectful of the host environment.