Reclamation - The Use of Computer Aided Design to Integrate Reclamation and Mine Planning

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
Mine planning typically involves designing an operation to uncover coal with the minimum initial costs with reclamation planning and earthworks being done as an "add on" task. The landform is too steep to remain stable, has no drainage and frequently has areas of excessive acidity or alkalinity. Extensive earthworks are required to reduce grades to an acceptable level and create a drainage system. The flexibility available to the mining engineer to alter the post mining landscape clearly depends on the mining methods. Straight dragline stripping provides virtually no flexibility. However most mining operations over the term of current ten year plans have a substantial pre-strip component. It is this pre-strip material which has the potential to reduce the final reshaping earthworks. The reshaping operation itself is subject to some flexibility with various options being available to re-grade and provide drainage. The full utilisation of this flexibility to minimise earthworks cost should be the aim of reclamation design. ACIRL's current thrust in reclamation is aimed at the integration of mine planning and reclamation earthworks. This involves gathering all environment and agricultural criteria and designing the earth works necessary to produce an acceptable final landform. A key component of our work is the use of computer aided design (CADD) for the design of spoil piles, pre-strip dumps and spoil re-shaping. This approach has been applied to a number of mine sites with earthworks operations covering hundreds of hectares and hundreds of millions of cubic metres volume. We are continuing to provide that consultancy service and at the same time are involved in the development of more sophisticated software tools to apply to reclamation design.
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