Long-Term Erosional Stability of Mine Spoils

Riley S,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 0
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
Many regulatory bodies have, or are considering, guidelines that require rehabilitated mine spoils to be erosionally stable (satisfying quantitative limits) over specified design lifetimes. One of the problems facing the industry is that many of the computer models used for erosion assessment were developed for agricultural applications and are unable to predict the change in the shape of engineered landforms over extended periods of time. In particular, they cannot predict where valleys and gullies will develop in the landforms and how big or deep they will be. Furthermore, many existing models require considerable skill to use. A computer model (SIBERIA) developed by the first author, able to model this valley and gully development over long design lifetimes, and which is directly based on digital terrain maps is discussed here. Proposed rehabilitation strategies for waste rock dumps at Ranger Uranium Mine as assessed with SIBERIA are discussed. New features of SIBERIA of interest to the mining industry include the spatial distribution of erosion, deposition and gully development, and various measures of the quantitative risk of failure. A collaborative project with the Queensland Coal Association, involving the first author, aims to deliver these capabilities to the coal industry in a user-friendly package. The objective is the cost-effective rehabilitation of strip mines. Some preliminary results from this project are presented.
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