Dewatering and Depressurization of a Multi-Aquifer Groundwater System at Loy Yang Open Cut, Victoria, Australia

Somerville J, ; Gibson I,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
Three main confined aquifers occur in interseam sediments beneath the planned excavation for the Loy Yang Brown Coal Open Cut. Sub-artesian groundwater pressures occur in all aquifers necessitating dewatering to prevent excessive seepage and depressurisation to prevent heaving of the open cut floor and batter instability. Reduction of water pressures in coal joints is also required to maintain coal face stability. This paper describes the depressurization and dewatering strategies, investigation for and installation of pump bores and groundwater observation bores. Approximately 5000m of drilling is carried out annually for dewatering at Loy Yang and both cable tool and rotary flush drilling methods are utilized. The cabletool method is used to obtain accurate samples for laboratory analysis, whereas rotary flush methods are used for speed and for installation of the larger diameter pumping bores. A method of re-establishing pump bores after partial excavation during mine development has been successfully developed with large cost savings. Trials are also being conducted with pre-collaring of deep bores with rotary methods then sampling the aquifer strata with a cable tool rig.
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