Quantitive Dewatering of Mine Dumps by Vegetation-A Proposition

Netchaef P,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
A rationale is presented for the use of vegetation on mine dumps to minimise runoff and infiltration which become vehicles for potential pollution. The unique topography of mine dumps promotes high atmospheric advection which leads to extraordinary energy levels for evaporation discharge - the driving force of vegetation "pumps". This effectiveness is mainly a function of how well the vegetation will grow on a given site. Recent advances in technology allow water discharge by vegetation to be measured semi-automatically, accurately and cost effectively. As a result the basis now exists for a thorough evaluation of the optimum mine dump vegetation cover. This paper presents the current status of dump rehabilitation as seen by the mining industry. The significant prospects for use of vegetation to minimise mine water related problems with subsequent savings in capital and operational cost are also outlined. However, to examine the crucial questions of optimum hydrological ability, suitability and cost effectiveness of various types of dump vegetation a proposition is made to interested parties in the mining industry: The CSIRO needs potential study sites to evaluate the hydrological ability of vegetation under mine dump conditions.
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