Water Inflow Patterns in Zambian Mines

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
An analysis of pumping figures suggests that there are two distinct styles of water inflow patterns in Zambia's mines. Carbonate hosted orebodies (Kabwe and Nampundwe) display a characteristic seasonal variation in water inflow with peak pumping showing a short time lag with respect to the rainfall pattern. Aquifer characteristics are controlled by secondary, weathering enhanced, near surface phenomena. Non-carbonate hosted orebodies such as those of the Copperbelt (Konkola and Nkana) occur in successions of highly variable lithology and consequently there are stacked aquifers of variable character. Inflow of water does not display seasonal variation. The major factors affecting the amount of inflow are the structural setting, the geometry of the orebody and the local lithostratigraphy. Thus the Konkola orebodies which occur in a saddle shaped open ended basin result in what is probably the wettest mine in the world, pumping some 376,000 cubic metres of water a day.
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