Significance of natural ground-water recharge in site selection for mill tailings disposal

Stephens, D. B.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Assessing the occurrence of natural ground-water recharge at mine and mill waste disposal sites may be crucial to addressing regulatory agency concerns regarding the potential impact of waste seepage on ground-water resources. Recharge has been shown to occur even in semi-arid areas where annual lake evaporation exceeds precipitation. Permanent storage of waste seepage in the unsaturated zone is not to be expected if recharge occurs under natural conditions. Establishing the direction and rate of fluid movement in the vadose zone by field measurements is an important element that should be included in the site selection process.
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