Predicting the steady-state water quality of pit lakes

Lewis, R. L.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
A simple method for estimating the steady-state water quality of a pit lake is presented. The steady-state concentration of a conservative chemical constituent in a pit lake is shown to be a simple function of the inflow rate, the evaporation rate and the inflow concentration. An analytical method is presented for estimating the equilibrium ground water-inflow rate for use in water-quality predictions. The time required to reach chemical steady state is estimated using an iterative mass-balance model. Mine operators should find the methodology useful for planning and screening regulatory applications where conservative estimates of pit lake water quality are desirable.
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