Water Resource Management for Mine Sites

Modeling Groundwater Quantity and Quality at Mine Sites

For mining applications, groundwater modeling can aid in assessing impacts to water quantity and water quality, as a result of mining activities. Some examples include:

  • regional water budget analysis – determining the available water supply
  • environmental impact assessment of pumping/dewatering
  • design and optimization of the dewatering well network
  • contaminant transport modeling of tailings leachate
  • design of a groundwater remediation system

For large open pit mines (e.g. ore mining in the Rockies), it is necessary to determine mine dewatering pump rates, and to understand mine slope stability during mine development. Often, the pore pressures/hydraulic heads from a MODFLOW are used as inputs for geotechnical models in order to estimate appropriate pit face geometry.

In the dewatering phase, it is important to determine how much drawdown will occur to surrounding water bodes (lakes, rivers) and also to private/public water supply wells as a result of dewatering.  During the recovery/decomissioning phase, it is essential to estimate how high water levels will rise (pit lake recovery), and determine if contaminants from mine waste tailings will discharge to aquifers and surface water bodes, and assess various remedial scenarios in order to mitigate these risks.

Online References using Visual MODFLOW

Note: Waterloo Hydrogeologic does not imply endorsement of software from the authors of these publications/reports.

 TitleRegion Keywords
Hydrogeological Modeling of Mining Operations at the Diavik Diamonds ProjectCanadaTDS, Water quality
Macraes Gold Project Groundwater Contaminant Transport ModellingNew ZealandMine tailings, contaminant transport
Jamestown Mine Harvard Pit Water Balance ModelUSpit water balance/budget model
Safety Assessment of Former Uranium Mine and Milling Facilities in Ukraine and Decommission ConceptionUkraineRadionuclides
Environmental Assessment for the Marathon PGM-Cu Project, at Marathon, OntarioCanadaMODFLOW-NWT and MODPATH
Hydrogeological Pre-Feasibility/EA Support Study – Goliath ProjectCanadaMODFLOW-NWT
Rehabilitation of abandoned bauxite surface mines using alumina red mud as filler (REFILL)Greece
Simulating Seepage into Mine Shafts and Tunnels with MODFLOW
Published in: NGWA Ground Water
TheoryUnderground Mine Workings (UMW)
Using MODFLOW and GIS to Assess the Changes to the Groundwater System due to Mining Activity
Published in: International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT)
Hydrogeological and groundwater modeling studies to estimate the groundwater inflows into the Coal Mines at different mine development stages using MODFLOW, Andhra Pradesh, India
Published in: Water Resources and Industry