Groundwater Flow Modelling Applications in Mining: Scopes and Limitations

Author(s): 
Claudia Martinez, Karem De la Hoz, Cristian Pereira
Date: 
Monday, January 18, 2010
First presented: 
Women in Mining
Type: 
Published paper
Category: 
Water Management

Water is a key component in the development of the mining industry; from potable water for human use to industrial water for mineral recovery. The rational and efficient use of water resources has became relevant in the evaluation and mine planning, since the exploration phase to closure, once operation is finalised.

In this context the use of numerical models as a tool for diagnosis, management and prediction of water behaviour in the ground, has been gaining considerable importance in the recent years. Although mathematical modelling has its advantages, it cannot be considered as the answer to all questions. It is a dynamic tool that must be constantly reviewed and updated in a continuous improvement process, in search of the representation of natural phenomena.

This paper presents a methodological approach for setting numerical models, addressing its capabilities and limitations, in case of different applications in the mining industry, such as open pit drainage and heap leach.

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