Mine dewatering and water management at Barrick Goldstrike Mine in the Carlin Trend, NV
Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
, 2011, Vol. 330, No. 1, pp. 519-525
Zhan, G.; Listerud, B.; Jones, M.A.
Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. (BGMI) operates the Betze-Post openpit and the Meikle and Rodeo underground mines. Because the majority of the orebody is located below the water table, mining at BGMI requires a significant dewatering program. BGMI has a comprehensive dewatering and water management system that experienced a peak dewatering rate of 4,400 L/s in the mid 1990s. Changes to the hydrologic/hydrogeologic system caused by the mine dewatering have been monitored by an extensive network of groundwater monitoring wells and surface water monitoring stations, which cover about 1,550 km2. In addition to the monitoring program, a new tool, called Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), has also been used to enhance the evaluation of changes. Finally, a groundwater flow model has been developed that successfully simulates and predicts aquifer responses in the mine area and region. The well-calibrated flow model has served as a reliable tool to develop dewatering and mining plans, and project post-closure hydrologic conditions in the region. This paper introduces the BGMI dewatering and water management system and the means used by BGMI to evaluate and anticipate hydrologic responses in the region. The water management and analysis system has been and continues to be an integral part of managing ongoing operations, planning and pricing out future activities and evaluating the long-term effects of mine water handling.