Waste Rock Dumps water balance

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    Brink, Nicholas

    Hi Camilo, I unfortunately don't have any example models that I could readily send, but in general we tend to model WRDs similar to leach pads - we would estimate runoff using hydrological approaches (although for sizing collection drains it is common to assume no runoff and to route all precipitation into and through the rock pile).  Depending on the complexity of the situation, we may also set up a two-dimensional saturated/unsaturated seepage model to estimate seepage rates while modeling precipitation at the top of the WRD (requires some knowledge of the WRD material characteristics).  These models also feed into geotechnical stability analyses, etc. 

    In GoldSim we have used an attenuation relationship to simulate the time delay between precipitation entering the top of the pile and it exiting through the seepage collection infrastructure.  The attenuation relationship can be calibrated based on seepage model results, or using historical precipitation and seepage collection records (i.e. by looking at the delay between a precipitation event and a corresponding increase in seepage collection rates).

    I apologize for the late response, but I hope this helps!  Cheers!

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    Camilo Martinez

    Thank you Nicholas, this is very helpful.

     

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