A new open pit mine is in the process of being planned as a fly in fly out operation in Northwest
Queensland. The overburden material consists of approximately 100m of limestone’s, shales and
siltstones overlying a deposit of shales, siltstones and sandstone containing ZnS and PbS, which are
to be extracted. The proposed pit design is for a final pit depth of 200m, a stripping ratio of 11:1, with
the final pit shape being roughly circular with a maximum diameter of 1km at the original surface. The
ore materials are sulphides and oxidise readily. The local weather pattern is of a long dry season in
which occasional storm events of 3-hour duration and rainfall of 10 mm/hr and a short wet season
during which storm intensities are 6 hours at 50 mm/hr. The local environment is typical semiarid
vegetation and a few ephemeral creeks cross the proposed mine site.
The purpose of this exercise is that the student should undertake the following steps:
1. An environmental risk assessment;
2. Determine a suitable conceptual design for the mine waste and mill waste dumps given that
there is potential for acid water generation;
3. For the case of liquid/semi liquid waste from the mill to conceptually design suitable
impounding and treatment facilities; and
4. Develop an environmental management plan which specifically addresses the problem of acid
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