Clear Creek Co-Founder and Principal Hydrogeologist Douglas Bartlett, CPG, RG, CHG, will be presenting at the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) Lunch & Earn webinar on March 28, 2023, on the topic of Groundwater Issues Encountered in Mining Projects. The AIPG Lunch and Earn Webinar Series is designed to provide continuing education opportunities.
This webinar will describe key groundwater issues encountered at mining projects during development and operational phases of mining. Foremost is the need to have an adequate water supply for the life of a mine. Without a secure water supply, mineral assets have no value. In the Southwest U.S., surface water resources are scarce; therefore, mining companies routinely rely on local groundwater resources to provide an adequate water supply for a project. Defining the hydrogeologic setting of a potential mine should begin at the exploration phase of a mining project. Opportunities for taking advantage of field work to define the local hydrogeology in the early stages of a mining project will be presented.
Production wells for mining properties are often located in bedrock settings. Exploring for bedrock aquifers requires a good understanding of the local geology and can incorporate mineral exploration tools such as surface geophysics, detailed geologic mapping, and remotely sensed data. Finally, once a production well field has been established, operation of bedrock production wells can be challenging due to their inherent inefficiency as compared to sedimentary basin fill production wells. Analysis of empirical data from operations can be used to assist operators in understanding how to balance pumping rates and duty cycles to extend the life of bedrock wells.