Meiers, G, O'Kane, M & Mayich, D 2011, 'Evaluating the performance of a high density polyethylene lined cover system at the reclaimed Franklin Mine near Sydney, Canada', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & A Beersing (eds), Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 269-280, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1152_95_Meiers
Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) has implemented a remediation programme for the Franklin coal mine located near Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Waste rock generated from the Franklin mine and ten other mines in close proximity, all of which operated from 1885 to 1959, were consolidated into the Franklin waste rock pile (WRP). The waste rock is acid generating with the potential to continue to generate acid rock drainage (ARD). A cover system was constructed over the Franklin WRP in the fall of 2010 with the overall objective to minimise detrimental impacts of the mine waste on the receiving environment in the short term and facilitate recovery of the environment disturbed by mining over the long term.
The Franklin WRP cover system consists of a geotextile fabric, engineered 60 mil high density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembrane, a geocomposite drainage layer, and 600 mm of glacial till. Instrumentation was installed during construction of the cover system to facilitate evaluation of its performance over time under site-specific climate conditions. The primary objective of the monitoring programme is to develop a database of cover system moisture and thermal field responses, as well as internal WRP dynamics and groundwater conditions within the WRP footprint, for eventual calibration of a soil-plant-atmosphere numerical model and groundwater flow and contaminant transport model. The modelling effort would ultimately be capable of developing predictions and further understanding of long-term cover performance in limiting impacts to the receiving environment.
The WRP performance monitoring system is detailed within this paper along with preliminary performance of the cover system. This paper provides unique insight into developing an understanding for the change in waste rock pore-water chemistry and waste rock pile seepage quantity and quality as a result of placing a low permeability cover system over a full-scale waste rock pile in a seasonally humid environment. The challenges and solutions for developing a performance monitoring system for a full-scale cover system that incorporates a low permeability cover system are also discussed.
Aubertin, M., Bussière, B., Barbera, J.M., Chapuis, R.P., Monzon, M. and Aachib, M. (1997) Construction and instrumentation of in situ test plots to evaluate covers built with clean tailings. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage, Vancouver, BC, 31 May–6 June, pp. 715–730.
Ayers, B., O’Kane, M. and Barbour, S. (2004) Issues for consideration when designing a growth medium layer for a reactive mine waste cover system, Tailings and mine waste ‘04, Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 161–164.
Benson, C. (2000) Liners and covers for waste containment. Proceedings Fourth Kansai International Geotechnical Forum, Kyoto, Japan.
Benson, C.H., Sawangsuriya, A., Trzebiatowski, B. and Albright, W.H. (2007) Postconstruction changes in the hydraulic properties of water balance cover soils. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 133(4), pp. 349–359.
Brennecke, D. and Corser, P. (1998) Performance Issues Related to Geosynthetic Liners at Monticello, Utah, Proceedings Tailings and Mine Waste ‘98, Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 351–360.
Darilek, G., Laine, D.L. and Parra, J. (1989) The Electrical Leak Location Method for Geomembrane Liners: Development and Applications. Proceedings Geosynthetics ‘89, Industrial Fabrics Association International, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, pp. 456–466.
Giroud, J.P. and Bonaparte, R. (1989) Leakage Through Liners Constructed with Geomembranes – Part 1. Geomembrane Liners, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Vol. 8, Elsevier Science, England, pp 27–67.
Hockley, D., Kuit, W. and Phillip, M. (2009) Sullivan Mine fatalities incident: Key Conclusions and Implications for Other Sites, in: Securing the Future and 8th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage, 22–27 June 2009, Skelleftea, Sweden.
INAP (2003) International Network for Acid Prevention. Evaluation of the long-term performance of dry cover systems, final report, prepared by O’Kane Consultants Inc., Report No. 684, 2 March.
Meiers, G., O’Kane, M. and Barbour, S.L. (2009) Measuring net percolation rates for waste storage facility cover systems, Proceedings 62nd Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 20–24 September.
Meiers, G.P., Barbour, S.L. and Qualizza, C.V. (2006) The use of in situ measurement of hydraulic conductivity to provide an understanding of cover system performance over time, Proceedings 7th International Conference for Acid Rock Drainage, St. Louis, MO, USA, 26–30 March, pp. 1259–1272.
MEND (2000) 7th Annual BC MIEM – MEND 2000 Metal Leaching/ARD Workshop, Dry Covers, Predicting Solubility Constraints, Research and New Developments BC03, Vancouver, BC, Canada, November 2000.
MEND (2004a) Design, construction and performance monitoring of cover systems for waste rock and tailings, Canadian Mine Environment Neutral Drainage Program, Project 2.21.4, Vol. 1, July 2004.
MEND (2004b) Design, construction and performance monitoring of cover systems for waste rock and tailings, Canadian Mine Environment Neutral Drainage Program, Project 2.21.4, Vol. 4, July 2004.
O’Kane, M. (2011) State-of-the-art performance monitoring of cover systems – Moving from point scale to macro scale approaches, from 7th Australian Workshop on Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD), Darwin, NT, 21–24 June 2011.
O’Kane, M. and Barbour, S.L. (2003) Predicting field performance of Lysimeters used to evaluate cover systems for mine waste, Proceedings Sixth International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage, Cairns, pp. 327–339.
O’Kane, M., Porterfield, D., Haug, M.D. and Endersby, M. (1998a) The design and implementation of the field test plots at BHP Iron Ore, Mt. Whaleback – a soil cover system for an arid climate, Proceedings 1998 SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit, Orlando, Florida, 9–11 March.
O’Kane, M., Stoicescu, J., Januszewski, S., Mchaina, D.M. and Haug, M.D. (1998b) Design of field test plots for a sloped waste rock surface, Proceedings 15th National Meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, St. Louis, MO, May 16–21, pp. 368–378.
O’Kane, M., Wilson, G.W. and Barbour, S.L. (1998c) Instrumentation and monitoring of an engineered soil cover system for mine waste rock, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 35, pp. 828–846.
OKC (2011) O’Kane Consultants Inc. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation – Record of Installation Report for the Reclaimed Franklin Waste Rock Pile Cover System, Letter Report No. 831/1–02 prepared for ECBC, April 2011.
Peggs, I.D. (2003) Geomembrane Liner Durability: Contributing Factors and the Status Quo”, 1st United Kingdom Geosynthetics Symposium, UK Chapter of IGS, Invited Keynote Speaker, June 2003.
Penman, H.L. (1948) Natural evaporation from open water, bare soil and grass, Proceedings of the Royal Society, (London) Part A. Vol. 193, pp. 120–145.
Phase (2010) Phase Geochemistry. Review of Available Geochemical Information for the Franklyn Waste Rock Pile, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia., memorandum to Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation from Phase, 19 October.
Phillip, M., Hockley, D., Dawson, B., Kuit, W. and O’Kane, M. (2009) Sullivan Mine fatalities incident: Technical investigation and findings, in Securing the Future and 8th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage, June 22–27, 2009, Skelleftea, Sweden.
Rollin, A.L., Marcotte, M., Jacquelin, T. and Chaput, L. (1999) Leak Location in Exposed Geomembrane Liners Using an Electrical Leak Detection Technique”, Geosynthetics ‘99, Industrial Fabrics Association International, Roseville, MN, pp 615–626.