Impact Of Changes In Water Use Policy And Legislation On Mine Waste Water Management Infrastructure – A Case Study Of In-Line Attenuation Ponds

Author(s): 
Priscilla Janse van Rensburg & Whelan Naidoo
Date: 
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
First presented: 
Tailings And Mine Waste 2018
Type: 
Article
Category: 
Mine Waste

South Africa is an arid country currently experiencing a drought. Consequently, protection of water resources and responsible water use in all sectors, including the mining industry, has been prioritized. New legislation requires stringent pollution control barriers in mine waste infrastructure. During the design of a new tailings dam, a barrier system which includes an HDPE liner was required for compliance and to protect the underlying aquifer. While paddock systems are traditionally constructed around South African tailings dams to manage runoff from embankment slopes, the capital cost was considered prohibitive due to the barrier system to these elements.

This paper presents a summary of the hydrological analysis, flood routing, and design of an in-line attenuation pond system that combines the functions of traditional paddocks and solution trenches. The solution is cost effective, limits evaporative and seepage losses and complies with legislation. The system was optimized by designing the in-line attenuation ponds to provide attenuation during storm events and conveyance during operational conditions.

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