Mine Dewatering Solutions from Groundwater Engineering

Groundwater Engineering


Mine Dewatering

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Dewatering and groundwater control forms a vital part of many mining projects. Most open pit and underground mines will extend below groundwater level and poorly controlled groundwater can impact the safety and efficiency of mine operations.

Mine sites that implement a planned dewatering programme will typically see benefits of mine dewatering, including:

  • More efficient working conditions: better trafficking and diggability, reduced downtime due to pit flooding
  • Reduced blasting costs: lowering groundwater levels in advance of working will provide dry blast holes, reducing the need for more costly emulsion explosives
  • Lower haulage costs: Dry ore and waste rock weigh less than wet material, so dewatering of rock provides a haulage cost saving
  • Improved slope stability and safety: lowering of groundwater levels and reduction in pore water pressures can allow steeper slope angles to be used, while maintaining or increasing factors of safety
  • A range of groundwater control techniques can be used, depending on the geology and the type of mine:
  • In-pit pumping – used to pump from sump areas within the pit
  • Perimeter dewatering wells – used to intercept lateral groundwater flow into the pit and to lower groundwater levels in advance of mining
  • Pit slope depressurisation drains – inclined or horizontal drains used to provide permeable pathways to allow trapped or slowly draining groundwater behind pit slopes to bleed off into the pit
  • Cut-off walls – slurry walls used to exclude groundwater from shallow alluvial or drift deposits, or to seal off preferential flow along permeable strata
  • Grouting and artificial ground freezing – used to seal off preferential groundwater pathways, or to reduce ground permeability in advance of shaft sinking or roadway development

Groundwater Engineering provides complete mine dewatering solutions:

  • Design of mine dewatering systems
  • Well drilling and installation
  • Pumping tests
  • Equipment sales and rental
  • Monitoring systems
  • On-site operation and maintenance

Download Technology Data Sheet - Mine Dewatering PDF


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