Selection of Materials in Sensitive Environment

The Quintette Mine, which operated from 1984 to 2000, is located in north-eastern British Columbia, east of the Rocky Mountains and approximately 15 km south of Tumbler Ridge. In anticipation of a restart of operations, a site wide water management plan was developed for the mine. Structures within the water management system included ditches and sedimentation ponds. A range of materials were assessed, including: compacted till, corrugated steel half pipes, concrete, gabions, reno mattress, riprap, grouted riprap, and bituminous geomembrane for lining of diversion ditches; and compacted till, LLDPE, HDPE, and bituminous geomembrane for lining of sedimentation ponds.

The materials were initially assessed, at a high level, for general advantages and disadvantages, with materials that could potentially satisfy the project requirements given further consideration. Bituminous geomembrane was selected for both the ditches and sedimentation ponds during detail design. This was based on a review of case studies and literature, which indicated that the bituminous geomembrane performance could achieve the environmental objectives and that it could be installed in a wider range of climatic conditions than compacted till.

Piggott, M-J. and R. Friedel. 2015. “Selection of Materials in Sensitive Environment,” in Mine Water Solutions in Extreme Environments 2015, Vancouver, BC, April 12-15, 2015.