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16 - Mineral Deposits their Legacies Planning for...

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Mineral Deposits & their Legacies: Planning for Sustainability J. B. Percival Geological Survey of Canada Carleton University March 7, 2007
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Mineral Deposits What constitutes a viable mineral deposit? What are the steps in exploration and development? What are the potential engineering and environmental problems? How to address these problems? What constitutes a successful outcome?
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Definition A mass of naturally-occurring mineral material (metal ores or nonmetallic minerals), of economic value, without regard to mode or origin Glossary of Geology, American Geological Institute Metallic: Ag, Au, Co, Cu, Ni, Metallic: Ag, Au, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb Pb , U, Zn etc. , U, Zn etc. Nonmetallic: diamonds, gemstones, Nonmetallic: diamonds, gemstones, sulphur , gypsum, kaolinite kaolinite , , bentonite bentonite , salt, potash, etc. , salt, potash, etc. Industrial: sand & gravel, marble, granite, etc. Industrial: sand & gravel, marble, granite, etc. Fossil fuels: coal, oil, gas, peat Fossil fuels: coal, oil, gas, peat
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Brundtland Definition of Sustainable Development “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” (1987 Report) Challenges of Sustainable Challenges of Sustainable “ Mining Mining” Development Development Finding a rich deposit no longer guarantees a mine Ability to exploit a mineral deposit in an environmentally friendly manner is a prerequisite
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Exploration Steps Define commodity Determine target region Examine existing data maps, geochemistry, geophysics maps, geochemistry, geophysics Define target locality Fly geophysics aeromag aeromag , gravity, radiometrics Ground follow-up mapping, geochemistry, mapping, geochemistry, geophysics geophysics Drill target Analyses & decisions
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Development Steps Deposit evaluation sufficient grade and size sufficient grade and size accessibility of ore, market value accessibility of ore, market value infrastructure infrastructure regulations regulations Mine planning more technical and environmental more technical and environmental analyses analyses - baseline baseline mine plan, permits and licensing mine plan, permits and licensing Environmental Assessments Environmental Assessments public consultation public consultation construction construction
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Design & Engineering Considerations capital costs capital costs operating costs operating costs type of mining (pit or type of mining (pit or underground) underground) equipment needed equipment needed smelter or mill smelter or mill infrastructure needed infrastructure needed water & waste management water & waste management regulations regulations reclamation and closure reclamation and closure McArthur River, Saskatchewan McArthur River, Saskatchewan
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Engineering Design & Problems Construction of mine (pit or underground) ground instability, rock ground instability, rock instability, hydrologic instability, hydrologic
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