07-09-2020

Innovative Mine Closure And Reclamation: Parsons Best Practices Applied

Background/Objectives

Mine closure is a complex multidisciplinary effort typically requiring several years of planning and execution. After numerous years of mining, the final stages are closure and post-closure monitoring. The solutions are often unique and complex owing to the different nature of the geology, mining methods employed, and a high degree of uncertainty in the conditions of the various mine wastes. This session will describe the common basis of site risks and Parsons’ approach to managing these risks to provide the best value to owners.

Approach/Activities

Michael Nahir, P.Eng., will describe some of the common key risks and challenges in the consideration of mine closure. Physical and chemical processes will be described in terms of how they affect various mine site components. Various closure methods will be described, along with design life and other considerations. The current state of practice in mine closure will be presented. The Faro and Giant mines are the two largest and most complicated mine closure projects in Canada, each with a different set of challenges. These two case studies will be presented by Jamie Carss, P.Eng., and Michael Nahir, P.Eng. Water management is critical to meeting closure objectives. Les Cordone, PE, will showcase the Faro water treatment program, including an in-situ treatability assessment to determine the most cost-effective and compliant treatment process.

Results/Lessons Learned

To be cost-effective, it is critical to managing all the numerous closure aspects to drive to solutions that meet the owner’s requirements. Michael will present Parsons’ approach to managing site risks and closure plan implementation to provide the best value to owners.

Presenters

Michael Nahir is a civil and environmental engineer with extensive experience in project management, design, and execution of mine site remediation projects in Canada. Michael is Parsons’ Director of Mine Closure and Reclamation responsible for developing and overseeing the mine closure program for Parsons. He previously worked for the Canadian federal government as its Director of the Project Technical Office, which provided technical oversight to $2.8 billion of mine remediation projects. He also served as senior project manager of the Giant Mine Remediation Project. This work included closure planning and executing various remediation tasks on a project valued at more than $980 million. Before that, Michael was design manager for the Faro Mine closure and reclamation plan.


James Carrs is a consulting civil engineer with experience directing environmental and geotechnical assessments at numerous national and international locations. James also has experience in environmental impact assessments and impact mitigations for various industrial developments. As a Senior Program Director, he currently provides care and maintenance services at the 2,500-hectare Faro Mine Complex located in a remote area of the Yukon and one of Canada’s largest, most complex abandoned mine sites, where the primary goal is to capture and treat surface and groundwater impacted by historic mining operations. The captured water is characterized by low pH and high concentrations of total and dissolved metals.


Les Cordone is Manager of Parsons’ Industrial Water/Wastewater Practice and has extensive experience in wastewater management projects, including those requiring completion of sequential tasks through the use of multidisciplinary project teams. As an experienced project manager, he provides the preliminary and detailed design of wastewater and groundwater treatment systems and designs and conducts biological carbon oxidation, nitrification, and physical and chemical treatability studies. He has been involved in the design and construction of more than 15 industrial wastewater treatment facilities with project values greater than $100 million.

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