Mining Hydrogeology and Impact Assessment Services
Since its inception, MMA has provided hydrogeologic consulting services to mining and related industries. MMA analyses have been used to establish ground-water extraction rates for mines, minimize the potential for depletion from surface-water bodies, and support negotiations with state and federal regulators.
Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. - Elko, Nevada
MMA has provided technical guidance for the control of groundwater in the largest open-pit gold mine in North America.
Barrick Open-Pit Gold Mine
Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. owns and operates the largest open-pit gold mine in North America northwest of Carlin, Nevada. Nearby, Barrick also operates an underground gold mine. The groundwater flow system is in fractured and solutioned carbonate rocks, fractured volcanic rocks and alluvium. Groundwater levels must be lowered about 1,600 feet below pre-mining levels to keep the two mines dry for mining. Barrick developed a groundwater flow model prior to the start of pumping and has re-calibrated the model each year as new data were acquired. Currently, the model is used to establish pumping rates for the desired amount of water-level lowering at the mines, management of pumped water and possible depletion of base flow of nearby mountain streams.
MMA prepared a report on the conceptual model of the groundwater flow system, conducted a technical review of the existing model made recommendations for model testing, evaluation, improvement and documentation.
Proposed Zinc and Copper Mine, Crandon, WI
MMA completed a review of groundwater modeling which predicted the impact to sensitive surface water bodies.
Proposed Metallics Sulfide Mine
The Crandon mine was a proposed metallic sulfide mine to be located near the town of Crandon, Wisconsin and the Mole Lake Ojibwe Reservation.
McDonald Morrissey Associates provided a review of groundwater modeling completed by the Crandon Mining Company as part of their application to create a zinc and copper mine.
Prior to receiving a permit, the mining company was required to establish that water in all surface-water bodies would be preserved at levels that protect specific commercial and recreational uses and that groundwater moving from the mine site meet water quality standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Site Reviews for Mining Companies Worldwide
McDonald Morrissey Associates has assisted mining companies evaluate potential sites around the world.
Evaluation of Potential Mining Sites Worldwide
MMA has assisted mining companies evaluate potential sites in Australia, Russia, Zambia, Pakistan, and other countries.
These evaluations include construction of groundwater flow models, determining if the groundwater is likely to be present in sufficient quantities for mining operations and ore transportation, and estimations of how much groundwater is required to be pumped to allow mining to proceed. These reviews have involved site visits and are often conducted as part of a diverse project team.
Other Representative Projects
Proposed Coal Strip Mine, Castle Valley, Utah –- Conducted a study to determine the effects of a proposed coal strip mine on groundwater levels in the Ferron Sandstone Aquifer near Emery, Utah. The work involved an extensive data collection effort that included test-drilling, aquifer testing, borehole geophysics, stream gaging and development of a three-dimensional flow model to predict effects of the proposed mine on ground-water levels the sandstone aquifer.
Pipeline Tunneling Impact Assessment, Columbus, Ohio — MMA assisted Eagon and Associates, Inc. in the development of a groundwater flow model to assess the affect de-watering associated with interstate pipeline tunneling.