Use of a Tracer for In Situ Stope Leaching Solution Containment Research
Description:In situ stope leaching is an innovative mining system that reduces the surface impacts of conventional underground mining. As in any leaching operation, stope leaching requires hydrologic site characterization and control of leaching solutions. Several tracer tests, using sodium chloride (NaCl) in various concentrations, were conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) in an underground experimental stope to simulate a leaching environment. The tests were conducted in fractured crystalline rock that was partially water-saturated. As tests progressed, the surrounding fractures became more saturated. A predominant flow direction away from the stope was found during testing. Testing procedures, results, and a remediation plan for in situ leaching based on field observations are presented in this report.
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