Plenary Lecture

Mine Site Reclamation Challenge Through Some Examples in Québec (Canada)

Professor Abdelkabir Maqsoud
Research Institute - Mines and Environment
Quebec University

Abstract: The mining industry generates large amounts of solid and liquid waste. These wastes include overburden, fine-grained mill tailings produced by the ore processing plant and waste rock extracted to reach the orebody. These wastes have the potential to adversely impact the environment if not properly managed. Special attention is required when the wastes contain sulfide minerals. The oxidation of sulfides minerals by atmospheric oxygen generates contaminant in the drainage water. This phenomenon is called acid mine drainage (AMD) when the effluents are acidic. In these situations, actions must be taken at the mine site to prevent environmental impacts caused by AMD. For that, reclamation of mine site constitutes the most important challenges for the mining industry and different techniques were developed to control the production of AMD. These techniques are used to eliminate, or to reduce to very low levels, the water flow (hydraulic barrier) and / or oxygen flux (oxygen barrier) to reactive tailings. Under humid climate, the most appropriate techniques to control oxygen flux are: i) the water covers ii) cover with capillary barrier effect (CCBE), and iii) monolayer cover with an elevated water table iv) covers made of materials consuming oxygen. These techniques were used for mine sites reclamation in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Québec Canada). This paper focuses mainly on mine sites reclaimed using cover with capillary barrier effects. The emphasis will be on their characteristics, performance and the means implemented to improve these techniques of mine site reclamation and research prospects in this field.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Abdelkabir Maqsoud completed his undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco in 1989. He earned his MSc. (1991) and PhD (1996) from university of Sciences and Technologies of Lille, France studying the karst development in Paris Basin. During his postdoctoral training in Canada, he studied water movement under unsaturated conditions and was recruited in 2002, as Research Scientist. Currently, he is a professor in mining hydrogeology in the Research Institute - Mines and Environment of the Quebec University in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), Canada. Gross' research areas include: mine site reclamation, water movement under unsaturated condition including hysteresis effects, hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of porous and karstic aquifers.

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