Seminar on Cold Regions: Cover Systems and Mine Closure

April 7-9, 2014 | Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Canada

Organized by InfoMine

The 2014 Cold Covers seminar was a great success

The seminar was well attended by 54 key decision makers in the field of cover design and mine closure regulation in cold regions

It’s a pleasure to see growing interest for cold cover best practices and environmental stewardship, with 27 participants completing the Cover System and Landform Design in Cold Regions short course

Thank you to all that made this seminar possible!

Closure of mine waste disposal facilities in cold climates such as those of Northern Canada and Alaska pose special challenges. Covers for mine waste disposal facilities demand special attention and engineering techniques. And if the waste is potentially acid generating, the closure and cover requirements are even more stringent.

As part of the Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) program, three reports have been completed since 2009 on the topic of cover systems in cold climates. The first two reports prepared by SRK (MEND 1.61.5a and 1.61.5b) provided reviews of cold regions cover systems and associated research. In 2012, a guidance document on the design of covers for cold climate mine waste disposal facilities was prepared by O’Kane Consultants, Inc. The Cold Regions Cover System Design Technical Guidance Document (MEND 1.61.5c) advances ideas and recommendations for design, performance assessment and construction of covers for cold climate facilities. The document draws on and expands on a long line of technical work by the Canadian and American mining industry and consultants on the design and construction of covers that are intended to last for the long periods that govern successful mine closure.

The Seminar on Cold Regions: Cover Systems and Mine Closure, drew on the MEND documents, specifically the Technical Guidance Document, as well as other experiences in practising mine closure in cold regions. The seminar was organized around 8 sessions (4 sessions per day) during which the session topic was introduced and presented by up to 3 speakers followed by an open discussion period. The focus of the seminar was to encourage open discussions and sharing of information among practitioners of cold climate mine closures.

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