Seminar on Cold Regions: Cover Systems and Mine Closure

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

Organized by InfoMine
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Short Course

One short course was offered prior to the Cold Covers 2014 seminar.

Cover system and landform design in cold regions


Mike O´Kane, M.Sc., P.Eng., President, O´Kane Consultants Inc., Calgary, AB, Canada (Coordinator biography)

Gordon McKenna, Ph.D., P.Eng, P.Geol, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, BGC Engineering, Vancouver, BC, Canada (Coordinator biography)

Justin Straker, MSc, PAg, Forest Ecologist, Soil Scientist, Principal, Integral Ecology Inc., Victoria, BC, Canada (Coordinator biography)

Lee Barbour, Professor of Civil and Geological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Date for Workshop: Monday, April 7, 2014

Course Length: 1-day 8:30-4:30

Coffee and Lunch: will be provided

Course Objectives: This one-day workshop will introduce landform and cover system design to a broad audience, providing specific design techniques applicable to cold regions.  Key attributes of cold regions will be presented and discussed based on the Cold Region Cover System Design Guidance Document (MEND 1.61.5c).  This course is intended to benefit those responsible for and involved with the development, management, analysis, design, and review of closure and reclamation plans for mine waste storage facilities.

Description: A key focus of the workshop will be demonstrations and examples on the importance of linking the impact of predicted performance of varying closure options and designs to groundwater / surface water receptors.  The workshop will present a methodology for developing site-specific performance criteria for a cover system design in cold regions to manage acid-forming mine waste and control acid rock drainage.  The methodology links the predicted performance of a cover system to groundwater and surface water impacts.  This way, the appropriate level of control (of oxygen ingress and/or net percolation) required by the cover system can be determined.

An interactive case study will be presented giving the participants the opportunity to break into small groups and develop their own “closure plan”.

Utilization of the Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA) as a useful risk analysis early in the design phase will also be discussed.  Failure modes specific to cold regions will be discussed and highlighted through a case study and group exercise.

The workshop will include the following:

  • Site reconnaissance / Characterization and development of cover system design objectives
  • General introduction to landforms and cover systems
  • Unsaturated zone hydrology (brief overview)
  • Landform design
  • Key attributes of cold regions for cover systems
  • Considerations for cover system and landform design in cold regions
  • Cover system design details, examples, and case studies
  • Developing sustainable vegetation for landforms and cover systems
  • Long-term performance
  • Breakout sessions for interactive case study development and discussion (including FMEA)

Products/course materials: Hardcopy of Power Point notes and reference material.

Preparatory reading material (optional): Cover Design in Cold Regions Technical Guidance Document downloaded using the following link – 

Short Course

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