The Zhongguan iron mine is strongly threatened by water inrushes because of the thick Ordovician limestone aquifer and a variety of concealed faults. An inrush event occurred at −260 m below sea level (bsl), inundating the mine during the mineral deposit developing stage. It was very important to understand why and how this occurred to prevent its recurrence. A numerical simulation of a process-based model of the excavation, together with an in-situ groundwater investigation, showed that the event was related to the normally impermeable X1 fault, which was gradually activated from the bottom of the aquifer to the mine roof as excavation developed. The activated fault transformed into an inrush channel, hydraulically connecting the aquifer and the roadway. Thus, faults and other geological structures have to be mapped before mining. Moreover, sealing possible water channels before excavation in potential inrush areas is much better than advance dewatering because of the aquifer’s transmissivity and the limited effectiveness of grout curtains.
Mine Water and the Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 17, 2017
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