Modeling the Impact of Operational Changes at a Mine on Water Quality
A GoldSim model was built of one of the largest copper/zinc mines in the world. The purpose of the model was to provide on-site personnel with a predictive tool to quickly assess the potential impacts of operational changes (e.g., changing the ore type or quantity to be processed, or pumping water from the tailings pond) with respect to environmental compliance.
The model represented the water balance at the mine site (tailings pond, clean water reservoir, diversion ditches and pumps), the climate conditions (precipitation, runoff, and evaporation), the operational conditions (ore being processed, fresh and recycle water), and the compliance conditions with respect to a variety of regulatory guidelines
To simplify use of the model for site personnel, a customized user interface was provided that contained intuitive input fields and buttons that allowed the user to easily define the initial conditions (e.g., water levels, concentrations, pump states, ore types), and simulate the projected effects of the mine system over a given period of time. This interface also provided easy access to key results that could be used to make operational decisions.