Effect of water on bitumen mining
In open natural bitumen mines, bitumen extraction, with the minimum price and optimal quality, is the most important goal of mining.
Bitumen mines in the west of the country, like other open pit mines in the world, are no exception to the existence of water.
For this reason, the evaluation of mining operations in open pit mines of West Gilan is of special importance due to the extent of this process, which results in the production of raw materials with desirable quality and price.
In general, costs increase due to reduced travel time and relocation of entire operating units.
The presence of water also increases drilling and blasting costs and necessitates the use of waterproof explosives.
The water pressure behind the walls of the mine causes the instability of these walls, and so, the wet conditions of the mine lead to wear and tear and early depreciation of the equipment. And the consequence of dealing with the groundwater level is the entry of water into the mine, which at best is a nuisance and at worst a danger.
Reason for increasing extraction cost:
Problems caused by the presence of water in mining operations increase the costs of bitumen extraction, reduce the efficiency of machinery and manpower, increase the number of accidents, electrical problems and so on.
Thus, deep groundwater drainage can be an effective help to reduce these problems and save a lot of money on the cost of bitumen extraction.
Water drainage can be an effective aid in reducing the problems mentioned and major savings in extraction costs.
Today, one of the problems of open bitumen mines in the west of the country is the entry of groundwater into the mineral pit, which makes all mining activities and drainage management difficult.
Groundwater drainage is one of the factors affecting the stability of stair slopes in open pit mines. Drainage galleries are one of the solutions to control groundwater level. In the mining process, if the groundwater drainage system is stopped, there is a possibility of water returning to the original level.
Negative role of water in bitumen mines
Most of the open pit bitumens of Gilan Gharb, in some places during the life of the mine, will face some water, which is generally detrimental to the operational activities of the mine.
These operational effects can have significant financial consequences for an open pit mine.
Wet mining has the following negative operational effects:
1- The fall of some holes, which need to be re-drilled due to the presence of water, will play an important role in increasing the cost of the product compared to dry conditions.
2- Carrying mineral and wet waste
3- Low loading and loading efficiency
4 – Temporary loss of access to some parts of the bitumen mine pit, due to reduced safety and stability of the slope of the mine walls and stairs
Also, in wet mining conditions, due to the high humidity of the water, the mining time of the mine increases.
It is better to calculate the cost of production per ton of extracted natural bitumen by determining the groundwater model and type of drainage. To reduce all mining costs and spend that cost on development projects in the mine.
By groundwater drainage in open bitumen mines, optimal and lower cost mining operations will be provided along with sustainable development.