Mines: Site Closure, Reclamation, and Conversion
Geosyntec recognizes that the conversion of closed or abandoned mine sites into productive economic assets or safe, open space is one of the most challenging aspects of life-cycle mine management. This is accomplished through the execution of a mine site reclamation and closure planning process with a focused end-state vision that brings valuable economic benefit to the surrounding community and the environment. The concept of mine site "conversion" not "closure" represents a new paradigm of life-cycle mine management that can add value to shareholders and reduce long term environmental liability. This new paradigm is accomplished through strategic land use planning of a mine site, before mining even begins, and carrying the land use vision through the permitting, production, and conversion of mining operations to other productive land uses. Geosyntec's experience with the mining industry has been focused on supporting the land use vision, and developing engineering solutions throughout the operations and closure/conversion process to maximize the economic benefit of mine sites after the economic resource has been extracted.
Geosyntec bring decades of experience in geoenvironmental engineering and waste containment systems to the design of mine closure encapsulation remedies to prevent exposure to, and potential release of, contaminants to the environment. We have designed and overseen the construction of on-site disposal facilities (OSDFs), for the long-term, safe disposal of mine wastes and byproducts at mine sites impacted by many types of organic and inorganic wastes as well as low-level and mixed radionuclides. These OSDFs have saved our clients millions of dollars compared to off-site treatment and disposal alternatives, while reducing the potential long-term liability associated with off-site disposal. Our engineers are also specialists in the application of soil and waste treatment technologies. We have used reducing and oxidizing agents, both organic and inorganic, to change metals, such as chromium and arsenic, to less toxic and less mobile oxidation states. We have used in situ bioremediation methods to treat perchlorate-impacted soils. We have used cement, fly ash, lime, and kiln dust to solidify and strengthen a wide variety of mine operation derived wastes.
Our international groundwater and surface water assessment and remediation practice focuses on developing solutions for our clients' most challenging assignments involving metals (chromium, arsenic, lead, selenium), petroleum hydrocarbons (diesel, gasoline), and other organic chemicals (e.g., chlorinated solvents). We are among the international leaders in the application of in situ technologies such as bioremediation, bioaugmentation, permeable reactive barriers, and chemical oxidation for remediating a wide variety of contaminants.