Friday, February 24, 2012

Woods Person: Potential Impact of Waste Rock and Tailings Volumes in the Proposed Gogebic Open Pit Mine

Posted by Woods Person
Feb. 23, 2012
Reprinted with permission

NORTHERN WISCONSIN -- The WoodsPerson blog reports working for some time to project the volumes of waste rock and tailings from phase 1 of the proposed GTac mine. Phase 1 would be a mine up to 4.5 miles long, ¼ to ½ mile wide and 900 feet deep. Initial calculations, previously published below, have been refined and confirmed as "reasonable" by four geologists and one mining engineer.

A waste rock pile approximately 200' high. Note ore train in foreground. (Photo courtesy Woods Person)

The purpose of doing these calculations is to emphasize the enormity of this project and to put it into some common frame of reference. Whether one is for, against, or neutral to mining or this mine, an understanding of its scope is important.

The calculations are based on a section study of the Ironwood Formation done in 1929 at the Tyler Forks River and use of the Google Earth program’s elevation feature to determine terrain. These scientists used Solidworks 3D solids modeling software to create a dynamic three dimensional model of the deposit and its surroundings. The dynamic nature of the model allows changing such parameters as terrain, angle of pit walls, width of deposit and the like, as additional information is made available.

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