Publication Details

Zhao, L., Ren, T. & Wang, N. (2017). Groundwater impact of open cut coal mine and an assessment methodology: A case study in NSW. International Journal of Mining Science and Technology, 27 (5), 861-866.


Large scale open cut coal mining operations have significant impacts to groundwater in surrounding areas in both active and post-mining phases. The prediction of water inflows into a surface mine excavation is one of the many components involved in mine design phase. Groundwater performance also reacts to mining activities from the operational, economic and safety implications perspective. Under NSW planning legislation, as part of the comprehensive risk assessment, a groundwater impact assessment has to be conducted for a coal project to predict and mitigate the impacts in consideration of the government requirements. In this paper, the groundwater assessment modelling of mine pits was discussed in predicting of groundwater inflows and reviewing analytical and numerical approaches. A methodology of groundwater impact assessment for an open cut mine in NSW with a three-dimensional groundwater flow model Modflow Surfact demonstrated its functions in simulating the project's impacts on the groundwater regime. The key findings with mitigations are discussed and recommended in the paper to reduce impacts on groundwater and fulfil regulation requirements in NSW.



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