SUPPORTING YOUR GEOCHEMICAL & WATER QUALITY SERVICE NEEDS
BGC integrates geochemistry in every avenue of our geotechnical and water resource services, which provide comprehensive and efficient solutions to our clients.
An understanding of the processes and mechanisms that influence water flow and the composition of the geological materials involved in water-rock interactions is fundamental to the assessment and prediction of water quality. Our team of hydrogeochemists have a diverse skillset to help clients address their geochemical needs across the mining and pipeline life cycles and support the engineering of water management designs.
BGC’s hydrogeochemists have extensive expertise in aqueous geochemistry, acid rock drainage and metal leaching (ARD/ML) and neutral drainage theory and application. Leveraging these specialized skills, BGC provides the following range of services to clients, which integrate their needs with the evolving practice of geochemistry across the globe:
- Design and implementation of ARD/ML characterization and water quality monitoring programs
- Regulatory submission and permitting support
- Field-based monitoring and/or office-based support in construction and operations through to post-closure
- Development and implementation of Management Plans for mining
- Contaminant transport mapping
- Flow and load accretion studies
Water Quality Modelling
Our hydrogeochemists work alongside BGC’s hydraulic and groundwater numerical modellers to develop geochemical source terms to input into coupled water balance and water quality models (e.g., in GoldSimTM) for the prediction of chemical concentrations/loads associated with mine facilities and receiving environments. Simulated results are used in site-wide operational modelling/monitoring, design of water treatment or water management strategies, and development of site performance objectives. Consideration of non-conservative transport mechanisms may be incorporated through source term development, analytical calculations and/or externally modelled using geochemical software such as PHREEQC.
Water Management Design
The management of contact water, through water control or treatment measures, is important for water resource protection and part of BGC’s multi-disciplinary approach to providing our clients with effective design options and planning. Simulated results from water quality modelling guide the development and selection of water management designs, which integrate geotechnical, engineering and water flow/chemistry design considerations and objectives. BGC has wide experience with designing and implementing water management structures using a variety of approaches and methods (e.g., perimeter ditch, interception trench, cut-off wall, pump-back seepage interception system, encapsulated ARD/ML waste).
Projects involving pipelines, roads or railways differ from mining projects in their linear nature, with the potential to intersect a larger number of unique geologic lithologies than more centralized mining footprints, and most bedrock typically presents low to very low total sulphur percentages. BGC has developed a step-wise approach to conducting geochemical hazard assessments, and established criteria to evaluate ARD/ML potential and assign a geochemical hazard rating (from Very Low to High) across the linear alignment. The geochemical hazard rating is also associated with the field management plan to inform the construction crews on procedures to recognize/validate the geochemical hazard through grading/ditching, manage the spoils, and design of mitigative measures to reduce the potential of these materials to produce ARD/ML conditions.