Mine waste rock and overburden dumps are massive structures. Mountain top coal mines in British Columbia are constructing the largest man-made structures on the face of the earth. These immense waste dumps are often up to 400 meters high, contain in excess of one billion cubic meters of material, and often form mid-valley fills or rock drains. Instability of the structures has caused increased concern by mine operators and government regulators because of risk to the safety of personnel, equipment and infrastructure, and their impact on the environment.
In mid-1990 representatives of industry, CANMET, and the Ministries of Environment, and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources formed the Mine Waste Rock Pile Research Committee to foster research work and ensure a common understanding of these waste dumps.
Design and Operation of Large Waste Dumps is based on three of the documents resulting from a series of studies directed at improving our understanding of behaviour and developing a consistent database for waste dumps: Investigation and Design Manual (1991), Operating and Monitoring Manual (1991) and Review and Evaluation of Failures (1992). Prominent geotechnical consultants and industry representatives have contributed their expertise to the studies.
The studies are being widely distributed by the Ministry of Energy, Mines And Petroleum Resources in the hope that all concerned with mine dumps will find them useful in establishing dumps that are stable, safe, and economically feasible.
The full course consists of 19 viewing sessions of 30-60 minutes each, plus supporting figures and tables and interactive reviews. Appendices include detailed reporting of dump failures and dump operating procedures in BC. Course duration is equivalent to approximately 25 hours of viewing content.