April 2016
Volume 68    Issue 4

Pit lake water treatment assists with legacy acid rock drainage issue in anticipation of restart at Mount Todd gold mine

Mining Engineering , 2016, Vol. 68, No. 4, pp. 34-34
Moran, P.B.; Forbort, J.; Rozelle, J.W.


The Mount Todd gold mine is located approximately 50 km (31 miles) north of the town of Katherine in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia just off the Stewart Highway, and was operated in the 1990s until 2000 (Fig. 1). After cessation of mining operations, meteoric precipitation and acid rock drainage (ARD) associated with surface water runoff continued to report to the retention ponds across the mine site. In 2000, the mine site entered receivership and the NT government became responsible for the care and maintenance program. In 2006, Vista Gold Corp. (as Vista Gold Australia) acquired the rights to resume exploration on the mine site without the financial responsibility of the environmental liability. In January 2007, Vista Gold assumed the care and maintenance activities on behalf of the NT government, with the environmental liability remaining with the NT government, with the goal of reinitiating mining operations. A critical path component of the planned upgrades to the existing mine/milling facilities and infrastructure was the development of a cost effective treatment and dewatering program for the approximately 11 GL (2,900 million gal) of ARD stored in the Batman Pit (RP3), which has a maximum capacity of approximately 12 GL (3,200 million gal). The Batman Pit must be dewatered in order for Vista Gold to restart mining activities.  

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