FracMan is a powerful way to model groundwater flow in mines where the flow is in the fractured bedrock. I have written extensively about the code, but it seems I got some things wrong, or at least things have changed since I last wrote about it. Hence this update.

First, let me acknowledge the individual who pointed out the following to me in a kind e-mail:

The FracMan Technology group has about 30 staff members spread all over the world, but mostly situated in Seattle, Stockholm, and Germany.

Ms. Isabelle Staub, PhD, is today Mrs. Isabelle Olofsson, PhD, and does not work for Golder Associates but for the Swedish Nuclear waste and Management Company. Please visit http://fracman.golder.com/consulting/Group.asp for a more updated list of staff.

Here are two case histories I found on the FracMan site regarding mining:

  • For Chino Mines Company: Performed three dimensional groundwater flow and solute transport numerical modeling to predict long-term effects of tailings pond expansion on sulfate concentrations in groundwater. Model calibration was based on existing field data and data obtained from aquifer tests on existing wells.
  • For Westinghouse Hanford Company: Developed a stochastic hydrogeologic model to estimate groundwater and methane inflow rates into an underground facility in low permeability fractured basalt as part of the design of an underground testing facility. Uncertainties in all critical elements of the data base were incorporated into the analysis, including the geologic structure and hydrologic parameters. The resulting probabilistic inflow estimates were subsequently used to design the dewatering and ventilation systems for the facility to address an acceptable level of risk. The study, which cost about $100,000, resulted in a system design which cost tens of millions of dollars less than would have been justified by typical conservative deterministic design methods.