Recent flooding of the shaft and underground mine workings at the Cigar Lake uranium deposit in Saskatchewan reminds us of the significance of groundwater in mining. I have searched the web for a good book on the topic. I sought a book with a title like Groundwater and Mining. I found a lot about mining groundwater, but that is an entirely different topic, albeit important, but no more mining in the conventional Infomine sense than laying and removal of mines.

There are of course many fine books out there and a vast number of sites and technical papers dealing with one or another of the many facets of the interaction of groundwater and mines. But no one resource that brings it all together in a comprehensive overview.

Maybe I should write the e-book on groundwater and mining. I shudder at the thought of writing a paper book on the subject. That would simply take more time and resources than I have available. The advantage of an e-book would be the ability to write it in parts and to link the reader to the relevant resources. No need to repeat what is already well-written, and readily available at the click of a keypad button. And no need to compile an exhaustive list of references simply to prove familiarity with the body of knowledge. Moreover, one could continually update the e-book.

Perhaps we can think of this piece article as the introduction of my new e-book, Groundwater and Mining. Better still, this may be the beginning of a new EduMine course with the same title.

Let me propose a table of contents for this book:

  1. Introduction (obligatory)
  2. The Principles of Groundwater Relevant to Mining
  3. Groundwater Characterization for Mine Sites
  4. Shafts & Underground Mines: Groundwater Control
  5. Open Pits and Groundwater (including slope stability)
  6. Groundwater Protection for Tailings Impoundment, Waste Rock Dumps, and Heap Leach Pads.
  7. Groundwater Control at Mines: Grouting, Freezing, and Pumping
  8. Groundwater Remediation at Mine Sites
  9. Closure and Long-term Issue for Groundwater at Mine Sites
  10. Software for Mine-related Groundwater Analysis
  11. Instruments to Monitor Groundwater at Mines
  12. People in Groundwater at Mines: Heroes and Experts
  13. The Future

I make a few promises in preparing this e-book: no acronyms; no splitting the word into two, i.e., ground water; no use of terms like hydrogeology or geohydrology; and no mention of sustainability.

If you would like to contribute a chapter, a section, or subsection to this book, let me know and let us discuss how we can proceed with what promises to be a fun and fascinating new undertaking.