In collaboration with a local Colombian consulting partner, INTERA is performing the baseline investigation of site hydrogeology, hydrology, and mine waste geochemistry of a copper and gold mine. INTERA’s Patrick Williamson, Principal Hydrogeologist, is currently leading a preliminary feasibility study (PFS) level baseline investigation of the Alacran Cu-Au mining project in northwest Colombia. The site is located in a remote area with limited road access. With 2021 being an unseasonably wet year, and the fact that the area already receives 2,800 mm/year of precipitation, the limited road access was left almost impassable to access by vehicle. As a result, the project team was forced to improvise and perform much of the initial site reconnaissance of the project area on horseback. Five of the electrical resistivity tomography lines for groundwater characterization were performed using pack animals in one area of the site that had no road access. The project has included an extensive characterization of the surface water (flow and chemistry) within the regulatory required hydrologic “area of influence”, as well as in the San Pedro River basin, to complete the water supply trade-off study. To inform the surface and groundwater water balances, as well as the numerical groundwater modeling, the INTERA team has: performed spring and production well census; conducted packer, injection, slug, and infiltration tests to characterize groundwater; installed piezometers; designed and implemented a surface and groundwater quality characterization program integrating major ions and isotopes to evaluate their interaction; and designed, installed and operated surface water flow measurement networks.
As demonstrated on this mining project, INTERA is committed to bringing our clients a refreshing blend of technical expertise, collaborative spirit, and innovation that leads to reliable and practical solutions. To learn more about INTERA’s Mining services, visit: https://www.intera.com/industries/mining/