Climate Change in Mining

BGC’s climate change expertise was an asset to the following mining projects and related climate change scopes:

Mine Site Climate Change Impact Assessment LOCATION: Central British Columbia, Canada

BGC completed an assessment of climate change impacts during mine closure on two TSFs, and their associated spillways, spillway channels, water management ponds, and ditches. The project used projected climate trends to identify potential impacts of climate change, and aided development of a climate change risk register. Recommendations for future analysis based on the projected changes in rainfall and snowpack (in turn, runoff volumes and peak flow rates) were provided, to assess the appropriateness of the design’s consideration for climate change.

Terrain Stability and Geohazard Assessment LOCATION: Central British Columbia, Canada

BGC completed an analysis of potential flood inundation as part of a larger terrain stability and geohazard evaluation assessment. Historical flood data and flood frequency analysis data were used to assess and characterize watercourses within the project area. BGC further applied modelled flood discharge values to estimate climate-adjusted peak flows for 200-year flood events. The flood modelling and peak flows were then used to determine impacts to infrastructure and as design inputs for planned structures.

Mine Climate Hydrology Update LOCATION: Northwest British Columbia, Canada

BGC completed an update to the design hydro-climate parameters, i.e., the inputs to our designs, at a mine. As part of the work, several climate models were analyzed, and the impacts to the projected extreme rainfall and flooding events were assessed. Projections for the 24-hour and 10-day duration probable maximum precipitation and probable maximum flood, were produced. These results were incorporated into our designs. Output from climate models is now an integral part of evaluating dam designs in consideration of future climate risk and an evolving requirement to meet industry standards.

Climate Change Integrated Geotechnical Mine Design LOCATION: Kyrgyz Republic, Central Asia

BGC has provided support for climate change integration into geotechnical design at a mine site. The project site is located at an elevation over 4,000 m and surrounded by glaciers. A frozen-moraine dammed proglacial lake is present upstream of the mine infrastructure. Anticipated changes to precipitation, seasonal melting, snowpack, and permafrost conditions are key considerations at the site. BGC carried out a data review and risk assessment of pit dewatering efforts, developing a GoldSim-HSPF model to estimate runoff into the open pit, incorporating climate projections into the model inputs. On the basis of climate-adjusted peak flood estimates, dam breach analyses and inundation modelling have been completed for both the natural and man-made dams present on site. BGC has also completed dam stability design at the site with consideration to the challenging foundation conditions of ice and permafrost present throughout the site.