The HVC Copper Mine Upgrades to a Smart Mine Water Management Network
Highland Valley Copper Operations (HVC) is the largest open-pit mine in Canada, located in south-central British Columbia, approximately 17 kilometres west of Logan Lake. HVC produces both copper and molybdenum concentrates through autogenous and semi-autogenous grinding and flotation. HVC was in need of a way to accurately measure water level (m), flow rate (cms), actual and specific conductivity (µS), salinity (PSU) and total dissolved substances (ppm).
In response to the necessary improvement in water quantity and quality monitoring at the Highland Valley Copper Mine, Teck Resources Water and Tailings Management Division chose Aquatic Life Ltd., supported by AquaHive, to provide consultation and leadership on the best mine water monitoring procedures for this particular project.
The water quality and quantity monitoring on the mine site involved collecting raw data from over 100 stations for both surface and groundwater spread across the mine site. At each of the sampling stations, water flow rate, conductivity, salinity and total dissolved was measured using an Aquatroll 200 in 15-minute intervals.
The Aquatroll 200 can measure multiple water quality and quantity parameters simultaneously in real time. The water quantity was either derived using a flow formula for a control structure (i.e. Weirs, Flumes and Culverts) or by using a rating curve where the water depth is the variable. In order to create a rating curve, a USGS type AA current meter was used to measure the water flow. The USGS type AA current meter was also used for QA/QC purposes in other stations to check the accuracy of the flow values measured.
The instruments are powered using solar power and have the ability to send data back to the central office via satellite using the AquaHive Telemetry System. The AquaHive team was on site to provide data collection and analysis service and provide a monitoring period report.
Today, the Highland Valley Copper Mine, Treck Resources Water and Tailings Management Division has the ability to collect accurate information from over 100 locations. The high-quality data has helped the managers achieve a better understanding of their watersheds around the mine site in terms of the water quality and quantity.