Pre‐mining depressurizing of a deep ore body at the McArthur River mine, the largest single producer of uranium in the world, was considered to decrease the risk associated with mining and increase the ground stability and the amount of ore that could be extracted. The challenge was to depressurize the high‐grade ore bodies without propagating a significant amount of drawdown to the surface where impacts on surface‐water resources and the associated aquatic habitat would be significant environmental issues. The objective was to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of depressurizing the ore body.
Robert Swindell is an experienced engineering geologist with an M.Sc. in engineering geology from Leeds University. He has practical and theoretical experience in the fields of tunnel design, site investigation, rock reinforcement, mining and grouting. Robert has worked as a rock engineer in numerous different roles including design consultant, client’s technical specialist and as leader of a tunneling contractor’s engineering geology team. He also has specialist knowledge within the field of engineering geological modelling and ground modelling for rock mechanics.
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