August 17, 2018
Over the last year we have held a number of technical breakfast-seminars on a range of topics, where we believe our approach is providing some thought-leadership. A varied group of stakeholders from the industry (consultants, miners, government authorities, brokers, drillers, etc) have been invited to attend our presentations and to contribute to the discussions. Topics presented so far include:
Hydrogeological Aspects of Reporting brine-hosted minerals within the JORC Code.
This was one of our more technical presentations, with the following key conclusions:
- Brine Resources are a complex Hydrogeological matter not a Geological matter.
- Draft JORC guidelines (developed in conjunction with AMEC) provide advice on what to consider for Brine Resources / Reserves; Canadian Standards (NI 43-101) prescribe how to consider it and are focussed on lithium brines specifically in closed basins.
- Resource Assessments: Presenting volumes based on porosity is optimistic (at best) and is discouraged. NI 43-101 clearly states that “the Specific Yield parameter should be used as the measure of the brine resource”.
- Reserve Assessments: Time dependent, with hydrogeological, engineering, economic and environmental modifying factors. Unlike any other mineral, as extraction starts the grade can change and resource volumes can be altered by recharge.
Ecohydrological Assessment Methodology
AQ2 and Equinox Environmental have developed a suite of tools (The Integrated Ecohydrological Model (IEM)) to quantify aspects of ecohydrological systems – including water source, tree-water stress and likely system response to hydrological change. The IEM includes a stochastic water balance model of the ecohydrological system and an innovative use of leaf-water-potential to determine tree water source and water stress (called the Ecohydrological Rehydration Index). AQ2 and Equinox have presented the methodology to Government Departments and received strong support. As a result, a number of assessments have been made for mining companies in WA, with excellent, quantifiable results.
Cost Effective & Schedule Efficient Approaches to Hydrogeological Data Collection during Mining Projects.
A wealth of hydrogeological data can be collected during early mineral exploration drilling. Collecting this data can results in cost and schedule savings and the early identification of potential Project risks related to groundwater management, allowing sufficient time to determine solutions. Most of this data collection required buy-in from the exploration drillers and geologists – for the hydrogeology data collection to be successful, it is likely that drilling contracts will need to reflect the data collection requirement.