Mining Sites Litigation Support

Services

Expert Testimony & Litigation Support
Environmental Assessment & Site Remediation

Problem Nature and Extent

Aries was retained by an insurance company to provide litigation technical support regarding mine closure for several mines located in the southwest United States.  Aries assessed mining processes that released contaminants into property soil, groundwater, and surface waters.

Groundwater contamination resulted from precipitation contacting sulfide-bearing rock exposed during mining, which formed sulfuric acid causing metals to leach from the surrounding rock. The leached metals then flowed into site-area groundwater and surface waters. Tailings ponds that received processed ore waste also generated an acidic metal-rich wastewater which contaminated surface water and groundwater.  Additionally, the smelting process generated a slag waste disposed of on site, metal laden air emissions, and acid blowdown that was discharged to surface waters.  

Solution

  • Aries assessed each mine's excavation/concentration/smelting process for associated environmental impacts on the underlying groundwater and surface water.  
  • Aries evaluated appropriate mine tailings closure techniques, and prepared closure budget estimates for the sites including review of administrative orders of consent along with state and federal regulations. 
  • Aries assisted the insurance company by evaluating and categorizing closure expenses for the mines providing visuals to clearly demonstrate our observations of impacted areas requiring closure.  We further evaluated closure expenses for reasonableness and necessity which benefited both the mining company and insurance company and helped negotiate the resolution of a complex claim.

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