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Geophysics Trial for Proposed Puthep Tailings Storage Facility
Loei Province, Thailand
|Client||Puthep Company Ltd|
|Services||Electrical Resistivity Imaging, Ground Penetrating Radar|
Golder Associates New Zealand Limited performed geophysics to assist with the geotechnical site investigation of a proposed tailings storage facility site for the Puthep Copper Project in Loei Province, Thailand. The setting of the proposed TSF is within a karst environment and local geology consists of limestone, sandstone and alluvial sediments. There is potential for subsurface voids of variable size and fill. The role of Golder Associates was to characterise the subsurface, with a view towards identifying any significant voids.
The goal of the geophysical investigation was to identify efficient methods of characterising the subsurface. Prior to mobilising to site, time was spent in the office modelling the expected response from various potential scenarios in order to determine the expected effectiveness of different arrays. A range of Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) array types and acquisition setups were trialled in the field in order to determine the most effective and efficient approach to production surveying over the TSF site. Because Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is collected more rapidly and provides higher resolution than the ERI methods used, it was trialled with the intention of identifying smaller voids in the near surface.
Data collected in the field underwent preliminary processing each evening for QA/QC. This allowed for guidance of the following day`s activities.
ERI surveying was found to be effective at locating a range of subsurface features. Such features included possible voids, conduits, fractures and other structure. Similar ERI results were observed across the survey site, implying consistent ground conditions. The results also displayed a high level of repeatability, implying that the data collected was of good quality and representative of subsurface conditions. ERI was therefore recommended for further surveying of the site. GPR was not found to be effective at this site, due to soil conductivity and the shallow water table.
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