This study reviews the methods and models used to predict water quality at hardrock mine sites, with an emphasis on the state of the art and on advantages and limitations of these techniques. Because water quantity and quality are interrelated, methods and models used to predict water quantity will also be discussed, but the emphasis will be on how these methods relate to water quality.
This study brings together technical information on water-quality predictions at mine sites in a single report, and attempts to present a straight forward approach to using and evaluating the results of the methods and models used to predict water quality at mine sites. Approaches developed primarily in the United States, Canada, and Australia and applied in these countries and in other parts of the world, especially in the last 10 years, are discussed, and the format of the study is geared toward use by regulators of hardrock mines.
The approach and results of this study could also be used by environmental managers at mine sites and community groups, and allows for the creation of a checklist for prediction methodology used at mine sites. Recommendations are made for improvements in water quality prediction methods and models.