Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Mine Permitting Services

Project Location:
Eastern Pennsylvania

Converse Responsibilities:
Hydrogeologic Study and Mine Permitting  Graymont Mine Permit 5-2012

Our client operates a surface quarry, three deep mines and a lime processing plant at its Pennsylvania operation. The mining operation extracts Valentine Limestone, a high-value, chemically-pure, relatively thin deposit of middle-Ordovician carbonate rock. Groundwater flow in the area is controlled by a number of factors, including bedding; fractures and joints; folding and local geologic structure; karst dissolution; and normal, strike-slip and rotational faults. The quarries and mines are actively pumped to dewater the workings.

The owner sought to permit a new deep mine that would be developed past (down-dip from) the highwall of the existing quarry. Groundwater protection and water supply diminishment were critical elements of the deep mine application because the proposed deep mine is located near a family of conduit- and diffuse-type springs from which water is taken for a PA Fish and Boat Commission (PAFBC) fish hatchery.

Converse personnel developed a conceptual model of the complex, local groundwater flow system to address groundwater flow, contaminant transport, water supply diminishment and an assessment of impacts of the proposed mining operation. Converse prepared the hydrogeologic component of the permit application and assisted the Mine Engineer with the submission of the geologic component of the application. The hydrogeologic and geologic components of the deep mine permit were accepted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) with minor comments and the mine permit was obtained. Converse continues to provide hydrogeologic and permitting consulting services for our client that include mine landfill monitoring, dewatering permitting and dye-tracer studies.