- Mining & Dams

Thermoprobes at the Long Lake Outlet Dam, Ekati Diamond Mine; NWT, Canada

Ground freezing can be a beneficial technology for dam building without regard to any specific industry, or the purpose the dam serves. Containing waste is only one of many aqueous liquids that are controlled by dams - clean water being the most common, whether for storage purposes or flow control purposes.

Dams are typically constructed with an impervious core such as clay, but a frozen core can be used just as effectively, although it is not a well-known method in temperate regions. Sometimes the purppose of a dam is for water storage, and sometimes it is to keep water from invading a downstream area where activities such as mining are being conducted. If you visualize a large mining excavation next to a lake, you can understand the potential for the lake water to invade the adjacent lower area. A dam would mitigate this potential. A frozen dam can be even more effective than a traditional type because freezing can more effectively seal multiple soils types in the dam, and if necessary, well below it

Thermoprobes at the Kubaka Gold Mine; Russia Far East