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Volume II - 05 - E - Hydro Logical Investigation

Volume II - 05 - E - Hydro Logical Investigation

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Published by: victor_yu_3 on Aug 12, 2011
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Submitted To:
Lehigh Southwest Cement Company24001 Stevens Creek BoulevardCupertino, California 95014
Submitted By:
Golder Associates Inc.425 Lakeside DriveSunnyvale, California 94085Golder Associates Inc.18300 NE Union Hill Road, Suite 200Redmond, Washington 98052
May 2010
Project No. 063-7109
    R    E    P    O    R    T
May 2010 ES-1 063-7109
hydrologic report_ final
Golder Associates Inc. (Golder) prepared this report for Lehigh Southwest Cement Company (Lehigh) insupport of permitting and reclamation efforts related to development and reclamation of the proposedSouth Quarry, and concurrent reclamation of the existing North Quarry, located at the Lehigh PermanenteQuarry (the Site) in Santa Clara County, California.The objective of this report is to provide an overall characterization of the hydrologic conditions of the Sitesuch that (1) the current conditions are documented and (2) potential changes to the hydrologic systemsassociated with future mining and reclamation efforts are evaluated. The hydrologic investigations,starting in 2008 continuing through January 2010, comprised a series of tasks directed toward anevaluation of surface water and groundwater occurrence, flow, and chemistry. The tasks includedhistorical research, hydraulic testing (pumping and packer tests), collecting and analyzing groundwater elevation and stream flow data, and collecting and analyzing of surface water, groundwater, mine water,rock core, and wall washing samples.The results from the hydrologic investigations were used to further our understanding in developing a siteconceptual model, and as the foundation of a groundwater numerical model (MODFLOW). The numericalmodel was developed to evaluate potential hydrogeologic changes associated with future mining andreclamation activities.
Hydrology Discussion
The following current hydrologic conditions were determined by Golder:
Two separate stream drainages are present: Monte Bello Creek located approximately700 feet from the South Quarry perimeter; and Permanente Creek situated between theexisting North Quarry and South Quarry. Permanente Creek tends to be dry adjacent tothe North Quarry in dry months, while surface water flows occur both upstream of anddownstream from the North Quarry throughout the year.
Groundwater flow is preferentially within the more permeable limestone units comparedto the greenstone and graywacke. However, because the limestone units occur as largeblocks, and are of limited extent, the limestone units behave as a compartmentalized,isolated hydrogeologic system and the overall groundwater system is controlled by theless permeable greenstone and graywacke units.
Locally, groundwater flow is primarily to the north and northeast from a groundwater divide located beneath the ridge separating Permanente Creek from Monte Bello Creek.
The average annual baseflow for water year 2009 was estimated to be 0.30 cubic feetper second (cfs) along the upper section of Permanente Creek south of the WestMaterials Storage Area and approximately 1 cfs approximately 500 feet downstream of the North Quarry dewatering discharge point. The average annual baseflow for MonteBello Creek for water year 2009 was estimated to be 0.08 cfs upstream of the SouthQuarry and 0.14 cfs downstream of the South Quarry.
The North Quarry acts as a sump and is subject to groundwater seepage into the quarryexcavation. During the dry season it is estimated that the ambient groundwater seepageinto the North Quarry is about 200 gpm.
May 2010 ES-2 063-7109
hydrologic report_ final
During future mining activities, the following changes are estimated based on the modeling results:
The average annual groundwater inflow into the North Quarry will initially increase byapproximately 60 gpm as the North Quarry is deepened to 440 ft amsl. The groundwaterinflow rate in the North Quarry will subsequently decrease as the North Quarry isreclaimed (backfilled) from 440 to 990 ft amsl and the South Quarry is excavated. Sincethe South Quarry will be shallower, sustained groundwater inflow into the South Quarrywill be up to an estimated 90 gpm, and will not occur until the base of the South Quarry isat its lowest elevation. Similar to the North Quarry, the groundwater inflow rate willdecrease as the South Quarry is reclaimed (backfilled) to a minimum elevation of 1,110 ftamsl.
The simultaneous development of the South Quarry, and the reclamation of the NorthQuarry, will have no measurable impact on groundwater discharge to Monte Bello Creekand to the upper reaches of Permanente Creek. A decrease in groundwater discharge tothe middle reach of Permanente Creek (i.e., adjacent to the quarry) of 0.1 cfs (40 gpm) isestimated to occur with the deepening of the North Quarry. However, once the NorthQuarry is reclaimed and fully backfilled, then the middle reach of Permanente Creek willreceive 0.46 cfs (206 gpm) more groundwater discharge than under current conditions.
The predicted annual average post-mining water elevation in the South Quarry is belowthe minimum backfill elevation for the South Quarry; therefore, the development of a pitlake is not anticipated based on the available data. The estimated average annual inflowfrom all sources (groundwater, surface water, and precipitation) to the South Quarry atequilibrium is 26 gpm.
The post-mining water level in the North Quarry will reach a maximum elevation equal tothe backfill elevation of 990 ft amsl (which is the low-point surface water overflow toPermanente Creek). At equilibrium, the estimated total annual average inflow(groundwater, surface water, and precipitation) into the North Quarry is 169 gpm. Thesequantities are expected to discharge to Permanente Creek primarily as groundwaterdepending on the permeability of the materials separating the quarry from the creek.During periods of intense rainfall, and during seasonal high groundwater conditions, thereis a potential that discharge from the reclaimed North Quarry to Permanente Creek mayoccur as surface water if appropriate water management techniques are not employed.
The planned quarry expansion will have no significant impact to groundwater levels insupply wells located along Monte Bello Ridge, approximately between ¾ and one milefrom the center of the South Quarry. Therefore, operation of these wells, or any othernearby wells, will not be adversely affected by the planned quarry expansion andsubsequent reclamation.
Current Geochemistry Conditions
The objective of the geochemical evaluation was to establish and document current conditions for surfacewater and groundwater quality. Water quality conditions were characterized over a one-year period. Theprogram entailed sampling of five groundwater wells within the proposed South Quarry, three surfacewater locations (two at Permanente Creek and one at Monte Bello Creek), and mine water quality fromthe North Quarry. Furthermore, to evaluate the environmental behavior of geologic materials present atthe proposed quarry, geochemical characterization of overburden (rock and soil) and ore materials wasconducted. Both laboratory and field-scale testing (wall wash sampling) were conducted to evaluate thepotential for metal leaching. A separate report discusses the analysis of collected data and projectedwater quality.

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