Flooded mine pit stability – INERIS, a partner in the RFCS RAFF Project

The launch meeting for the European RAFF (Risk Assessment of Final pits during Flooding) Project, in which the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (INERIS) is participating, was recently held in Poland.

This is the first project funded by RFCS (Research Funding for Coal and Steel), which deals with geo-technical risks linked to the flooding of open-cast coal mines in Europe. In order to guarantee the best safety conditions for these sites, the project will, in particular, evaluate the risk of instability of the flooded mine pits and produce a methodology to ensure that they are monitored over the long term.

The project's main objectives are to identify the risk factors for the lakes of mine reservoirs, develop a methodology for evaluating the geo-technical state of the reservoir and the hydro-geochemical changes in the water of these lakes during and after the process of flooding.

These tasks will be carried out using feedback from partners across Europe on their experience, field investigations on the pilot sites and computer and physical models of flooded open-cast mines. The ultimate aim is to produce an operational guide, which will make it possible to evaluate the geo-technical risks, namely the hydro-mechanical and hydro-geochemical risks, of flooded European open-cast mines in terms of the safety of persons, goods and for the environment.  Ineris is the leader of WP4 and is actively contributing to three of the four work packages that make up the project. In particular, it is responsible for the work package that deals with the methodology for analysing the risks of flooded open-cast mines.

This project, coordinated by the reference organisation tasked with planning open-cast mines in Poland (POLTEGOR), was launched in June 2019 and will end in June 2022. There are twelve European partners.