After years and years of constant mining, our planet’s natural resources have considerably waned. Because of this, mining experts and authorities continue to develop ways for environment-friendly mining practices. One such example is In-Situ Recovery (ISR)
By definition, In-Situ Recovery means the extraction of oil, natural gas, and other minerals through technology, rather than the traditional drilling method. Back then, the process of getting these resources was an invasive approach, in which holes would be drilled and abandoned. Since drilling is an invasive procedure, ISR is the better approach. However, there are still some things to be considered if ISR is to be implemented.
In this article, we list down essential things to be considered when adopting ISR. Read on below to get started.
#1 – Knowing a Mining Site’s Geology for Quality Extraction
The first and most important thing to consider when adopting ISR is the site’s geology. If a site has poor quality ore and poor quality geology, chances are there will be a lower chance of successful extraction.
When mining for oil, one must know the oil temperature since the extraction temperature must be below the oil’s flashpoint. The oil temperature will then be used to determine the type of extraction done for the site.
Also, one must know the geology of the site. The site’s geology will be considered when making decisions such as whether to use horizontal wells, vertical wells, or a combination of both.
#2 – The State of the Mining Site
Another thing to consider when adopting ISR is the state of current mining sites. As mentioned, ISR is better because it is not invasive like drilling. However, this does not mean that ISR is the better option in all cases. If a site is already drilled, ISR would not be an option.
#3 – Using the Right Equipment
The equipment used for the extraction is also an essential factor for quality extraction. For example, if a site is being extracted using horizontal wells, then there is a need for horizontal tools. If using vertical wells, then there is a need for vertical tools.
#4 – The Impact on Plan Production
Before deciding to adopt ISR, it’s best to consider the impact on production. ISR methods are more expensive than traditional methods. It would be ideal to choose one way over the other depending on the site’s current state.
Going back to the example of oil, if the chosen ISR method is horizontal wells, the site will need to be prepared before extraction starts. The site must have the required equipment, such as horizontal drilling rigs.
#5 – The Type of Mine Operations Involved
The type of mine operations involved will also be considered. A traditional mining method would be better if the site is a coal mine. If the site is a gold mine, then ISR would be more appropriate since gold is a soft metal and does not require washing.
#6 – Mining Site Restoration Efforts
After the mining operation is done, cleanup is next. The best method of mine restoration must be chosen carefully, regardless of whether it’s within the realm of ISR or not. Too often, mining sites are left with open pits.
It is best to know what penalties there are for leaving open pits to avoid this. It is also best to consider the state of the mining operation and the mining site itself. If the mining site was not reclaimed adequately after mining, it’s best to restore it with another method instead of ISR.
In the past, mining was considered a dirty business. However, mining is now considered a progressive business with the increasing demand for natural resources. Mining can be a sustainable and environmentally-friendly venture if the proper measures are taken.
Group 11 Technologies provides solutions for In-Situ Recovery Mining. Our mission is to facilitate environment-friendly mining operations, and we can achieve that through our non-invasive technology that’s FDA-approved, meaning our methods are up to standard. Contact us today to learn more!