Brine Mining

Hydrogeology plays a critical role in determining the economic viability and development strategy of solution mining operations. To evaluate the producibility of underground brine prospects, it is critical to determine the volume of the brine resource available inside the source aquifer as well as the ability of that fluid to flow out of the rock.

Surtech Systems can help solution miners by designing and deploying a logging program that delivers direct hydrogeology answers to define the brine resource.

BMR instruments can acquire the main hydrogeological measurements required to characterise the resource; it measures the Total Porosity of the aquifer (resource volume) and can be used to determine the Specific Yield, the fraction of the fluids that can be recovered, and the Hydraulic Conductivity and Transmissivity of the system.

To complement BMR, additional resistivity measurements can be added to the program to quantify the salinity of the brine and better understand the composition of the solution.

Brine

Client Challenge

The Client needed to evaluate their sulphate of potash brine deposits to understand of how much of a resource is present and how it can be most economically produced. To do this, it is necessary to calculate the bulk aquifer volume, the specific yield, and the brine composition; while the primary subsurface control on economic production is hydraulic conductivity, which dictates the rate at which the brine can be produced to surface. NOTE: Specific yield and hydraulic conductivity are analogous to the free fluid volume and permeability quantities that are of interest in oil and gas resource assessment.

Our Solution

Surtech successfully deployed a packaged logging program to include the Borehole Magnetic Resonance (BMR) tool from NMR Services Australia. BMR was applied for the evaluation of specific yield and hydraulic conductivity, thereby meeting the Client’s requirements.