Australia has been warned of the earthquake danger to Olympic Dam uranium mine
SEISMIC EXPERT: “MAGNITUDE 7 EARTHQUAKE RISK OBSCURED AT OLYMPIC DAM URANIUM MINE”, Coober Pedy Regional Times, 31 May 2010 “Was the Clark Shaft accident at the Olympic Dam mine preceded by a seismic event?”
A geophysicist who investigated earthquakes for the US Geological Survey for 22 years, says that the connection between mining and seismicity [earthquakes] is obscured in Australia, particularly the seismic hazard of the Olympic Dam mine.
In a communication [Memo] sent to various federal and state government ministers [and others] on Tuesday 22 May 2010, Seismologist Edward Cranswick discusses the 35-km-long, steeply dipping Mashers Fault which passes through the middle of the Olympic Dam ore body. A fault length which implies an earthquake of maximum about 7.
The same memo is available as a PDF
BHP Billiton has proposed to dig the largest open-pit mine on the Earth at Olympic Dam, 4.1 km long, 3.5 km wide, 1 km deep. As a geophysicist who investigated earthquakes for the US Geological Survey for 22 years , I strongly criticised BHP’s Olympic Dam Expansion Draft Environmental Impact Statement 2009 (ODXdEIS)  because it omitted consideration of seismicity, i.e., rockbursts or earthquakes, caused by open-pit mining, despite the fact that seismic hazard is well-known in the Australian mining industry …..
Traditionally, underground mines are deeper, and therefore, more seismically hazardous than shallow open pits, but the proposed pit at Olympic Dam will be as deep as the underground mine it replaces. Based on the dimensions of the open-pit, the results of McGarr et al. (2002)  suggest an earthquake of maximum magnitude 4-6 could occur.
The 35-km-long, steeply dipping Mashers Fault passes through the middle of the Olympic Dam ore body that is to be mined – that fault length implies an earthquake of maximum magnitude about 7…….
It is absurd – irrational, unscrupulously & tragically dishonest and unprofessional – that the ODXdEIS for the proposed largest open-pit mine on Earth does not address the principal hazard to digging that mine, triggered/induced seismicity and rockbursts…… http://cooberpedyregionaltimes.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/seismic-expert-magnitude-7-earthquake-risk-obscured-at-olympic-dam-uranium-mine/
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