Our support for this project has included assessing potential impacts on nearby groundwater systems, estimating groundwater inflow during mine operations, developing a groundwater flow model, and conducting water level and hydrochemical monitoring.

Resolution Copper

Location: Pinal County, Arizona
M&A characterizes deep aquifer systems to evaluate the feasibility and potential impacts of proposed block-cave mining operations.


This deep ore body—one of the largest copper resources ever identified in North America—will be mined using the block-cave method. It is located in the vicinity of the underground workings of the Magma Mine near Superior, Arizona. Dewatering has already begun as part of prefeasibility study (PFS) activities.


Feasibility Studies

  • Designed and supervised the drilling and construction of more than 30 characterization wells to depths of up to 7,000 feet
  • Conducted aquifer tests to determine hydraulic parameters for multiple zones within fractured-rock units
  • Analyzed available data to characterize hydrogeologic conditions
  • Integrated the hydrochemical, hydrologic, and geologic data collected during the exploration program to develop a conceptual model and characterize recharge / discharge relationships
  • Used the hydrochemical data to assess baseline conditions, groundwater flow pathways, and groundwater–surface water interactions
  • Designed and implemented a monitoring network to assess the groundwater system’s response to dewatering
  • Installed grouted annular instrumentation (fiber-optics and vibrating-wire piezometers) to depths of more than 6,000 feet to monitor rock stress and pore pressures in the ore zone and overlying aquitards / aquifers

Groundwater Modeling

  • Developed multiple groundwater flow models using MODFLOW and FEFLOW at the regional, project, and facility scales
  • Projected the depth and magnitude of potential groundwater inflow during the proposed shaft-sinking

Environmental Impact Studies

  • Developed and maintained a comprehensive database for the large, multi-parameter chemical data sets generated during testing and monitoring
  • Developed a custom, web-based dashboard that provides remote access to data and graphical displays
  • Allowed spatial and temporal data to be seamlessly integrated into GIS applications for easy analysis and display