The value of research throughout the life of a mine

16 May 2019

The Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) recently hosted a group from the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP), including representatives from member companies Agnico Eagle Mines, Anglo American, BHP, Kinross Gold, Newcrest, Newmont, Rio Tinto and Teck Resources.

The delegation visits Mount Carrington

INAP Technical Manager Gilles Tremblay and Associate Professor Mansour Edraki from SMI's Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation led the group across a week of activities, including a visit to Mount Carrington in northern New South Wales, a gold mine under care and maintenance, and Ipswich’s New Oakleigh coalmine, a site with impressive rehabilitation outcomes. 

The group also participated in a one day mini-symposium on acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) management, which involved presentations from industry, government, and academia that focused on key challenges to AMD management.  

The discussions around industry’s key questions reinforced the value of research throughout the life of a mine, particularly early interventions to reduce risks from mine wastes and tailings.

A good example of this is the current method of building waste rock dumps. The internal structure of the dumps created by tipping trucks creates ideal conditions for the generation of acid and metalliferous drainage. In response to this, INAP recently commissioned a study into alternative dump designs and AMD prevention methods for waste rock dumps.

SMI is a global partner for INAP and in collaboration with the rest of The University of Queensland is organising the next International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD) to be held in Brisbane late August-early September 2021.

Slide show from the mini symposium