Dr David Jones is an Industry Fellow with the Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry (CWiMI) in the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), University of Queensland and has been awarded Honours and PhD degrees in Inorganic Chemistry. He has 40 years’ experience in the environmental assessment and management of water quality issues across the gold and base metal mining and energy (coal, coal seam and shale gas, uranium) sectors in Australia and internationally. During this period he has held senior positions in research (CSIRO), industry (Rio Tinto), and government (Commonwealth Department of the Environment), and is now the Principal of his own consulting business (DR Jones Environmental Excellence). This range of experience enables him to bring a broad perspective to often controversial environmental issues.

His research and consulting activities have focussed on identifying the geochemical and biological processes controlling the release and subsequent transport and fate of inorganic contaminants from the mining, minerals processing and related industries. A particular strength is a systems approach that integrates the physical, chemical and biological components of environmental problems. He has led and participated in numerous investigations of the impacts of mining and energy production on water quality and health of aquatic ecosystems, in devising and implementing treatment systems for minewaters, in developing decommissioning and closure plans and providing technical peer review of documents and reports produced by others.

Dr Jones’ professional standing is recognised by regular invitations to participate in mining environment-related conference organising committees, and by his membership of national and international steering committees oversighting the production of best practice guidance for mining environmental management.

Technical Expertise

  • Assessing leaching potential of coal, base metal, gold and uranium mine wastes.
  • Hydrochemical and geochemical investigations of waste rock and mine tailings to develop effective decommissioning and rehabilitation strategies.
  • Ground and surface water quality issues associated with backfilling and flooding of coal and metal mine pits.
  • Passive and active treatment of mine waters.
  • Biological uptake pathways for metals released into the aquatic environment.
  • Developing water quality closure criteria for mining operations.
  • Managing multidisciplinary teams to develop decommissioning and rehabilitation strategies for minesites.

Completed and Current Activities

  1. Independent scientist on the Department of the Environment & Energy’s steering committee for the National Risk Assessment of chemicals used in the extraction of coal seam gas (2013-2016).
  2. Water quality expert on the team providing independent technical advice to the PNG Government on extension of the life the Ok Tedi mine (2014-2015)
  3. Lead author for the Leading Practice Sustainable Development in Mining Handbook on Acid and Metalliferous Drainage and contributing author for the handbook on Evaluating Performance: Monitoring and Auditing (2015-2016).
  4. Peer review of the geochemical component of the 10,000y surface and groundwater water quality modelling predictions for post closure performance of the Ranger uranium mine (2016-2018).
  5. Peer review of the water quality modelling predictions for operational and post closure periods for the PNG Sepik R copper project EIS (2016-2020).
  6. Water quality expert on the Independent Scientific Inquiry into the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory (2017-2018).
  7. Lead for the geochemical assessment of sulfidic waste at Rum Jungle to inform the development and costing of the rehabilitation plan for the site (2014-present).
  8. Senior advisor to Coffey Services Australia for the water quality and geochemical aspects of a closure pre-feasibility study for the Hercules and Rosebery mines in Tasmania (2019-present).


Dr Jones has authored and co-authored in excess of 80 peer reviewed journal and conference papers and book chapters. He is also the lead or co-author for over 110 major consulting reports (titles available on request).

Selected Journal Papers

Romano CG, Mayer KU, Jones DR, Ellerbroek DA & Blowes DW (2002) Effectiveness of various cover scenarios on the rate of sulfide oxidation of mine tailings, Journal of Hydrology 271(1), 171–187.

Jung RF, Jones, DR & Batley, GE (2003) Corer-reactors for contaminant flux measurement in sediments, J.Environ. Qual., 32, 1905-1910.

H. Topp, H. Russell, J. Davidson, D. Jones, V. Levy, M. Gilderdale, G. Davis, R. Ring, G. Conway, P. Macintosh and L. Sertorio (2003), Process water treatment at the Ranger uranium mine, Northern Australia, Water Science & Technology, 47(10), 155–162.

van Dam RA, Humphrey CL, Harford AJ, Frostick A, Jones DR, Davies S, Storey AW (2013) Site-specific water quality guidelines:1. Derivation approaches based on physico-chemical, ecotoxicological and ecological data., Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21, 1, pp. 118-130.

Bartolo RE, Harford AJ, Bollhöfer AF, van Dam RA, Parker SM, Breed K, Erskine WD, Humphrey CL, Jones DR (2017) Causal models for a risk-based assessment of stressor pathways for an operational uranium mine. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 23, 685-704.

Chen Q, Cohen DR, Andersen MS , Robertson AM , Jones DR (2022).  Stability and trace element composition of natural schwertmannite precipitated from acid mine drainage, Applied Geochemistry 143 (2022), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2022.105370.

Selected Conference Papers

Jones DR, Jung RF and Chapman BM (2015) Removal of metals from pH circum-neutral mine water by biologically-induced diurnal pH cycling. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage and International Mining and Water Association Annual Conference, 21–24 April 2015, Santiago, Chile, 10pp.

Jones DR, Ferguson P, and Laurencont (2017) Rehabilitation Planning at the Former Rum Jungle Mine Site in Northern Australia Part 1. Geochemical Characteristics of Mine Wastes and Inferred Post Rehabilitation Source Terms. In ‘Proceedings of the Ninth Australian Workshop on Acid and Metalliferous Drainage, Burnie, Tasmania. 20-23 November 2017. (Eds. Bell, L.C., Edraki, M. and Gerbo C.) pp. 271-279 (The University of Queensland: Brisbane).

Cohen DR, Chen Q, Andersen MS, Robertson AM, Jones DR, and Kelly B (2017) Chemical and economic feasibility study of alkaline CSG waters in AMD Remediation. In ‘Proceedings of the Ninth Australian Workshop on Acid and Metalliferous Drainage, Burnie, Tasmania. 20-23 November 2017. (Eds. Bell, L.C., Edraki, M. and Gerbo C.) pp. 231-238 (The University of Queensland: Brisbane).

Ferguson P, Jones DR, Skoglund J, and Tebaibi Z  (2022) Pit Backfilling with Waste Rock at the closed Bouchard Hébert Mine, Rouyn-Noranda (Québec), Canada In Edraki, M, Jones, D., and Jain, K.R. (eds) Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage, online. 18-24 September 2022. pp. 656-667 (The University of Queensland: Brisbane).

Leading Practice Guidance

Jones DR et al (2016) Leading Practice Sustainable Development in Mining Handbook on Acid and Metalliferous Drainage, 2016, 212pp. https://industry.gov.au/resource/Programs/LPSD/Pages/LPSDhandbooks.aspx#.