About

Minimising AMD risk across the mining life cycle

Welcome

On behalf of the organising committee we would like to invite you to the 10th Australian Workshop on Acid and Metalliferous Drainage.

Since the first workshop in 1992, the AMD workshop series have continued to be the key Australian forum for industry, academia, and government agencies to share the latest developments in AMD management, including findings from many case studies around Australia and elsewhere.

This time we bring the workshop to regional New South Wales where a number of metalliferous and coal mines are located. The region also hosts several legacy mine sites. This brings the workshop closer to the region’s mining communities and will provide opportunities for networking and small group discussions within an historical and active mining context. 

The AMD Workshop is hosted by The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI). SMI is the Australian representative in the Global Alliance formed by the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP). INAP has been an important supporter of the workshop and representatives of INAP member companies will be in attendance.

The workshop theme

The theme of this Workshop, Minimising AMD risk across the mining life cycle, highlights the importance of mine planning and early interventions throughout the life of mine to correct potential deviations from AMD management plan or performance. Managing AMD during the operational stage of a project, when the equipment and resources are still largely available, will minimise double handling of materials, is more cost efficient and will facilitate progressive rehabilitation.

The theme of the workshop sits within the broader mine closure and relinquishment context as an integral component of a mining project. Protecting the quality of surface and groundwater through AMD prevention and management still remains the key challenge for mine closure. Our resource industry needs practical and cost-effective solutions for many Australian mines which will close in the coming decades, and also for mines which have already been closed or have defaulted to government responsibility. At the same time, we need to understand the limitations of current technologies for mine waste and water management, particularly in highly disturbed landscapes where AMD processes are at an advanced stage. It is important to develop smart technologies, and robust models to predict water quality when bench-top test results are to be extrapolated to real size waste dumps.  It is equally important to improve the design and construction of mine waste storage facilities to prevent the AMD process in the first place. Above all, we need to get better at developing a business case for AMD management across the life cycle of a project.

In this workshop we will be introducing a young achievers forum and award session, to recognise and profile the need for new generations of competent leaders capable of developing and implementing timely and effective decisions on AMD management.

 

Associate Professor Mansour Edraki

Principal Research Fellow
m.edraki@cmlr.uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 64060

Mansour is a geo-environmental scientist specialising in the field of inorganic geochemistry. Since joining UQ, he has focused on developing innovative techniques for understanding and predicting geochemical processes which underpin sustainable management of mine waste and mine water, particularly acid and metalliferous drainage. Mansour’s research has direct applications for the resources and energy industries and the impact of his work is evident in a continuous flow of industry-funded projects in the last decade. 

Workshop Committee

Dr Bruce Kelley

 

Bruce Kelley graduated from Adelaide University with Hons / PhD degrees in Agricultural Biochemistry in 1976. He subsequently spent several years working for the French Atomic Energy Commission in Grenoble, France, in the field of solar dependent biological energy production.

He joined Rio Tinto (CRA Ltd) in 1982, based in Sydney (Biotechnology Australia) and Newcastle (Sulphide Corporation), and was involved in projects and operations in NSW, Bougainville PNG, Comalco Ltd (Qld, Tas, NZ) and Hamersley Iron Ltd (WA). His early work focussed on the development of biological mineral leaching technology, notably copper bioleaching of the Bougainville waste rock dumps in PNG.

Dr Marilena Stimpfl

Specialist GeoEnvironmental Advisor

BHP - Minerals Australia

 

Dr Marilena Stimpfl has over 15+ years’ experience in the field of Acid and Metalliferous Drainage and environmental geochemistry.  She joined BHP in mid-2019, as the Closure Planning – Minerals Australia Specialist GeoEnvironmental Advisor . In her role at BHP, Marilena is responsible for assessing and managing geochemical risks (including acid and metalliferous drainage) across all stages  of the life of mine for BHP Australian assets. In addition, she  supports geochemical risk integration into functional and operational plans and processes,  in accordance with BHP global framework  for geochemical risk management.

Dr Anita Parbhakar-Fox

Senior Research Fellow - BRC

The University of Queensland

 

Currently, Anita is a Senior Research Fellow in Geometallurgy and Applied Geochemistry at the W.H Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre within the Sustainable Minerals Institute. Anita's research is focussed on mine waste characterisation to improve mine planning and waste management practices where she has worked with mining industry, METS sector and government stakeholders. She has developed new tests and protocols for improving waste characterisation and is also involved in identifying remediation options for abandoned/ historical mine sites.

Dr Alan Robertson

Founder and Principal Geochemist,

RGS Environmental

 

 

Alan has over twenty-five years industrial and consulting experience in completing geochemical and Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) projects for the mining and mineral processing industry. He has provided input into a wide variety of studies for major mining companies ranging from stand-alone reports to integral components of Feasibility Studies.  He has worked on projects in Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America and is regularly called upon to Peer Review AMD work completed by other consultants. 

Mike Fawcett

Senior Principal Mining Consultant

Mike has over 42 years’ experience in the mining industry nationally and internationally, covering all phases of mining operations including greenfield exploration, planning, operations, decommissioning, closure planning through to monitoring and stewardship.

He is a recognised internationally having worked numerous closure projects from conceptual to implementation.  

Dr Peter Scott

Senior Environmental Geochemist

Earth Sciences

Dr David Jones

Principal - DR Jones Environmental Excellence

 

Dr Jones has 30 plus years of national and international experience in environmental research, assessment and management across the energy (coal, unconventional gas and uranium) and metal mining sectors, focussing on environmental geochemical aspects of water quality.

Dr Roger Smart

Senior Consultant Blue Minerals Consultancy and Emeritus Professor, University of South Australia

Dr Smart is a Senior Consultant in Blue Minerals Consultancy and Emeritus Professor in, University of South Australia where he was Deputy Director of the Ian Wark Research Institute and. Minerals and Materials Science and Technology. At UniSA, he led teams on five 3-year AMIRA Acid Rock Drainage prediction and control projects (2002-2017) as well as single company projects. He now works with mining companies on AMD control in waste rock and tailings recycling.

Tania Laurencont

Principal Mine Closure

Coffey Services, Australia

Tania has over 20 years’ post-graduate experience working across government and private sectors in Australia and overseas including leading the Commonwealth’s Rum Jungle Mine Rehabilitation Project. 

Tania specialise in the assessment and management of environmental and social issues on resource projects and has extensive experience in environmental management and undertaking due diligence and compliance auditing both for the mining industry and government.

Dr Jeff Taylor

Director - Principal Environmental Geochemist

Earth Systems

 

Jeff is one of the founding directors of Earth Systems.  Jeff Taylor has a BSc(Hons) in geology and a PhD in geochemistry.  He has more than 40 years’ experience as an earth and environmental scientist and has managed and directed a broad variety of multi-disciplinary environmental projects, both in Australia and overseas.  He is regarded as leading expert on issues related to acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD), water chemistry, water treatment, environmental geochemistry, mine site remediation and mine closure. 

 

Acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) occurs when sulfide-containing rocks react with oxygen in air and water to form sulfuric acid. This becomes a larger issue when the acid leaches heavy metals and salts out of the rock, which can potentially affect the environment for centuries after mine closure.

Today more than any other time practical solutions for prediction, prevention and control of acid, neutral, and saline drainage are needed by the mining industry in Australia and elsewhere. A leading edge practice spans the life cycle of mining projects, from exploration to closure and beyond, but also adapts to the longer and dynamic cycles of the resources industry, as well as climate change. Under pressure from commodity markets, some mines may go under ‘care and maintenance’ and some may approach closure. Therefore, innovative approaches to understanding and controlling residual risk is paramount. While, minimising risk and costs is the obvious goal, the real cost is not getting it right.

The challenges of Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) have been demonstrated in multiple sites across Australia, and over the years, a strong stakeholder network has developed to develop and promote best practice in AMD prevention. The Sustainable Minerals Institute acts as the local partner of the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP), convening a biennial AMD Workshop at regional locations around the country. These events have been well attended by representatives from industry, government and academic institutions, providing an opportunity for sharing knowledge and identifying opportunities for research and application.

The experience gathered in mining commodities of all types, across a vast range of climatic conditions, has provided Australia with critical capability in all aspects of managing water in mineral operations. The Australian AMD network promotes collaboration amongst partners in research and communication on this important topic, and engages with regional neighbours and networks such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. SMI’s International Centre of Excellence in Chile has recently taken the role of co-ordinating the Latin American node of INAP, further extending the reach and influence of network activities.