Short Course on
The Fundamentals of Acid and Metalliferous Drainage

Short Course on The Fundamentals of Acid and Metalliferous Drainage

11-12 March 2009 Mercure Hotel, Brisbane QLD

Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) is, and has been, a very signifi cant issue, and therefore represents both a long-term risk and cost, for many sectors of the global mining industry. Acid and Metalliferous Drainage, sometimes referred to as ‘acid mine drainage’ (AMD) or ‘acid rock drainage’ (ARD), frequently occurs in the mining of base metals, coal, and uranium, and may also become a signifi cant issue for the quarrying industry and the land development industry, where acid sulphate soils are exposed to oxygen and water. AMD can also describe the occurrence of near-neutral but metalliferous drainage (see Managing Acid and Metalliferous Drainage Handbook, produced by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, February 2007). Whilst the on-site impacts may be signifi cant, the downstream impacts on the environment and water quality may impact on human health and thus increase public and regulatory focus and concern, and ultimately the ‘social licence to operate’ may be at risk.

The identifi cation of potential AMD issues at the exploration and feasibility phases is critical, as these mine planning phases are often linked with community consultation, environmental impact assessment and regulatory approvals. Over the past 2 decades in Australia, knowledge of the extent and potential impact of AMD has increased, and this knowledge has been shared at ACMER workshops across Australia since 1992. There has also been a signifi cant effort in the characterisation and testing of materials for AMD, and in developing innovative management strategies. Thus there is a vast array of information available to site managers to manage, minimise or eliminate AMD, and thereby reduce the costs to their operations and the business. However, it is apparent that some operations encounter AMD problems possibly through lack of understanding of the fundamentals of AMD and its underlying causes, or inappropriate management, or inadequate skills of site and planning personnel.

Emer Prof Clive Bell - formerly ACMER Director

Prof Dee Bradshaw - JKMRC, The University of Queensland

Dr Stephen Dobos - Dobos and Associates Pty Ltd

Mr Marshall Lee - Golder Associates Pty Ltd

Dr Alan Robertson - RGS Environmental Pty Ltd

Mr Peter Scott - HLA ENSR

Dr Jeff Taylor - Earth Systems Pty Ltd

EPA speaker and other industry speakers tbc.

Wednesday 11th March

General Overview of AMD

What is AMD and why does it occur?
AMD Impacts and implications for mine operators
Legacy sites and social licence to operate
AMD management – overall process
Industry best practice – sources of information
Future directions

Understanding the Causes of AMD

pH and acidity; metal solubility as a function of pH
Geochemistry, Reactivity and Weathering
Chemistry – Oxidation of sulfi des
Energetics of sulfi de oxidation
Surface and Groundwater in AMD

The Impacts of AMD

ANZECC and Qld Water Quality Guidelines
Baseline heavy metal concentrations
 Learning from the Past - Mt Morgan Post Closure
 Acid Sulfate Soils
 AMD and its secondary products
Planning, Prediction and Prevention of AMD
 Risk Assessment and Planning
 Characterisation of Materials
 Testing and Sampling for AMD

Thursday 12th March 2009

AMD – Management

Industry Management Options
AMD Issues in Waste Rock Dumps, Tailings and Voids
Avoiding the Legacies - Designing Covers for Waste

Rock Dumps and Tailings

Working open cuts and fi nal voids
Short and long term effect on revegetation
Underground Mines
Case Studies on AMD Management for Site Conditions

AMD – Monitoring and Treatment

Leading Practice Monitoring
Practical Monitoring of Surface and Ground Waters
Active and Passive Treatment
The Role of Regulators
Case Studies

AMD – Future

Innovative Research
GARD Guide and INAP

13 March 2009 (half-day)

Mercure Hotel, Brisbane QLD

In order to reduce the incidence of AMD/ARD, the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP), a consortium of the major global mining companies focussed on AMD/ARD, sponsors research on ARD, and actively supports international forums, such as the International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD), a conference that is held every 3-4 years. INAP has also commissioned the production of a Global Guide on Acid Rock Drainage (GARD), and this is expected to be released in mid 2009.

In preparation for the GARD guide release, INAP in association with ACMER (The Australasian Representative of the INAP Global Alliance) will offer a half-day GARD Guide workshop following the ‘Short Course on the Fundamentals of Acid Metalliferous Drainage’ on Friday 13 March 2009. This GARD Guide workshop invites industry and regulatory specialists in AMD/ARD and mine water management to discuss aspects of the Global Acid Rock Drainage Guide. This workshop is designed to share information regarding the development of the GARD Guide and to consult with role-players in order to obtain further regional input on specifi ed Chapters of the Guide. The feedback received from the participants will be used to improve the Guide.