Acid Rock Drainage Prediction

Acid Rock Drainage Prediction

Areas of Study: Environment and Community

Qualifies for CMS

Qualifies for Certification

A comprehensive course and technical reference on the chemistry, mechanisms, sources, assessment, testing and prediction of acid rock drainage ... supported by case studies.

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  • Audience Level:
  • Professional
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 33 hours

Course Summary


Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) Prediction provides an introductory course and application reference for students, technicians, and practicing geochemists, geoscientists and other professionals who desire a solid grounding on the subject. The course provides sufficient knowledge and background to allow useful application of the presented information toward site assessment with regard to the evaluation of acid generation potential. By design, Acid Rock Drainage Prediction emphasizes the practical application of the concepts presented and limits the presentation of theory to the level required for a basic understanding of the topic.

The aim of this course is to provide an overview of the concepts underlying acid rock drainage prediction and to act as a resource for practitioners to become more familiar with or reaquaint themselves with the topic. For those who require a specialized theoretical background on the topic, ARD Prediction provides an exhaustive list of technical references. The companion textbook to this course which contains some of the course text and has additional references should be read in conjunction with this course: Acid Mine Drainage, Rock Drainage and Acid Sulfate Soils, causes, assessment, prediction, prevention and remediation, edited by James A Jacobs, Jay H. Lehr, Stephen M. Testa, John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Principal topics covered by the course include:

  • Chemistry, Mechanisms and Sources
  • Site Assessment and Sampling
  • Mineralogical and Geochemical Interpretation
  • Static Laboratory Tests and Interpretation
  • Kinetic Laboratory Tests and Interpretation
  • Waste Material Management
  • Case Studies in ARD Prediction

Course Content

ARD Prediction is structured in seven parts and a total of 29 viewing sessions of approximately 60 minutes each, plus course reviews. Current course duration is equivalent to approximately 33 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the chemistry, mechanism and sources of ARD; site assessment, sampling and available laboratory testing methods; and interpretation and prediction techniques.
  • Design and implement a sampling program, and complete a site assessment and prediction for ARD.

Recommended Background

  • Acid Rock Drainage Prediction is intended as both a course and a technical reference for an audience of mine operators, consultants, regulators, practising geoscientists and final year/graduate students in the energy, mineral and environmental sectors.

Chris Mills MSc P.Eng (Author)

Chris passed away unexpectedly on February 10, 1999 at the age of 50.

Chris completed a degree in mining engineering and mineral technology from the Royal School of Mines followed by a masters degree in metallurgical engineering/surface chemistry from CSM. He was involved in the mining industry for over 30 years and contributed many technical papers as well as co-writing a book with Richard Burt in 1984 titled Gravity Concentration Technology.

Chris began his career with Associated Minerals Consolidated Ltd. in Australia, then moved on to ASARCO Inc in New Jersey; Behre Dolbear in New York; Tantalum Mining Corp and Highwood Resources Ltd.. In 1986 he became an environmental and mineral process engineering consultant. His recent work was involved with acid rock drainage, whereupon he created an excellent acid rock drainage website which became the basis for the Edumine course on Acid Rock Drainage Prediction. He also contributed significantly to the BC Mining Museum. His mission was to teach and educate others in the field of mining.

Bruce Downing MSc P.Geo (Co-Author)

A graduate of Queens University (B.Sc., 1970) and the University of Toronto (M.Sc., 1973), Bruce Downing has over 30 years of experience as a senior geologist working for several corporations and as a consultant on surface and underground gold and base metal exploration and production projects in British Columbia and around the world. His early experience centered on exploration but since 1989 his career has expanded into mining, the environment and technology. Mr. Downing was involved in the exploration and pre-production at the Windy Craggy open pit and underground massive copper sulphide deposit (British Columbia); wrote reclamation and closure plan for an open pit copper – gold mine (British Columbia): was involved in acid rock drainage studies for the feasibility studies for the Voisey's Bay massive nickel sulphide deposit (Newfoundland) and the Petaquilla copper porphyry deposit in Panama; and worked at the Falcondo nickel laterite mine in the Dominican Republic.

Bruce Downing has published over 18 papers concerning exploration, computing, history, electrochemistry, environmental and technology topics. As a consultant, he is aware of the education of junior companies in regards to meeting standards and their role in the environment. In 1983, he co-founded a software company for developing commercial geochemical programs for use in the exploration and mining industry. In 1999, he founded a high tech company (MagPower Systems) to develop the magnesium-air technology for use in fuel cell commercial products. A subsequent spin-off from this technology led to research and development in zinc electrowinning. Mr. Downing has also been involved in mining-related environmental and reclamation programs and has initiated several research and development projects, some of which have led to patents. During his time with the software and technology companies, he was involved in promotions and marketing. He has been involved with several junior mining companies as a CEO, director and consultant. He presently sits on the Geoscience Committee and Practice Review Committee of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists and is a member of several professional organizations. In 1997 the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists presented him with the Chris Westerman Award, which is the highest geoscience recognition.

Dr. Andy Robertson P.Eng (Co-Author)

Dr. Andy Robertson is a rock mechanics engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa). Early in his career he was the research officer for De Beers Consolidated Mines in South Africa and Chief Engineer for Frankipile (S.A.) Ltd. also in South Africa. In 1973, he was a founding partner of Steffen, Robertson and Kirsten (SRK) which incorporated Robertson Info-Data Inc. in 1990 as a subsidiary of SRK. In 1994, SRK's holdings in Info-Data were sold to the Info-Data shareholders and Andy left SRK to form Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. (RGC) where he has continued his geotechnical and environmental engineering consulting practice.

He has been directly responsible for a wide range of mining, geotechnical and environmental engineering projects for the mining industry and government clients, including site investigations and foundation design, rock mechanics and soil slope stability for open pit mines; design of a wide variety of tailings impoundments; waste dump investigations and designs, including acid rock drainage (ARD) evaluations, control and mine closure plan development. He has worked on projects all over the world, including Canada, the USA, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Irian Jaya, Australia, South Africa, Mali and Zambia.

He has served on a number of Boards of Review, Advisory Panels, and as the Chairman of the Board of Studies for the Geological Engineering Program at the University of British Columbia (Associate Professor Status). He has given a number of courses on acid mine drainage control, mine closure and mining geotechnics to government (US EPA) and industry institutions.

Over the years, he has received a number of awards in the mining industry including: The R.M. Hardy Award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society, an Excellence Award from the Consulting Engineers Council of Colorado, an Honor Award from the American Consulting Engineers Council, a Merit Award for his contribution to the Mine Environmental Neutral Drainage (MEND) Program, and an Environmental Engineering Design Award from the Association of Professional Engineers of British Columbia. In February 2015 Dr. Robertson was inducted into the International Mining magazine's Hall of Fame and was recognized with an award in Environmental Management and Stewardship.