Heap Leach Pads

Heap Leach Pads

Areas of Study: Mining

Qualifies for CMS

Qualifies for Certification

A course for regulators, designers, operators and consultants on the physics and chemistry of heap leaching plus design, preparation, construction, operation and closure of heap leach pads.

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

Course Summary


This course is about heap leaching: the design of heap leach pads; the mechanics of preparing the mined ore for placement on a pad; the construction processes involved in placing materials on pads for leaching; the operation of heap leach pads, including the application of fluids that liberate the metals in the ore; the physics and chemistry of the seepage of fluids through the ore; and the ultimate closure of the heap leach pad when mining ends.


By the end of the course you should know enough to plan, establish, operate, and close a heap leach pad. And if you choose not to do all this alone, you will have sufficient information and knowledge to retain and manage specialists, consultants and contractors, hence to undertake the activities attendant on successful heap leaching.


The course comprises 10 viewing sessions, each of 30–60 minutes duration, plus supporting figures, tables and references, and interactive reviews that confirm your achievement of the learning objectives. The total duration of the course is approximately 8 hours.

Learning Outcomes

  • Plan, establish, operate, and close a heap leach pad
  • Retain and manage specialists, consultants and contractors required to undertake the activities attendant on successful heap leaching

Recommended Background

  • A basic knowledge and understanding of mathematics, physics, and chemistry
  • A basic understanding of the fundamentals of mining and the nature, purpose, and function of mine facilities
  • Perspective and understanding of environmental, engineering and hydrometallurgical procedures and practice
  • A desire to know more and a willingness to apply interest and curiosity

Jack Caldwell P.E., MS.(Eng.), LLB

Jack Caldwell, P.Eng, has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, an M.Sc. (Eng.) in Geotechnical Engineering and a post-graduate law degree. He has over 35 years engineering experience on mining, civil, geotechnical and site remediation projects. He has worked on numerous projects throughout southern Africa, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States. His project experience includes:

- mines and waste disposal facilities - design, construction supervision and reclamation of tailings impoundments, mine rock dumps, heap leach pads, landfills and radioactive waste disposal units;

- hazardous and radioactive waste site remediation - senior management and technical consultant

- landfills - design, construction, operation and closure with special focus on liners, covers, and soil reinforcement.

In addition, Mr. Caldwell has been the lead specialist for various geotechnical and civil engineering projects in Southern California. Mr. Caldwell has written many engineering reports, proposals, and technical papers. He is the lead author of the book, Principles and Practice of Waste Encapsulation, on the design of waste disposal facilities for radioactive and hazardous wastes.