Biological Impacts of Metal Mining Discharges

Biological Impacts of Metal Mining Discharges

Areas of Study: Environment and Community

Qualifies for CMS

Short Course Short Course
  • Audience Level: Professional Tool Tip
  • Dates: Unscheduled Tool Tip
  • Early Bird: Tool Tip
  • Enrollment: Included Tool Tip
  • Registration Fee: Tool Tip
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada Tool Tip
  • Duration: 2 days
  • CEUs: 1.6 (16 PDHs) Tool Tip

Course Summary


In recent years, there has been growing demand from society to extract metals in a more environmentally-sensitive and sustainable manner. With this has come an increased understanding that addressing the root cause of mine pollution, such as preventing the discharge of metals, ultimately costs less than cleaning up a polluted site.

Increased knowledge about the toxic impacts of metals that are mined, or emitted as by-products of mining, has resulted in stricter permitting regulations for proposed mines and water quality regulations for protection of aquatic life and human health.

The purpose of this course is to educate mining and environmental professionals about the impacts of metals on fish, other aquatic species, and human health to encourage environmentally-sensitive mining practice. Through this knowledge, mining and environmental professionals will have a deeper appreciation as to why environmental standards and regulations around metal mining discharges exist, and should encourage them to make decisions that ensure minimal impact on the environment from these discharges.

This course is an overview of metals and related "semi-metals" (aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, gold, lead, manganese, mercury, antimony, nickel, selenium, silver, tin, uranium, and zinc) that are mined or emitted as by-products of mining. We will begin with a description of aquatic ecosystems and how mining and other human activities discharge metals and acid rock drainage (ARD) to these ecosystems. We will then focus on properties of metals, principles of metal toxicity, exposure pathways, factors affecting metal toxicity, and acute and chronic effects of each metal on aquatic organisms and human health. There will be a brief discussion of source control and remediation of metal contamination and ARD at mine sites. The course will conclude with a small group exercise in which class participants will present and discuss case studies that illustrate what has been taught.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this short course, participants will:

  • learn about the impacts of metals on fish, other aquatic species, and human health;
  • gain a deeper appreciation about the need for environmental standards and regulations around metal mining discharges;
  • gain additional knowledge to make decisions that ensure minimal impact on the environment from these discharges; and
  • expand their professional networks, with the potential for increased collaboration across academic disciplines and across agencies/companies/organizations.

Who Should Attend?

This course is for mining industry and environmental professionals including engineers, geologists, chemists, biologists, planners, and regulatory staff in a variety of workplace sectors—mining companies, consulting companies, government agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

Pre-Course e-Learning

Prior to the course, registered delegates have access to online e-learning material consisting of an introductory course titled Metal Mining Discharges - Impacts and Controls.

Certificate in Mining Studies

This course qualifies for two days of short course credit for the Certificate in Mining Studies (CMS), a continuing education program of accredited short courses, webcasts and online courses for lifelong learning in mining, supported by University of British Columbia, University of Arizona and University of Concepción. more details »

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Registered participants who attend the entire short course and complete an evaluation at the end of the course will receive a Certificate of Attendance, confirming the Professional Development Hours (PDH)/Continuing Education Units (CEU) earned. Please confirm with your employer and/or professional association that this course qualifies for CPD.

Frances Solomon

Dr. Frances Solomon is an environmental biologist with a bachelor's degree in biology and minor in chemistry from the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York), and a Master's degree in environmental health and Ph.D. in fisheries from the University of Washington (Seattle). She has more than 25 years of professional experience in environmental agencies, addressing the biological impacts of toxic water pollutants, pollution prevention and control, and protection and restoration of salmon habitat.

Dr. Solomon is passionate about bringing her work experience and knowledge to the classroom. She taught "Impacts of Metals on Aquatic Ecosystems and Human Health" at the University of British Columbia (UBC), has developed an online version for Edumine, and enjoys teaching the short course "Metal Mining Discharges – Impacts and Controls" through Edumine and the UBC Mining Studies Institute. She has also taught short courses on "Impacts of Metals and Toxic Organic Chemicals on Aquatic Ecosystems and Human Health" to environmental professionals in British Columbia, Yukon, Washington State, and Alaska. Dr. Solomon currently teaches environmental science at The Evergreen State College, Tacoma campus and Western Washington University. She has taught environmental science at Northwest University in Xi'an, China and University of Washington Tacoma, and has lectured at three universities in Japan. Since 2006, she has lectured for international summer programs at the University of Washington (Seattle, USA) on the topic of water quality and salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Solomon is a Past-President and current member of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and the Washington State chapter of the American Water Resources Association. She is currently President of the Board of Directors of the Coastal Watershed Institute, and is a Past-President and long-time Board member of the Seattle chapter of the Association for Women in Science.

Outside of professional and mentoring activities, Fran is an enthusiastic hiker, bicyclist, and international traveler.

Provisional Schedule

Instruction will take place from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day, with a lunch break from noon to 1:00pm and 15-minute coffee breaks the in mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Day 1: 8:15am – 5:00pm
Time Session
08:15 – 08:45 Registration
08:45 – 09:00 Welcome and profile of participants (light breakfast and coffee served)
09:00 – 10:00 Properties and sources of metals; exposure pathways; modes of action; toxicity measurements; plotting a dose-response curve (Exercise 1)
10:00 – 10:15 Refreshments
10:15 – 12:00 Factors affecting metal toxicity
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 14:45 Impacts of mercury on aquatic organisms and human health; Global Mercury Project (Exercise 2)
14:45 – 15:00 Refreshments
15:00 – 17:00 Impacts of cadmium, lead, copper, and zinc on aquatic organisms and human health
Day 2: 8:45am – 5:00pm
Time Session
08:45 – 09:00 Light breakfast and coffee served
9:00 – 10:30 Impacts of silver, aluminum, nickel, tin, chromium, manganese, and arsenic on aquatic organisms and human health
10:30 – 10:45 Refreshments
10:45 – 12:00 Impacts of antimony, selenium, uranium, gold, and cyanide on aquatic organisms and human health
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 15:00 Impacts of ammonia on aquatic organisms and human health; comparative toxicity of metals; offsetting impacts of metal mining discharges (dry stack tailings disposal, capping, dredging, soil amendments, and phytoremediation)
15:00 – 15:15 Refreshments
15:15 – 16:45 Case study presentations and discussions on closed, potential, and currently operating mining sites (Exercise 3)
16:45 – 17:00 Course evaluation and wrap-up

How to Register

To register yourself, click the ‘Register Now’ button and complete the online registration form.
To register on behalf of someone else, or to register groups of 2 or more, please contact us; discounts may apply.

Questions? Please contact Edumine: +1 604 683 2037 or [email protected] and we will get back to you during regular business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Time.


The fee covers the lecture, access to Pre-Course e-learning, a certificate of attendance, and catered breakfasts and lunches including light refreshments. The fee does not cover accommodation.

Early Bird: there is a 10% discount if you register at least 30 days prior to the course start date. A 10% discount is offered for groups of 5 or more OR if you provide your Annual Edumine subscription User ID at time of registration. The maximum discount that can be applied is 20%.


The course will be held in the downtown Vancouver, BC area. Detailed arrival instructions will be sent to all participants 10-14 days prior to the commencement of the course.

Hotel Accommodation

If you need to make hotel reservations, we recommend the following hotels. Each hotel is within a 5-15 minute walking distance of the course venue and provides convenient access to transportation and 'Canada Line' rapid transit to/from Vancouver International Airport.

When making reservations make sure to ask for the "InfoMine corporate rate".

  • Executive Hotel Le Soleil, named by Resorts & Great Hotels Magazine as "One of the Top 100 Hotels in the World," has been recipient of the American Automobile Association's (AAA) 4-Diamond rating since its opening. Executive Hotel Le Soleil differentiates itself with a unique mixture of stylish sophistication and old world elegance. Featuring 119 luxury boutique lodging accommodations, it is conveniently located across the street from the InfoMine/Edumine offices. Experience Copper Chimney restaurant's award winning chefs and enter into an exotic world of Indian fusion food.
    The Hotel Le Soleil's website is:

  • Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver: make yourself at home in one of the Metropolitan Hotel's 197 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites. Enjoy the Metropolitan's 24-hour Business Center; fully-equipped Health Club with indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, and squash court; and the Diva at the Met restaurant, a AAA 4-Diamond rated restaurant featuring Vancouver's finest cuisine, celebrated Chef's table, and distinguished wine cellar. The Metropolitan has received a "4 Green Keys" rating through the Green Key Eco-Rating Program.
    The Metropolitan Hotel's website is:

  • Vancouver’s most art-full hotel, the Listel Hotel is a cultural tourist’s dream and a showcase for eco-friendly practices. Packed with original art, this 129 room boutique hotel boasts comfortable, contemporary furnishings and a perfect location in the West End, the city’s most eclectic shopping and dining neighbourhood. The hotel is also home to Forage, a pioneer in sustainable restaurant operations and home to Chef Chris Whittaker’s award-winning farm-to-table fare. Forage is known for its small plate dining and BC wine and craft beer on tap.
    The Listel Hotel's website is:

  • Days Inn Downtown Vancouver Hotel: experience the modern comforts of the historic full-service business hotel located in the core of downtown Vancouver. Their West Coast hospitality will ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. Discover true value at the Days Inn Downtown Vancouver Hotel as they provide FREE Wireless Internet, Bottled Water / Tea & Small Business Center. InfoMine’s corporate rate includes $10.00 breakfast voucher, best available room at check-in, Day Pass to Health and Fitness Centre around the corner.
    The Days Inn Downtown's website is:

  • The Delta Vancouver Suites is a 225 all-suite property designed with business travel in mind. Centrally located in the Heritage District of downtown Vancouver, the hotel is just one block from Waterfront Station, the main hub of the Canada Line providing convenient and economical transportation to/from the Vancouver International Airport. The hotel is in close proximity to many corporate offices, the Vancouver Convention Centre and government offices making business connections easy. Attractions such as Rogers Arena and BC Place Stadium and neighborhoods including Gastown, home to many of the best restaurants Vancouver has to offer are all a short walk away. The Delta Vancouver Suites' website is:

For further information about hotels in Downtown Vancouver, see the following website:

Terms and Conditions

By submitting a short course registration form, you agree to pay the associated fees in full before the course start date.


Notice of cancellation must be given in writing by letter, fax or email and action will be taken to recover, from the delegates or their employers, that portion of the fee owing at the time of cancellation.

A 10% administration fee will be levied for cancellations made 4 or more weeks prior to the first day of the course. Thereafter, the following cancellation refund schedule will apply.

  • Cancellation made more than 3 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 70% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made more than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 50% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made less than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: no reimbursement of registration fees.

Edumine reserves the right to cancel an advertised course on short notice. It will endeavour to provide participants with as much notice as possible, but will not accept liability for costs incurred by participants or their organisations as a result of the course being cancelled or postponed. If a course is cancelled, fees will be refunded in full. Edumine also reserves the right to postpone or make such alterations to the content of a course as may be necessary.