Geochemistry

Managing mine drainage water quality resulting from metal leaching and acid rock drainage (ML/ARD) is of critical importance during the permitting of new mines, optimization of existing operations, development of closure plans, and remediation of abandoned mines. Our geochemists assist in the development of mining projects throughout the world by performing geochemical evaluations, predicting discharge water quality, and modeling reclamation impacts. 

Our key areas of expertise are:

  • Baseline and site characterization
  • Mine waste characterization
  • ARD and ML management plans
  • Mine water management
  • Geochemical modeling
  • Contaminant fate and transport

The work typically begins with the geochemical characterization of site materials, including waste rock, ore, tailings, cover, and other construction materials for all stages of the mine-life cycle from pre-feasibility through operations and closure. The results of geochemical testing of materials are used to support specialized modeling analyses to predict water quality of contact waters.

Knight Piésold provides solutions that are based on many years of experience to better predict future water quality, identify management and treatment needs, answer "What-if?" questions, perform sensitivity analyses, and evaluate alternatives. A key objective is to identify and implement strategies that work with the material geochemistry to progressively reduce any post-closure liability.