Life of Mine Program delivers knowledge and networking

Life of Mine participants inspecting waste management facilities at Newcrest's Cadia operations in NSW.

During the first two weeks of July, the IM4DC organised the Life of Mine program, focused on the management of large volume waste facilities including tailings dams and waste rock dumps. 16 participants from 9 countries across 4 continents travelled to Brisbane to take part in a short course led by Professor Andy Fourie from The University of Western Australia (UWA), with input from Professor David Mulligan and Dr Mansour Edraki from The University of Queensland (UQ) Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation.

The program included a field trip to New South Wales to inspect waste facilities and rehabilitated areas at Peak Hill, Northparkes and Cadia Mines, with excellent support provided by company personnel at all sites. It culminated with attendance at the AusIMM Life of Mine Conference, where participants were able to hear presentations addressing many of the key themes of the course, and to interact with practitioners and experienced professionals from government, industry and academia.

A feature of the program was the interaction between participants from diverse locations and cultures. Exchanges throughout the two week program allowed the sharing of experiences and challenges, from managing dust on waste dumps in Mongolia to designing tailings facilities for high rainfall tropical environments in Indonesia.

Government officials from Uruguay and Ghana were able to discuss detailed aspects of legislation and compare approaches to design criteria. This group has been the first to take advantage of the IM4DC’s Moodle E-Learning platform, with a number continuing to interact and ask questions of each other and course facilitators. The IM4DC will be working to further develop this facility, and are in discussion with a number of the participants on working with them on future programs in their own countries.