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Mine Waste Classification & ARD Assessment

Acid Rock Drainage and Metal Leaching (ARDML) is probably one of the major environmental impacts a mining operation can have on the surrounding environment. The majority of contaminants from a mining operation arise through the mobilisation with water. When materials are excavated the change in environment can have a dramatic effect on the natural breakdown of those materials. This can lead to both metal and salt release, and can be accentuated by dramatic changes in pH. As these contaminants are mobilised by water there is the potential for significant impact.


The integrated input to mining projects includes:

  • Design and supervision of rock characterisation programmes, standard static and kinetic tests;
  • Impact prediction including geochemical, hydrogeological and hydrological modelling
  • Mitigation design with laboratory verification,
  • Implementation of ARDML control measures

These activities form an important and integral part of the ESIAs and feasibility studies, as well as the basis of water aspects of mine closure plans and rehabilitation schemes.


SRK’s approach to ARDML studies focuses on understanding the problem. This requires knowledge of proposed mining processes, mine geology, rock geochemistry and mineralogy, surrounding hydrogeology and hydrology, together with any ecology and geotechnics of mine wastes and wall rocks. In addition tailings materials need to be characterised and the implications of the potential impact of any process chemistry.


As a consultancy specialising in the provision of services to the mining industry, SRK Consulting has acquired more than 25 years experience in prediction, prevention and control of ARDML, in all types of mining and geographical environments, from green field sites through to operating mines and on to post closure remediation evaluation. SRK scientists and engineers have published numerous technical and research papers, both in journals and presented at many international conferences.

SRK Sweden