The next TCD Department of Geology seminar will take place online and will be delivered by Karen A. Hudson-Edwards Professor in Sustainable Mining (Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter) on the following topic: Mine Waste: Environmental Problem or Untapped Resource?
Mine wastes are the solid, liquid and gaseous materials that remain after the extraction of the economic commodity. They can be associated with several environmental problems. For example, they can contain potentially toxic metals and metalloids and can be very reactive, generating acidity or alkalinity and affecting ecosystem and human health. Discharge of mine wastes to river systems can result in siltation or erosion, and emissions to air can generate toxic gases or fine particulates. Mine wastes can have positive benefits, however. They are extreme natural laboratories and Martian landscape analogues, they host specially adapted organisms and plants, and they can be sources of unrecovered metals and materials. This presentation reviews the negative and positive aspects of mine wastes and considers how they will be regarded in the future.
About the Speaker:
Main research interests: Character and geochemical mobility of mine wastes, and on designing management and remediation schemes to lessen their impacts on ecosystem and human health; Formation and dissolution of environmental minerals
Teaching: 1st year Earth and Environmental Chemistry; 3rd yr. – MSc Soil Mechanics and Mine Tailings
Engineering; MSc Mine Waste Characterisation, Prediction and Treatment
Education: BSc (Geological Sciences) Queen's University, Canada; MSc Memorial University of Newfoundland; PhD University of Manchester
Employment: 1998-2017 Birkbeck, University of London; 2017-present University of Exeter
Honours/Awards: 2019 Distinguished Lecturer, European Association of Geochemistry
Major projects EU NEMO Near-zero Waste Recycling; NERC Legacy Waste in the Coasalt Zone; NERC
Lithium for Future Technology; UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre in Technology Metals