2019 Annual Metal Leaching/Acid Rock Drainage Field School

Location: The Old Church and various mine sites - Smithers, BC

Please Note:

Two field school courses are scheduled for 2019. The first week – August 12th to 16th – is for newly registered students. The second week – August 19th to 23rd – has been scheduled for students registered for the 2018 field school, which was cancelled because of the forest fires.

Due to the high demand, all thirty spots in 2019 for newly registered students were filled by people on the waiting list. We anticipate that demand for the field school will remain high, so if you wish to participate in the field school in the future, please email info@bvcentre.ca to put yourself on the waitlist.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@bvcentre.ca or 250.847.2827.

Course Description

The course objectives are to increase understanding of metal leaching and acid rock drainage by showing participants the tools, procedures and design requirements; providing an overview of the underlying science and vocabulary; and presenting examples of best practices. A unique feature of this course is that it allows students to see firsthand how ML/ARD test work is conducted and mitigation plans are developed, and the challenges that are encountered. Much of the course time is spent touring mines in the northwest BC area, including GoldCorp’s Equity Silver mine, Imperial’s Huckleberry mine, Glencore’s Bell mine, and Silver Standard’s Duthie mine. Students will hear from leading practitioners whose experience is the basis for much of industry-wide best practices.

Participants are shown ML/ARD from the industry, regulatory and public perspective, and see the evolution in present ML/ARD thinking and practices. As part of its closure plan in 1994, Bell was one of the first mines to conduct a comprehensive ML/ARD prediction program and is a great site to discuss the management of different mine components. Equity Silver uses flooding, soil covers and drainage treatment to prevent off-site impacts and has perhaps the best long-term monitoring record of any mine. Huckleberry was the first mine site to make comprehensive ARD prediction and prevention an integral part of the mine plan throughout its mine life. The Duthie Mine operated in the 1920s and 1950s and illustrates many of the challenges in remediating a historic mine.

Who should take the course?

This course is designed for anyone involved with ML/ARD and recommended to industry, regulating agencies, consulting companies, First Nations, and community groups. The knowledge provided can be used to better design and manage ML/ARD programs, ask the right questions at the right time, review results, regulate mines, conduct research, evaluate risks, and assist employees that conduct this work.


Dr. Bill Price is the primary instructor and course organizer. Bill is the author of Guidelines for Metal Leaching and Acid Rock Drainage at Mine Sites in British Columbia (Price and Errington, 1998) and Prediction Manual of Drainage Chemistry from Sulphidic Geologic Materials (Price, 2009), which are documents used extensively in Canada and worldwide. Bill will contribute generic technical ML/ARD information, a regulatory perspective, and site-specific knowledge of the mines.

Mike Aziz and Cody Meints lead the Equity Mine tour. Mike is the Equity site manager, but also manages closure at a number of other mines. Mike has authored numerous papers and reports on different aspects of Equity’s ML/ARD mitigation program.

Shane Flynn will host the tour of the Huckleberry Mine.

Dr. Kevin Morin will lead the tour of the Bell Mine. One of Canada’s foremost experts on ML/ARD, Kevin has worked as a consultant for many major mines and mining companies and has published widely on ML/ARD, including a compendium of case studies and the ground-breaking prediction program at the Bell Mine.

Glenda Ferris is an environmental activist who has received several awards for her work. Glenda lives directly downstream of the Equity Mine and will present a community perspective on the challenge of ML/ARD.

Course Information

Dates: Monday August 12 – Friday August 16 AND Monday August 19 – Friday August 23, 2019
Location: Smithers, BC, Canada
Venue: The Old Church and various mine sites
Cost: $1900.00 per person

Mine tours (subject to availability):

  • Bell Mine
  • Huckleberry Mine
  • Equity Mine
  • Duthie Mine

Departure times for the mine tours will be announced on the first day of the course. Transportation to the mine sites will be provided.

Please email info@bvcentre.ca to put yourself on the waitlist. You will be contacted if space becomes available.

For more information, please contact:

Bulkley Valley Research Centre
3883 3rd Avenue, Box 4274
Smithers, BC, Canada, V0J 2N0

Phone: 250-847-2827
E-mail: mlard@bvcentre.ca
Website: http://www.bvcentre.ca