Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

2017 Annual Metal Leaching/Acid Rock Drainage Field School

Monday August 28, 2017  - Friday September 1, 2017

Northwest Community College (NWCC) and various mine sites - Smithers, BC


Still want to attend? Please email info@bvcentre.ca to put yourself on the waitlist. You will be contacted if space becomes available. We will only accept your payment once we have space available.

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 the 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 the mines in the Northwest BC area: 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 and learn from mines 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?

The course is recommended to industry, regulating agencies, consulting companies, First Nations and community groups and is designed for anyone involved with ML/ARD. 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 help staff that does this work.


Dr. Bill Price is the primary instructor and course organizer. Bill is author of the 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), 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 Silver 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.

Kent Christensen and James Snyder lead the tour of the Huckleberry Mine. Kent is the site manager and James is the environmental manager at the site. Both have worked on a wide range of mine reclamation and environmental protection issues.

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 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: August 28 - September 1, 2017
Location: Smithers, BC, Canada
Venue: Northwest Community College and various mine sites
Cost: $1800.00 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.

Cancellation Policy:

There will be a $175.00 cancellation fee taken off any refund if students withdraw prior to July 1, 2017. After July 1, 2017 there will be no refunds unless someone on the waiting list takes the spot.

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

This course is held in collaboration with Northwest Community College, Smithers campus.