Australian and Canadian university students recently completed a week-long field course, focussing on improving environmental management during mine rehabilitation.
University of Toronto mineral engineering students joined University of Western Australia (UWA) students as they visited Newmont Goldcorp’s Boddington gold mine and Talison Lithium’s Greenbushes mine, both in Western Australia.
They visited the open and closed mine sites, end pit lakes, processing plants, tailings storage facilities, a bauxite mine and residue storage facilities.
UWA environmental science student Gabriella Gray said the trip was a great experience, enabling her and her fellow students to see the mine sites and realise the large scale of their operations.
University of Toronto mineral engineering student Sarah Kumar agreed the experience has given her valuable knowledge that would help her to make more insightful decisions as a future mining engineer.
UWA director of environmental stewardship in mining initiative Talitha Santini and University of Toronto director of the Lassonde institute of mining Lesley Warren coordinated the trip, which was part of a new international partnership formed between the two universities.
Santini said the trip was an outstanding opportunity for the students to see first-hand the challenges involved in effective mine site rehabilitation and closure.
“It has helped them understand the long-term value and benefits for the environment, regional economies and communities, as well as gain hands-on experience in dealing with these challenges,” Santini said.
“This is the first step in developing a strong partnership in mining research and education between our two universities, each of which is a global leader in this field.”