Mining and the Environment – The Britannia Mine, A Case Study is an introduction to mining and the environmental impacts of mining using the Britannia Mine as a case study. Specifically, it will provide a general understanding of the role of mining in society; the origin of ore deposits; the recovery of ore from mining through mineral processing; the environmental and social impacts of mining; mine closure design and reclamation; and mine permitting and sustainability. The two day course will be composed of two parts. Day one will consist of in-class discussions covering the background topics of geology, mining, and the environment ending in a discussion of the history of the Britannia Mine. During the second day, students will travel to the Britannia Mine, near Squamish, BC. An overview of current regulatory permitting requirements and commitments for sustainability (e.g., the concepts of a Social License to Operate and Corporate Social Responsibility) will be included. The course is geared towards individuals who are interested in developing a better and more informed understanding of the role of mining in our modern society, where the resources we depend upon come from, the social and environmental costs of the resources, and the current regulatory environment designed to control the social and environmental impacts of mining in the 21st century.
For more information about this course, please contact the Mining Program Assistant.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Identify the role of mining in our society, the natural resources we use in our everyday lives, and the sources of the different resources.
Understand, on a conceptual level, the origin of the resources that are recovered through mining.
Understand the configuration of different types of ore deposits particularly volcanogenic massive sulphide and porphyry copper deposits and their plate tectonic environments (metallogenic provinces).
Identify the drivers on the dollar value of metals and mineral economics (e.g., mining versus recycling).
Describe the different mining methods e.g., open pit, underground.
Describe the different mineral processing methods: e.g., comminution, flotation, solvent extraction/electro-winning (SXEW), and cyanidation.
List the environmental impacts of mining and prevention and/or remediation techniques.
Describe the development history of the Britannia Mine including the evolution of mining and processing.
Describe the environmental impacts of the Britannia Mine on Britannia Beach and Howe Sound.
Evaluate the environmental remediation design and implementation and impacts of reclamation on Britannia Beach and Howe Sound.
Summarize the BC and Canadian mine permitting process.
Evaluate the Canadian and international mining sustainability guidelines.
Effective as of Fall 2014
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