Geomicrobiological assessment of advanced customizable leach columns

Acid mine drainage (AMO) is a significant environmental concern at many hard rock mines. Laboratory-based predictive tests are used to determine if AMO will be generated by mine wastes, but these tests do not generally examine the role of microbes in acid-generating processes. This study will extend the capabilities of the advanced customizable leaching columns (ACLCs) developed by M.A. Okane Consultants Inc. to include microbiological factors. We will use a combination of geochemical, mineralogical, and microbiological analyses to compare the ACLC tests to field waste rock conditions. The results will be used to improve existing methods used for predictive testing and enhance Canada’s capacity to manage mine waste responsibly in the future. The two interns will be trained in setup and sampling of ACLCs, and the projects will provide them with experience analysing data from these systems, and the opportunity to build their network and gain some hands-on industry experience.

Faculty Supervisor:

Benoit Plante;Joyce McBeth


Gary Schudel;Colin Burelle


M.A. Okane Consultants Inc.


Environmental sciences


Professional, scientific and technical services




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