One aspect that stood out was the massive participation of Canadian professionals who come from a country that has made important advances in environmental mine water management solutions.
The ICARD-IMWA 2015 Technical Coordinator, Jacques Wiertz, said that the North American country has had a program related to acid rock drainage in place for 25 years and that it has really paid off. “The amount of money Canada has saved by implementing this program is really remarkable. We’re talking about billions of dollars in savings as a result of these solutions. It’s something we have to start looking at more closely,” said the expert.
“Acid Mine Drainage Modeling: From Characterization to Mitigation Measure Assessment” and “Sulfate Water Treatment” were the two short courses held prior to the conference.
Moreover, participants had a chance to visit the facilities of Los Pelambres mine on the field trip that generated great interest amongst professionals.
The conference, organized by the South American Network for Acid Prevention (SANAP) and the company Gecamin- was chaired by Robert Mayne-Nicholls, CEO of Minera Los Pelambres, and the Co-Chairs were Terrence Chatwin, Technical Manager of the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP) and Adrian Brown, President of IMWA 2013.
ICARD is the world’s leading event in acid rock drainage that takes place every three years. The previous version, in 2012, was held in Ottawa, Canada. Historically the conferences have usually been held in North America but they are now beginning to take place in other parts of the world. In fact, this year was the first time the conference was held in Latin America.
IMWA is the first international scientific technical association dedicated to mine water issues since its founding in 1979.