Water is critical to the mining cycle. From the utilization of geochemical traces in water for exploration, slurries and separation used for processing, tailings ponds for storage, and more. Learning to manage and reduce the risks associated with water usage is an urgent research topic.
BRIMM is in a prime position to focus on water because of the extensive expertise that already exists across UBC campus. Recently, a cross-campus cluster has also been established, the Future Waters Research Excellence Cluster (https://water.ubc.ca). By tapping into these resources, it will be possible for BRIMM to become a leading centre for research relating to water management in the mining sector.
As such, BRIMM is actively exploring the opportunity of launching a new water-focused research theme. As we look into this, we will be running consultations with industry and academics over the coming months to refine the theme scope and objectives, and to generate project ideas. This theme intends to bridge the fields of mining engineering, economics, hydrology, and others with the overarching goal of revolutionizing the use and management of water in mines across the entire mine life cycle.
Leading the exploration of this topic is Assistant Professor Nadja Kunz, Canada Research Chair in Mine Water Management and Stewardship, jointly appointed across the NBK Institute of Mining Engineering and the School of Public Policy & Global Affairs (https://sppga.ubc.ca/profile/nadja-kunz/). To see what her work entails and what can be done in the water sphere, watch her recent presentation from the 2020 Responsible Raw Materials conference: https://www.responsiblerawmaterials.com/post/progressing-water-security-in-mining-regions.
If you are interested in learning more about the topic of water or have any research ideas, you can email Nadja directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.