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Mining Engineering Seminar: “THE SKY IS NOT FALLING – Solving complex mining issues through multi-disciplinary collaboration and possible implications for mining engineering education”

May 2, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

“THE SKY IS NOT FALLING – Solving complex mining issues through multi-disciplinary collaboration and possible implications for mining engineering education”

Presented by: Kelly Donahue and Rennie Kaunda

What do a mine site in Zambia and three others in Arizona, Idaho and New Mexico all have in common? They all illustrate several challenges where engineers’ skill sets and training were pushed to the limit. Several challenges encountered within the mining industry today require a multi-disciplinary solution. Whether its recruiting and training local communities to use XRF instruments to monitor lead contamination levels at one of the most polluted places on earth, designing facilities such as tailing storage, heap leach, and overburden stockpiles all require an extraordinary set of skills. Regulatory requirements in several states today require more than engineering specifications and drawings to obtain approval for future or expanded mining facilities. Potential environmental impacts of the mine facilities must be assessed using geochemical and hydrological investigations. However and unfortunately, some industry sectors and operators often do not solve complex technical challenges using multi-disciplinary collaboration.  In this talk we examine and draw lessons from four case examples. We also discuss how the traditional model of teaching engineering students might be flawed with respect to social and environmental contexts.

Kelly Donahue is a Geochemist with over 15 years of experience who specializes in the prediction of water quality chemistry, environmental assessment, and water contamination mitigation strategies. She has experience in geochemical modeling and data analysis for projects spanning the entire mining life-cycle from the exploration for mineral resources, development of mine facilities during operations, and remediation closure activities at precious and base metals, sand and gravel, industrial minerals, oil and gas, and uranium mining sites. Her experience includes basin-wide geochemical analysis of mine facilities to identify and prioritize remediation activities and analyzing the feasibility of mitigation strategies, predicting surface and groundwater impacts for future mining sites, and evaluating geochemical and hydrological models.  Kelly was the technical lead directing the development of a static and kinetic geochemical testing program to evaluate the potential mining impacts from waste rock from several mining projects.

Rennie Kaunda is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mining Engineering at Colorado School of Mines, and a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado. Dr. Kaunda’s areas of expertise are rock mechanics and mining geotechnics. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Arizona, and a PhD from Western Michigan University. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Kaunda spend 7 years in the mining industry where he worked on more than 50 global projects throughout Africa, Asia, South America and North America. Dr Kaunda has performed or coordinated consulting services related to rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering in surface and underground mines, and has also been actively involved in organizing and chairing national and international conferences. He has published/coauthored more than 13 peer-reviewed technical papers, 22 conference proceeding abstracts and 13 professional reports in addition to teaching classes and short courses on rock mechanics and mining geotechnics.

Wednesday, May 2

4-5 PM

Brown 125


May 2, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Brown 125


Brown Hall
1610 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States
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