The aim of an environmental geochemical assessment is to evaluate the geochemical nature of mineral waste materials associated with your project (such as waste rock, tailings, process wastes, etc), and identify potential environmental issues that may be associated with managing these materials – during operations and post-closure.
Understanding the potential environmental and health risks involved with mineral waste materials needs to be understood during the planning stage, such that appropriate management options (including closure and rehabilitation options) can be planned and costed. A key focus of the assessment is understanding the potential risks and impacts associated with acidic, saline and/or metalliferous drainage (AMD – or acid rock drainage).
Consider this: Can I demonstrate to investors or the community or regulatory authorities that I understand the likely environmental risks and potential liabilities associated with my project? To answer ‘yes’ to this question you need to know what the risks are, how to minimise them, how to manage them, and what the short- and long-term financial and environmental liabilities might be.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ assessment. The extent of an assessment will depend on your particular project (for example, the size & life of the operation, likely/potential risks and impacts) and the associated regulatory process.
With the exception of very small and simple projects, assessments are almost always undertaken in stages – beginning with a review of available data relevent to the project (eg. geological and geochemical data, water quality data, project plans, regulatory requirements), then progressing into sample collection and analyses (sample collection and analyses may have several phases) and culminating with a detailed assessment report. Sampling and analysis typically commences with relatively simple screening tests undertaken on a large number of samples, followed by detailed testing progressively undertaken on smaller sample sub-sets or composite samples. Sample characterisation is only undertaken as far as necessary to understand the risks the materials may pose relative to the management measures proposed.
As may be expected, some projects are much more complicated than others and, as such, require more complex characterisation and assessment work.
Yes. Many of our assessments are subject to public comment as part of regulatory approvals processes and these reports are available online from the relevant regulatory agency during the public consultation period. Assessments undertaken outside of a regulatory approval process are generally not available online and in most cases are confidential.
Contact us to discuss your project. Where possible (ie. where not subject to confidentiality), we may be able provide you with copies of similar assessments we have undertaken. Bear in mind that each project is different and each assessment report will be different. Assessments are tailored to the individual needs of the project.
Yes. We routinely undertake third-party (independent) reviews of assessments – those undertaken by another consultant or work directly undertaken by you (the owner/client). Third-party reviews are recommended if a project has potentially significant environmental risks and/or the management and mitigation measures proposed are potentially costly and/or complicated. Some clients engage us as part of their ‘owners team’ to manage and review their geochemical and hydrogeological consultant(s). Third-party reviews are typically regarded favourably by regulatory agencies and investors – as they provide an independent ‘second opinion’.
Yes. We routinely work closely with environmental and engineering consulting firms – large and small – to provide specialist geochemical or hydrochemical services to a project.
Our skills and experience stem from the earth sciences – geology, geochemistry and hydrogeology – and our core business is certainly in this area.
However, over the past 20+ years we have worked on scores of mining and industrial projects in many countries and cultural settings, in many different environments, under many different regulatory regimes and with small and large teams of people from all relevant professions (engineers, scientists, technicians, planners, economists, legal, government). As such we have excellent skills and direct experience in a very wide variety of projects and settings, and we routinely apply our broad skills and knowledge to each project.
We are good at collecting, analysing and understanding data. We are good at writing, communication and presentation to a wide variety of audiences. We manage projects. We manage people. We manage expectations. We meet deadlines. We meet budgets. We solve problems. We can be strategic or applied. We can be an integral part of your team or independent of it. We are flexible and adaptable to your needs.
As an example, in 2016 we assisted Seqwater (a large bulk water utility company owned by the Queensland government) with producing their 5-year Research Management Strategy – which outlined the organisation’s medium-term strategy for identifying research opportunities, procuring research providers, allocating funds to research ventures and communicating research findings.
We can provide a wide selection of project examples to illustrate our capabilities. We know our strengths and weaknesses, and we don’t say ‘yes’ to every project. We’re happy to forward you onto others if we feel our skills are not the right match for your needs.
We’re based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia – but we work all over Australia and throughout the world.
We have successfully completed projects throughout Australia, Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand), Africa (Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania), South America (Argentina, Chile) and Europe (Turkey).
Yes. We work closely with a wide range of organisations and individuals, from one-person consultants through to large consulting firms. Many of the professionals we work with are highly talented, organised and trustworthy people – who we’d be happy to recommend. Contact us if you need some help sourcing the right people for your project.