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January 18, 2018:

New Report from INAP

Global Cover System Design – Technical Guidance Document (November 2017)

Contractor:  O’Kane Consultants Inc.

The Global Cover System Guidance Document, like the GARD Guide, is intended as a best practice summary to assist mine operators, designers, and regulators to address issues where cover systems can be employed. This document builds on previous technical guidance documents on cover system design, construction, and performance monitoring. The Global Cover System Guidance Document will be of interest to individuals who are seeking more detailed information than what is outlined in Section 6.6.6 of the GARD Guide – Engineered Barriers (

A holistic framework for management of reactive materials during operations and at closure is the pillar of the document. The framework for cover system design is presented at a high level, suitable for readers with a minimal technical background. It is presented at a conceptual level, using a hierarchy of climate, geology and materials, and topography, leading to an understanding of the patterns of water movement on a specific landscape. Ultimately, these elements will govern how cover systems perform, and it is up to designers to manipulate them to achieve desired performance.

This document presents a conceptual model of how cover system designs might affect contaminant and acidity loading. This model attempts to determine when the varying roles of the cover system design (e.g. control of net percolation or oxygen ingress), might influence loadings. Acknowledgment of these unique relationships provides an opportunity to optimize ML/ARD management in a cost-effective manner. Other key concepts discussed within the document are the role cover systems play over the life of the mine from early conceptualization to long-term performance monitoring considerations.

Application of the holistic framework is achieved through the use of a cover system design tool.  The tool walks users through relevant climatic factors to optimize cover system design alternatives for a desired performance design criteria. This allows users to understand what a realistic objective is when developing cover system design alternatives based on site-specific climate conditions. Additionally, the tool refers to specific elements integral to the design where an in text commentary is provided. The tool helps identify where potential for management exists on the site, leading to the selection of the most appropriate form of prevention.

The information provided within the tool is not a replacement for site-specific classification and engineering required for cover system design. However, the tool is a means of beginning early conceptualization to help focus further investigation at a site level and to begin to form realistic expectations for cover system performance at an early stage of a project.

Click here to download the report: (23MB)

If you have any questions or comments on the report, please contact Gilles Tremblay at:


June 11, 2018:  OKC welcomes Ryan Braun to our Brisbane office as Junior Engineer.

May 14, 2018:  OKC welcomes Jill Dand to our Saskatoon office as Junior Drafter.

May 7, 2018:  OKC welcomes Jeremy  Mitchell to our Cranbrook office as Junior Engineer.

May 5, 2018:  OKC welcomes Scott Lines to our Brisbane office as a Junior Engineer.

April 9, 2018:  OKC welcomes Charlene Nash to our Saskatoon office as an Accounting Manager.

April 9, 2018:  OKC welcomes Steven Gelleta to our Saskatoon office as a Junior Engineer.

March 13, 2018:  OKC welcomes Graham Hay to our Calgary office as a Junior Engineer.

March 13, 2018:  OKC welcomes Joel Steeves to our Calgary office as a Junior Geoscientist.

March 8, 2018:  OKC welcomes Olivia McClymont to our Perth office as an Administrative Assistant.

March 6, 2018:  OKC welcomes Jesse Liberty-Dallas to our Cranbrook office.  Jesse joins us as a Field Tech.

March 2, 2018:  OKC welcomes Haley Cunningham to our Saskatoon office!  She joins us as a Junior Engineer.

January 15, 2018:  OKC welcomes Ursula Salmon to our Perth office.  Ursula joins us as a Environmental Geochemist.

January 2, 2018:  OKC welcomes Gemma Kerr to our New Zealand office.  Gemma joins us as a Environmental Geochemist.

December 13, 2017: The Independent Research Association of New Zealand reported on O’Kane Consultants NZ Ltd.’s work with CRL Energy and the New Zealand Mine Environment Life Cycle Guide research programme on mussel shell biogeochemical reactors for mine site water treatment.

December 8, 2017: OKC is looking for junior engineers or geoscientists for both Saskatoon and Calgary. Learn more here!

November 17, 2017: OKC is looking for engineers for our Brisbane and Perth offices, as well as a geochemist. Learn more here!

November 29-30, 2017: Mike O’Kane is attending the 24th Annual British Columbia / Mining Environment Neutral Drainage (BC/MEND) Workshop in Vancouver.

November 25-29, 2017: Philippe Garneau helped to raise over $700,000 for the Cancer Council by participating in Mystery Box Rally 2017, a 2,500 km road trip in an unknown location in central Australia. Congratulations Phil!


November 19-23, 2017: OKC is presenting six papers and teaching a short course on the new INAP Global Cover System Design Technical Guidance Document at the 9th Australian Acid and Metalliferous Drainage Workshop in Burnie, Tasmania. Learn more here!

November 19, 2017: The new International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP) Global Cover System Design Technical Guidance Document is now available! OKC thanks INAP for the opportunity to develop an industry leading document, and is proud to be part of its production. Obtain a copy by contacting INAP or at the 9th Australian Acid and Metalliferous Drainage Workshop in Burnie, Tasmania, where Mike O’Kane and Josh Pearce are teaching An Introduction to INAP’s Global Cover System Design Technical Guidance Document on November 19. Register here!

November 9, 2017: Greg Meiers is presenting As Closure Approaches, Are you Preparing as Well as you Think You Are? at Enviromine-Srmining 2017: 5th International Seminar on Environmental Issues in Mining and 4th International Conference on Social Responsibility in Mining, in Santiago, Chile.

November 5-8, 2017: OKC is presenting three papers at Tailings and Mine Waste ’17 in Banff, Alberta. Learn more here!

October 5, 2017: OKC is looking for a geochemist. Learn more here!

October 2, 2017: OKC welcomes Cindy Wiebe to the Saskatoon office! Ms. Wiebe brings over 25 years of experience to her role as Administrative Coordinator.

September 19, 2017: OKC welcomes our new Project Administrator Remya Ramakrishnan!  Remya, an experienced project manager with a degree in Information Technology, joins the OKC Saskatoon office.

September 11, 2017: OKC is presenting three papers at the AusIMM Institute New Zealand Branch Conference in Christchurch. Learn more here!

August 15, 2017: OKC Perth welcomes Pavel Petrov as a full time Graduate Engineer! Pavel has been working for OKC as a casual lab technologist while completing his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Western Australia.

June 29, 2017: OKC was a finalist in the Small Employer Category for the 2017 Mission: Zero Awards, an initiative by the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety to achieve zero workplace injuries. OKC had signed a Mission: Zero charter committing to making safety a priority in the workplace and has embraced safety culture as key to our continued success.

June 25-30, 2017: OKC is presenting three papers and co-author on two others at the 13th International Mine Water Association (IMWA) Conference in Lappeenranta, Finland. Learn more here!