Environmental Geochemistry

Okane’s Services:

  • Acid Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) Management Plans
  • Material Characterization
  • Suboxic Condition Analysis
  • Advanced Customizable Leach Columns (ACLCs)
  • Water Quality and Solute Transport Modelling
  • Laboratory Services and Management
Full Laboratory Services

Environmental Geochemistry

Acid and Metalliferous Drainage Management Plans

Acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) also known as Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), acid rock drainage (ARD), and Metal Leaching/Acid Rock Drainage (ML/ARD) results from the oxidation of natural sulfide minerals. We develop site-specific AMD/ARD management plans for all phases of the mine lifecycle, from feasibility assessment through operations and into closure and post-closure monitoring. Because of its potential impact on the surrounding environment, mining operations should have an AMD management plan in place as early as possible in the mining lifecycle. Okane’s team of geochemists, geologists and engineers integrate geochemical, geological, and geophysical information, with site-specific climate and environmental factors to develop customized, site-wide AMD/ARD management plans.

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Material Characterization

Material characterization is a key component of managing AMD/ARD risk. It not only identifies a material’s reactivity potential for AMD/ARD generation, but also helps identify available materials for cover systems and reclamation landforms. We develop and manage comprehensive material sampling and laboratory testing plans to understand potential geochemical, geotechnical, and geomorphological risk, and develop site-specific mitigation and rehabilitation plans.

Suboxic Conditions Analysis

A suboxic zone is an area within a mine rock stockpile (MRS) where oxygen concentrations are sufficiently low to have a positive impact on seepage water quality. Creating a suboxic zone within an MRS helps limit oxygen from interacting with the mined rock. Doing so limits the chemical reactions that causes AMD/ARD. Establishing and maintaining suboxic zones may also achieve geochemical reduction and removal of oxidation productions to further improve seepage water quality. 

Okane specializes in suboxic conditions analysis and modelling to inform landform design and performance monitoring. We are excited to be at the leading edge of progressing this technology as a long-term, sustainable option for water quality management.

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Advanced Customizable Leach Columns

Okane has developed state-of-the-art advanced customizable leach columns (ACLCs). ACLCs give our team the ability to simulate the inner workings of mine rock stockpiles and tailings storage facilities, to help improve predictive water quality models. The simulation of site-specific, field conditions in our ACLCs allows us to develop customized geochemistry programs for operations and closure planning. Okane’s ACLCs are housed in semi-automated labs in both Canada and Australia where gas flux rates, ambient temperatures, water application, drying, and particle sizing can be closely controlled and monitored to accurately represent current and predicted site conditions.