Understanding Welsh mining legacy impacts for predicting the environmental impacts of future global mining
School of Engineering, Cardiff University
Project ID: CUK261
Annual Stipend: Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum
Application Deadline: 30 June 2018
Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships 2 (KESS2) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the Higher Education sector in Wales.
It is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme, by partners from the West Wales and the Valleys areas of Wales, and by Cardiff University.
Making a prediction about the geochemical behaviour of mine waste is a very difficult technical challenge as the process involves complex interactions between Engineering aspects of mine design and environmental factors such as climate, geology, mineralogy and microbiology. The complex combination of factors can mean that pollution may not begin for many years after the cessation of mining but may continue for hundreds of years into the future.
Due to the system complexity, common tests used in the prediction of mining waste contamination may be misinterpreted and or the results of the tests may be misleading due to premature termination.
Project aims and methods
In Wales there are many mine sites, many of which are hundreds of years old. If we can better understand the processes involved in the long-term weathering of mine wastes at these sites we can not only improve outcomes for Wales’s environment but develop this knowledge for better environmental impact prediction for mine site around the world.
As such this project will involve testing fresh rock from case-study mine sites in Wales, undertaking the current experimental protocols for making predictions of pollution, make geochemical predictions from these tests and critically, we can compare to the current mine site geochemistry and drainage of sites which are decades to centuries old.
This allows us the exciting potential to test existing protocols and develop novel test protocols that yield predictions which are demonstrably improved and represent actual contaminant release observed in the field.
To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the convergence area of Wales (West Wales and the Valleys) on registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.
Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.