Short Course 3


Planning For Passive: An Introduction To Passive Mine Water Treatment And Its Incorporation Into Mine Planning

Presenters (one live, two online)

Dr. Bob Hedin
President, Hedin Environmental, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Neil Wolfe
Geoscientist, Hedin Environmental, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Ben Hedin
Environmental Scientist, Hedin Environmental, Pittsburgh, PA


The objectives of the course are to familiarize participants with 1) current passive treatment technologies, and 2) how passive treatment can be integrated into mine planning for long-term, cost-effective water treatment. Participants will come away with an understanding of passive treatment design, system installation, operation and maintenance activities, and costs. The workshop will be drawn from HE’s experience with passive treatment on both coal mine and metal mine sites.


The purpose of the course is to familiarize participants with passive treatment technologies and how they can be integrating into mine planning for long-term cost-effective water treatment. The course will be taught by staff from Hedin Environmental, a leader in the design and operation of passive mine water treatment systems at coal and metal mining sites around the world. The course is broken into two parts: Part 1 introduces passive treatment technologies, design concepts, operation and maintenance activities and costs. Case studies of installed systems will be presented. Part 1 will focus on coal mine sites where there is a long record of costs and treatment performance.

Part 2 will focus on metal mining operations and draw on Hedin Environmental’s experience at active mining operations in South America and Southeast Asia. Common contaminant problems and passive treatment solutions will be presented. The challenges of working on large active hard rock mines will be highlighted with examples from copper, gold, and tungsten mines. Treatment difficulties that could have been avoided during mine planning will be discussed. The potential for effective passive treatment to provide the lowest cost, long-term water treatment solutions will be emphasized throughout.


Part 1: Passive treatment basics and experiences with coal mine drainage

  • mine drainage characterization: chemistry and flow
  • passive treatment technologies
  • installation practices and costs
  • operation and maintenance practices and costs
  • case studies from coal mine sites in the US

Part 2: Applying passive treatment to hard rock metal mining operations

  • hard rock (metal) mine water quality problems
  • passive treatment options
  • mine planning
  • data collection
  • dos and don’ts of passive treatment at metal mines
  • case studies

Products/Course Materials

Hedin Environmental will provide a workshop website that will be available to registered participants.  The website will provide information about the workshop and links to background materials (papers, presentations, videos).  The workshop slides will be provided to the participants afterwards.