From Geology to Closure: How Clays Influence Mining

A NAIT Technology Access Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability researcher working on large scale tailings columns.

Course overview

Clays and clay minerals are present in most mine sites across the globe, but do you understand how they impact the mining process from geological exploration, through the mining and processing stages, and finally towards reclamation? These unique materials can challenge your extraction and thickening processes, as well as your tailings storage facility. In this course, you will learn:

  • The properties of clays and clay minerals, including nomenclature, surface area, surface chemistry and plasticity
  • Why it is important to measure clays, which methods are available, when to use multiple methods, and how to interpret results
  • The implications of clay properties on extraction and tailings management, including a review of clay-water interactions and DLVO theory
  • The implications of clay properties on deposits, geotechnical performance and closure

This short course is most relevant to technical professionals working in systems with clays across global mining industries.

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