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Mike O'Kane

Senior Technical Advisor, Okane Consultants

BIOGRAPHY 

Mike O’Kane founded O’Kane Consultants Inc. (Okane) in 1996, a company providing holistic mine closure and relinquishment services to the mining industry internationally.

 

Currently, Mike is chair of Okane’s board of directors. In addition, Mike continues to work within Okane as a senior technical advisor, using his wide-ranging technical expertise and knowledge of risk management best practices as tools for the development and communication of project objectives and designs. He is an expert on the application of unsaturated zone hydrology and geochemistry for mine waste management.

 

Mike is a director of the Landform Design Institute and chair of its Technical Advisory Panel. In 2014 Mike received the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Achievement Award in 2014 for “Global Development of his Business and Corporation, and Philanthropy”. In 2021 Mike earned his Global ESG Competent Boards Certificate & Designation from the ESG Competent Boards Program.

Building Better Mine Rock Stockpiles
– Integration with Mine Planning for Source Term Control and AMD Risk Management –

Abstract 
 

This presentation will illustrate how our industry can de-risk future cash flow projected for projects.
The International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) defines integrated mine closure as: “…a dynamic and iterative process that considers environmental, social, and economic factors from an early stage of mine development and throughout the life of an asset...”. In this presentation and the subsequent discussion, we will define integrated mine planning and closure planning as: “…the process of considering both the extraction plan and the closure plan concurrently, such that one plan directly affects the other…”.


A substantial proposition of acidity generation and resulting acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) risk arises from the presence of mine rock stockpiles (MRSs) at mine sites.

 

This is a result of site-specific climate conditions, the inherent reactivity of the run-of-mine (ROM) rock placed into an MRS, and the manner in which the rock is placed within the MRS (i.e. the physical conditions). 
Integrated mine planning and closure planning in respect of AMD risk arising from reactive or leachable material placed within an MRS focuses on applying rock placement methodologies that are atypical of most MRS construction practices.

 

This presentation will discuss how MRS construction strongly influences its AMD ‘behaviour’ during operations, and in closure, to substantially decrease unrecognized and underfunded risk to water groundwater and surface water resources. 


Case studies will be presented to illustrate opportunities to incorporate integrated mine planning and closure planning from the strategic project planning stages, through to active closure planning and execution.