Environmental mining engineer

An environmental mining engineer

Description

An environmental mining engineer is a professional who specializes in mitigating the environmental impact of mining activities. This role involves implementing sustainable practices, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations, and developing strategies for responsible resource extraction.

Here are some typical duties of environmental mining engineers:

  • Conduct comprehensive EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessment) to evaluate the potential environmental effects of mining projects, addressing issues such as air and water quality, soil contamination, and ecosystem disruption.
  • Ensure compliance with local, national, and international environmental regulations related to mining operations, permits, and reclamation standards.
  • Develop and implement waste management plans for mining sites, including strategies for the proper disposal and containment of waste materials, such as tailings and overburden.
  • Design and implement water management systems, including erosion control, sedimentation ponds, and water treatment facilities to minimize the impact of mining activities on local water resources.
  • Develop and oversee habitat restoration programs to rehabilitate areas affected by mining, promoting biodiversity and ecosystem recovery.
  • Implement erosion control measures, such as revegetation and soil stabilization, to prevent soil erosion and minimize the release of sediments into nearby water bodies.
  • Advise on and implement sustainable mining practices, including the use of green technologies, energy-efficient processes, and responsible resource extraction techniques.
  • Collaborate with local communities to address concerns, gather input, and incorporate community perspectives into environmental management plans.
  • Implement measures to control dust emissions and air pollution resulting from mining activities, ensuring the health and safety of nearby communities.
  • Develop and implement reclamation plans to restore mined areas to a condition that supports ecosystem health and may be used for alternative purposes.
  • Establish monitoring programs to track environmental parameters, collecting data to assess the effectiveness of environmental management measures.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to environmental mining engineer:

environmental mining technology engineering specialist
environmental mining technology engineering expert
mining environmental engineer
mine environmental engineer
specialised engineer
environmental co-ordinator
mine environmental specialists
environmental mining engineering consultant
mine environmental specialist
environmental mining manager
mine environmental manager
environmental mining engineering specialist
environmental mining engineering adviser
environmental mining technology engineering adviser
environmental co-ordinators
mine environmental managers
environmental mining technology engineer
environmental mining technology engineering consultant
mine environmental engineers
environmental mining engineering expert
green engineers
environmental officers

Working conditions

Environmental mining engineers work in various settings, including mining companies, environmental consulting firms, and regulatory agencies. The role may involve fieldwork, site visits, and collaboration with interdisciplinary teams.

Minimum qualifications

To become an environmental mining engineer, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in environmental engineering, mining engineering with an environmental focus, or a related field is typically required. Practical experience gained through internships, fieldwork, or research projects in mining and environmental contexts contributes to the development of environmental mining engineers. Continuous learning, staying updated on environmental regulations and mining technologies, and engaging with the broader environmental engineering and mining communities enhance the effectiveness of environmental mining engineers. Strong analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills are crucial for addressing the complex challenges associated with environmental management in the mining industry.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Environmental mining engineer is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Environmental mining engineer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to environmental mining engineer.

mineral processing engineer
environmental geologist
geochemist
mine health and safety engineer
mine ventilation engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of environmental mining engineer.

  • Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
  • Technical drawings: Drawing software and the various symbols, perspectives, units of measurement, notation systems, visual styles and page layouts used in technical drawings.
  • Engineering processes: The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.
  • Civil engineering: The engineering discipline that studies the design, construction and maintenance of naturally built works such as roads, buildings, and canals.
  • Chemistry: The composition, structure, and properties of substances and the processes and transformations that they undergo; the uses of different chemicals and their interactions, production techniques, risk factors, and disposal methods.
  • Mining, construction and civil engineering machinery products: The offered mining, construction and civil engineering machinery products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of environmental mining engineer.

  • Ensure compliance with environmental legislation: Monitor activities and perform tasks ensuring compliance with standards involving environmental protection and sustainability, and amend activities in the case of changes in environmental legislation. Ensure that the processes are compliant with environmental regulations and best practices.
  • Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
  • Ensure compliance with safety legislation: Implement safety programmes to comply with national laws and legislation. Ensure that equipment and processes are compliant with safety regulations.
  • Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
  • Maintain records of mining operations: Maintain records of mine production and development performance, including performance of machinery.
  • Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
  • Perform scientific research: Gain, correct or improve knowledge about phenomena by using scientific methods and techniques, based on empirical or measurable observations.
  • Develop environmental policy: Develop an organisational policy on sustainable development and compliance with environmental legislation in line with policy mechanisms used in the field of environmental protection.
  • Use technical drawing software: Create technical designs and technical drawings using specialised software.
  • Communicate on minerals issues: Communicate on minerals issues with contractors, politicians and public officials.
  • Communicate on the environmental impact of mining: Prepare talks, lectures, consultations with stakeholders and public hearings on environmental issues related to mining.
  • Supervise staff: Oversee the selection, training, performance and motivation of staff.
  • Prepare technical reports: Prepare technical reports that describe the results and processes of scientific or technical research, or assess its progress. These reports help researchers to keep up to date with recent findings.
  • Address problems critically: Identify the strengths and weaknesses of various abstract, rational concepts, such as issues, opinions, and approaches related to a specific problematic situation in order to formulate solutions and alternative methods of tackling the situation.
  • Manage environmental impact: Implement measures to minimise the biological, chemical and physical impacts of mining activity on the environment.
  • Assess environmental impact: Monitor environmental impacts and carry out assessments in order to identify and to reduce the organisation’s environmental risks while taking costs into account.
  • Approve engineering design: Give consent to the finished engineering design to go over to the actual manufacturing and assembly of the product.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of environmental mining engineer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of environmental mining engineer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Develop mine rehabilitation plan: Develop a mine rehabilitation plan during or after the mine closing process.
  • Negotiate with stakeholders: Negotiate compromises with stakeholders and strive to reach the most beneficial agreements for the company. May involve building relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as ensuring products are profitable.
  • Present reports: Display results, statistics and conclusions to an audience in a transparent and straightforward way.

ISCO group and title

2143 – Environmental engineers


References
  1. Environmental mining engineer – ESCO
  2. Mine Environmental Engineer Overview | What is a mine environmental engineer? – Zippia
  3. Featured image: Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash
Last updated on January 21, 2024