The environmental damage caused by acid mine drainage (AMD) is a worldwide and growing problem in countries like Indonesia that are extracting coal and other metals.
Yuli “Tiyo” Sulistiyohadi, a Mines Inspector in the Directorate of Mineral and Coal Engineering and Environment in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Resources, Indonesia is pursuing research on converting acid mine water into energy.
Tiyo has participated in the Australian program Public Sector Linkages: Capacity building to improve environmental, health and safety practices in the Indonesian mining sector in 2011 and was funded by MEfDA to attend the 9th Australian Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) Workshop in November 2017. Both these experiences are helping him in his role as a Mines Inspector and in his PhD research.
His area of specialisation is environmental protection - inspecting and ensuring mining company compliance on issues such as water quality, rehabilitation and mine closure. He points out that
...the mining industry in Indonesia is very complex and environmentally fragile, due to climate, high rainfall, shallow deposits, biodiversity and social culture values. One of the Mine Inspectors’ challenges is to enforce regulations on environmental protection including the prevention of acid mine water. The ability to understand field conditions coupled with an understanding of acid mine water make environmental inspections effective.
Acid mine drainage or acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) is the outflow of acidic water from metal or coal mines. Toxic metals and the acidic water have a detrimental impact on groundwater, affecting drinking water and destroying aquatic environments. Preventing and controlling AMD is a concern at operating mine sites and after mine closure. Advances continue to be made in research and the development of technology to improve AMD prediction, prevention, and treatment.
Tiyo is currently undertaking a PhD on AMD at the School of Environmental Science, University of Indonesia.
I am constantly learning about AMD, improving my knowledge about environmental science, and mining engineering. The Australian AMD workshop gave me access to network with international experts. The most useful experience was learning about forecasting AMD from laboratory to field application, and the field trip to MMG Roseberry, where they are constructing tailing capacity optimization.
He hopes the good results of his AMD research in the lab can be scaled up.
This success will change the acid mine drainage paradigm as waste into energy for the benefit of everyone.