World’s Biggest Mine Water Congress to be held in Finland

The world's biggest mine water congress IMWA 2017 will be held in Lappeenranta, Finland, in the summer 2017. The International Mine Water Association (IMWA), Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and Tekes (The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) hold the congress jointly. Over 350 delegates from 32 countries are expected to participate. The Congress will be held in Finland for the first time, and it is part of the official programme for the centenary of Finland's independence.

The IMWA 2017 Congress theme is mine water & circular economy. Circular economy in mining means, that mining wastes and mine water are used to extract valuable materials, such as metals, fertilizers or adsorbents for wastewater purification. Unpolluted and polluted water streams are separated already in the mine and the geothermal heat stored in the water will be used to heat buildings or the purification process itself. This is intelligent mine water management, which together with broad water purification research is what Lappeenranta University of Technology is known for. LUT is the biggest water research cluster in Finland, with the highest number of academic publications.

Finland is one of the most prominent European mining countries with commodities ranging from base metals to gold, silver, and platinum group elements. Its pristine landscape, especially in the arctic north of the country, requires a significant environmental responsibility by the mine operators and the regulators – one of the important topics at IMWA Congress. The Congress has 47 topics, just one indication of the importance of mine water processes.

Already in operation for 40 years, IMWA provides a forum for international discussion on mine water and mine water issues. It brings together academics and professionals from the fields of civil and mining engineering, chemistry, hydrobiology and geophysics. The chair of the IMWA 2017 Congress is Professor Christian Wolkersdorfer, Research Chair for Acid Mine Drainage Treatment at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria. Professor Wolkersdorfer is also a FiDiPro Professor for the Mine Water Management at LUT. FiDiPro (Finland Distinguished Professor) is a funding programme, which allows Finnish universities to hire internationally acclaimed top researchers.

Professor Wolkersdorfer is pleased thus far with the success of the upcoming congress: 250 abstracts have been received from 702 authors and co-authors.

"I dream of a world where mine water is a resource for energy and valuables, not a burden", says professor Wolkersdorfer.

Time and location:

IMWA 2017 Congress - Mine Water & Circular Economy

June 25-30, 2017, Holiday Club Saimaa, Lappeenranta, Finland

Further information:

Jaana Ryynänen

IMWA 2017 Congress Organizer

LUT, Lappeenranta University of Technology

Tel. +358 50 327 2726

Twitter: @IMWA_MWEN