Dr. Kwame Awuah-Offei, Union Pacific/Rocky Mountain Energy Professor in Mining Engineering and chair of mining and explosives engineering at Missouri S&T, contributed to a new report on the potential impacts of gold mining in Virginia from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Commonwealth of Virginia commissioned the report because of recent exploration in the state due to rising gold prices.
“My role on the committee included providing input on mining engineering best practices, how mining engineers perform feasibility studies to start mines, best practices to mitigate possible impacts of gold mining in Virginia, and the sustainability implications of mines,” says Awuah-Offei, who notes that another mining engineer on the committee, Jami Dwyer, earned a master’s degree in mining engineering from S&T in 2003.
The report addresses Virginia gold mining’s effect on public health and the environment and makes several suggestions regarding regulation, public engagement and financial assurance to protect taxpayers.
“There is a lot of good information in the report that other states could benefit from, especially those that are in a similar situation as Virginia,” says Awuah-Offei. “The best practices we identified could be used anywhere.”
The study was sponsored by the Virginia Department of Energy and the National Academy of Sciences’ Arthur L. Day Fund.
“One of the highlights for me was the trust that public and the commonwealth put in our committee,” says Awuah-Offei. “Knowing that the report was going to the legislature and would influence decisions that have significant implications meant we had to do a good job and produce a sound report.”
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.
About Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. S&T also is home to the Kummer Institute, made possible by a $300 million gift from Fred and June Kummer. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.