Published 2017-10-31

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Mistra scientist leads international research body

Lotta Sartz, a researcher in the Mistra Programme Closing the Loop, was recently elected Secretary General of IMWA, an organisation that brings the research and business communities together to solve environmental problems in mining.

‘The assignment’s very interesting and I simply couldn’t say no, especially given the good mix of researchers, consultants and agency people here.’

Lotta Sartz has been on the board of the International Mine Water Association (IMWA) since 2011. She has now stepped forward and, as Secretary General, become the organisation’s public face. She was elected at the IMWA conference held in Lappeenranta, Finland, in late June.

IMWA brings researchers and industry together to find solutions to environmental problems related to mines and mine water.

‘My role is to promote the good things that happen in the mining industry. Many people don’t know that intensive environmental management is under way. Mining companies are seen as all bad,’ says Sartz, who will serve as Secretary General for the next three years.

During the conference in Lappeenranta, she presented her ongoing research within the framework of Closing the Loop and the GLAD project (Green Liquor sludge vs Acid rock Drainage). In it, she is examining how green liquor sludge, a by-product from the paper industry, can be used to neutralise acidic leachate from mines.

‘We’ve come a long way, and we know it works. Now only the last step remains to stop it just becoming a pilot project. We’ve got to get companies to take a leap of faith. But for that there has to be the right kind of sludge, in the right place, at the right price and in the right volume,’ Sartz concludes.


Text: Thomas Heldmark