Graduate Certificate in Global Mine Waste Management


Program Description

The Graduate Certificate in Global Mine Waste Management (GCGMWM) is designed to meet the growing need for the professional development of mining industry professionals focusing on tailings and mine waste management. Interest in Mine Waste Management is growing rapidly. The recent attention to tailings management initiated by the Mount Polley Tailings Dam Failure and the subsequent catastrophic failure in Brazil at Samarco has created a demand for more advanced course work for professionals in Mine Waste Management.

The program consists of a total of four core courses, 12 credits in total. The courses will be offered over two consecutive years. Students have the opportunity to ladder the course work from the certificate into a Master of Engineering or Master of Applied Science Degree in Mining Engineering.

Mine Waste is a big challenge for mining sectors all over the world. Professionals in roles that manage mine waste often have come to it without any specific technical course work on mine waste management. This program allows the mine waste management professional to increase their knowledge and understanding and begin to apply and design using the technical coursework immediately. There is no other educational program in the world that addresses the academic needs of industry professionals in this field.

The program integrates instruction with the application by the fact that the online portion can be completed while working and that the course work is spread over a two year period with only one to two weeks on campus session required each year. Students returning for the second on-campus session in year two have an opportunity to reinforce their learning, check their understanding and further develop their technical skills.

The on-campus sessions will bring together industry professionals from all over the world and the opportunity for students to share best practices and experiences from all mining sectors. During these on-campus sessions, there will also be site visits to local mining operations. The limited on-campus period and the flexibility of the online program delivery will provide access to individuals working at remote mining operations from around the world.

The program fosters life-long learning and further education in mining engineering. Students have the option to ladder these courses into a master of engineering degree or master of applied science degree in mining engineering. Students can strive for the credential of the certificate and they can also ladder the courses towards a masters degree. This program gives a unique opportunity for a student to explore the option of further graduate education without committing to a 30 credit masters program.


The 12-credit UBC post-degree Certificate Global Mine Waste Management (CGMWM) is designed to meet the needs of tailings professionals who wish to continue their professional education. Students will complete twelve credits of coursework. Six credits in year one and six credits in year two. Year one courses, including MINE 586 (3) and MINE 587 (3), will focus on advanced mine waste management and site management. Between the class periods, students will apply the design aspects of these courses to their work in mine waste management.

Year two courses, including MINE 588 (3) and MINE 589 (3), will focus on Risk Assessment and Mine Waste Management Case Studies. Upon completion of the program, students will be better prepared to design, evaluate and manage mine waste projects.

Each course will be offered in a blended format with three parts:

  • Part 1: online/ distance learning (2 months)
  • Part 2: intensive campus session at UBC (2 weeks)
  • Part 3: final project online/ distance learning (6 weeks)

All the courses have an online component with evaluation through weekly discussion and online assignments. The on-campus component includes assignments and quizzes. The final online portion for each course will include a final project.

Students who complete the CGMWM have the option to ladder their coursework into a Master of Applied Science or Master of Engineering in Mining Engineering.


MINE 586 (Advanced Mine Waste Management)

  • Students will be able to: develop material characterization programs for mine waste materials; design an appropriate mine waste management program for a mine; and outline the basics of a water management system for mine waste management facilities.

MINE 587 (Advanced Mine Site Management)

  • Students will be able to: develop a corporate governance and stewardship program for mine waste management; develop and implement work scopes and responsibilities for the Engineer of Record for a tailings management facility; compile characterization and mitigation measures of acid drainage and metal leaching based on the appreciation of the geochemistry of mine waste facilities; and develop and implement mine closure plans for mine waste management facilities.

MINE 588 (Risk Management for Mine Waste Management)

  • Students will be able to: identify risks associated with mine waste facilities; develop risk assessments for mine waste facilities; and develop risk management plans for mine waste facilities.

MINE 589 (Mine Waste Management Case Studies)

  • Students will be able to: develop an understanding of the complexities of the mine waste management field; develop skills in integrated management skills; and develop a better understanding of successes and failures in the industry.

Admission Requirements

  • Undergraduate Degree: Bachelors in Engineering or Science in Mining, Civil or Geological Engineering or a related field or Geosciences from a recognized University.
  • GPA: Equivalent of a B+ average
  • English Language Proficiency Test may be required.
  • Work Experience: 3 or more years of industry experience in tailings or mine waste management.

North American Admissions Requirements

Applicants holding the academic equivalent of a 4-year baccalaureate degree from UBC, conferred at a recognized institution in North America, may apply for the certificate program with:

  • A minimum overall average in the B+ range (at UBC 76%) in third- and fourth-year level courses, or
  • Academic standing with at least 12 credits of third- or fourth-year level courses in the A-grade range (at UBC 80% or higher) in the field of study, or
  • Applicants who have a four-year baccalaureate degree or its academic equivalent, which does not meet the requirements stated above, but who have had significant formal training and relevant professional experience to offset such deficiencies, may be granted admission on the recommendation of the NBK Institute of Mining Engineering, with approval of the Master of Engineering Program Office.

International Admissions Requirements

  • International applicants are eligible who hold a credential deemed comparable to a Canadian four-year baccalaureate degree and who demonstrate superior academic standing, equivalent to an overall degree standing of B+ (at UBC 76% or higher). The University has established specific minimum admission requirements for graduates of different countries.


The application now being accepted

The program requires enrolment in 2 sets of courses in two consecutive years. The following are the application and document deadlines. We will be holding several rounds of admission. Cohort 1 will be limited to 20 students. Cohort 2 will be between 20-30 students.

Be prepared to send all of the following as part of your application:

  • Completed Application Form.
  • Application Fee
  • Statement of Intent
  • Description of any special projects, research work, employment experience, publications, memberships and awards that are relevant to your area of interest and could assist in evaluating your application.
  • Current CV
  • Signed Declaration.
  • Official Transcripts will need to be requested and sent to UBC. All transcripts should be sent directly to the Mining department at:
    • UBC Mining Engineering
    • Graduate Certificate Program
    • 517-6350 Stores Road
    • Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
    • Canada
  • 3 Reference Letters: will need to be requested and sent to UBC at the above address.
  • For applicants who did not complete a previous degree in an English speaking country, an English Proficiency Score is required. Acceptable tests include TOEFL or IELTS.

Requirements for All Applicants


A minimum of three references is required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

There are three possible formats for references:

  • Electronic references: In the online application system, applicants are asked to provide an email address for each referee. (Please note, that we are unable to accept e-mails from Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, MSN or other free e-mail accounts for referees.) A unique link will be emailed to each referee, allowing them to log in to a secure site and submit an online reference or upload a reference document as an attachment.
  • Paper letters of reference. Your referee may wish to send a paper letter. Paper letters of reference should be on referee’s official letterhead and must be mailed directly to the Faculty of Graduate & Post-Doctoral Studies at 171-6371 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2 in a sealed and endorsed envelope.
  • Paper reference forms. UBC provides an academic reference form and a professional reference form. The academic reference form is used in situations where the referee is someone who you have interacted with in an academic setting (e.g. referee was the professor of a course in which you were enrolled). The professional reference form is used in situations where the reference is someone who you have interacted with in a professional setting (e.g. referee was your supervisor at work). Your referee will fill out the applicable reference form and mail it directly to the relevant program in a sealed and endorsed envelope.

English Proficiency Test

  • If you are an international applicant and your undergraduate degree is from a university where a language other than English was the official language of instruction, you must take and pass one of the following English language proficiency exams:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum score 90 for the internet-based exam (with minimum component scores of 22 [reading, listening] and 21 [writing, speaking]).
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service): minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no other component score less than 6.0 of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test

Use the University of British Columbia’s institution code 0965 and the NBK Institute of Mining Engineering department code, 69. Give the reason for taking TOEFL “to enter a college or university as a graduate student”.

Your English language proficiency exam must have been completed within two years of your application submission date.


Program costs include:

  • Field trip/ Activity Fee
  • Tuition
  • Student Fees

Field trip/ Activity Fee:

Upon admission to the program, applicants will be advised of the cost of the annual field trip/ activity fee. It is subject to change because transportation and accommodation costs can change from year to year; however, the maximum fee is set to $3000 CAD. We expect it to be approximately $1000 for the first few years. The actual amount will be determined and communicated to students upon the offer of program admission. The fee will cover the following activities:

  • Welcome lunch for all certificate students
  • SWAG bag/ folder
  • Networking event
  • 2-3 day field trip to visit a mine waste facility (transportation, accommodation, and meals for the trip.

Due date: The admission letter will advise that to accept the offer of admission the payment must be made by a given deadline. The deadline will depend on the date of the offer. Usually, it will be around 2 weeks from the date.


Tuition for courses in the certificate will be charged on a per-credit basis. Current tuition fees are $1670.00 per credit for domestic and international students. This rate is subject to the annual tuition increases as established by the university.

Student Fees:

Certain additional fees apply to students who take courses on campus.

Year 1 Year 2

MINE 568 (3 credits)

MINE 588 (3 credits)

MINE 587 (3 credits)

MINE 589 (3 credits)

Total: $10,010 (6 credits) Total: $10,010 (6 credits)
Due: September 2020 Due: September 2020

Students who meet certain requirements may opt out of the U-Pass and AMS Extended Health and Dental Plan, during the first two weeks of the term.

If you think you qualify for an exemption, login to the Student Service Centre (SSC) and click on the Financial Summary tab to navigate to the U-Pass fee exemption page.

If you already have medical/dental coverage (other than BC MSP), you may be able to apply for an exemption if you meet certain requirements and follow the opt-out procedures. Visit the Student Service Centre (SSC) for more information.

Last updated Jul 2019

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