Geochemical Characterisation

Earth Systems specialises in understanding the geochemical interactions between water and both natural and man-made materials. Our team of specialists in geochemistry and water chemistry have over 20 years’ experience in characterising geological and man-made materials and understanding potential interactions, reactions, products and effects.

Services Provided

  • Assessment of the impacts of mine wastes on water quality – ie. acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) or acid rock drainage (ARD), as well as neutral metalliferous drainage (NMD) and salinity.
  • Salinity investigations, including potential causes and remediation options.
  • Assessment of geological materials for use in the building and construction industry, including material stability and potential impacts on water quality.
  • Contaminated site assessment, including interactions between contaminants and water or rock, contaminant transport mapping, risk assessment and remediation strategies.
  • Static and kinetic geochemical testing to establish acid generation potential and rates of sulfide oxidation and acidity generation in order to assess potential impacts on water quality.
  • Assessment and optimisation of water treatment plant processes, including treatment sludge stability and reuse.
  • Assessment of geochemical impacts of construction activities, including road construction, tunnelling and foundation excavation.
  • Investigations of process and waste water issues, including reuse, scaling, contaminant build up and waste water quality.
  • Assessment of causes and impacts of groundwater contamination.


Earth Systems provides geochemical characterisation services for a broad range of industries in the private sector, as well as governments and research organisations. Recent projects completed by Earth Systems include:

  • Geochemical assessment of the suitability of extracted waste rock from a mining operation for use in a variety of construction applications including as a road base and cement additive.
  • Geochemical investigation of elevated copper and zinc levels in an abandoned tailings dam in Victoria, Australia, including water quality treatment and long-term remediation strategies.
  • Assessment of AMD potential, including static and kinetic geochemical characterisation, of mine wastes at numerous sites in all states of Australia, as well as China, Indonesia, Laos, Peru, Tanzania, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.
  • Geochemical study of groundwater quality at a manufacturing site as part of a monitoring and environmental risk assessment program.
  • Geochemical study to determine if sewage treatment lagoons were adversely effecting groundwater quality.
  • Design of a geochemical investigation program and potential groundwater remediation strategies for a contaminated landfill site in Sydney, Australia.
  • Long-term geochemical stability and reuse options for water treatment sludges.
  • Geochemical modelling of reactive materials.

For more information or to discuss our range of environmental Management and Assessment services please contact Earth Systems at

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Earth Systems Melbourne Office
14 Church Street, Hawthorn,
VIC 3122,
Tel: +61 (0) 3 9810 7500
Fax: +61 (0) 3 9853 5030