Marcello M. Veiga

Marcello M. Veiga

Professor Emeriti

Biogeochemical cycle of heavy metals in the environment, Mine water quality, Artisanal and small-scale mining


University of British Columbia, 1994, Mining and Mineral Process Engineering, Ph.D.
Fluminense Federal University, 1984, Environmental Geochemistry, M.Sc.
Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, 1977, Metallurgical Engineering, B.Eng.


Dr. Marcello Veiga has worked for the past thirty one years, as a metallurgical engineer and environmental geochemist for mining and consulting companies in Brazil, Canada, US, Venezuela, Chile and Peru. He has worked extensively on environmental and social issues related to mining. As an associate professor of the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia, since 1997, his research and teaching topics are focused on different topics that lead to improve the image of mining and contribute for sustainable mining communities.

From 2002 to 2008, he has worked as an expert and Chief Technical Advisor of the GEF/UNDP/UNIDO Global Mercury Project for UNIDO – United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in Vienna. This includes the implementation of Environmental and Health Assessment of mercury pollution in artisanal gold mining in Asia, Africa and South America. The project also included the implementation of procedures to reduce mercury emissions and local fabrication of pieces of equipment to reduce exposure of miners to mercury vapors and increase gold recovery.
My goal as an academic is to generate mining engineers who understand that applying ethical principles while creating wealth for society will change the image of mining and make a positive difference to local communities.


Research Interests

  • Biogeochemical cycle of heavy metals in the environment
  • Mine water quality
  • Artisanal and small-scale mining
  • Mercury and cyanide pollution from artisanal gold mining and hydroelectric reservoirs
  • Acid Rock Drainage and toxicity of heavy metals
  • Process mineralogy applied to mining and mineral processing
  • Sustainable development in mining
  • Recycling of metals – urban mining
  • Mining communities and social issues related to mining
  • Mine closure and reclamation planning (social reclamation of communities)
  • Mineral processing (in particular gold)
  • Industrial minerals

Contact Information

Office: FWD 515


Phone: 604 822 4332


Killam Teaching Prize (UBC best teacher), 2012

Top 25 Canadian Immigrant, 2009

CIM – Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum – Distinguished Lecturer, 2002

CIM – Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum – Distinguished Lecturer, 2003

CIM – Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum – winner of the graduate student contest with the work:, February 1994

George E. Winkler Memorial Scholarship, in recognition of academic achievements, December 1993


Selected Publications