Leaching of Metals from Sulphide Mine Wastes at Neutral pH

Scharer, J. M. ; Pettit, Carol M. ; Kirkaldy, Jennifer L. ; Bouduc, Lysane ; Halbert, Bruce E. ; Chambers, Douglas B.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Io contrast to acid mine drainage (AMD), neutral mine drainage (NMD) has not yet received widespread attention. Metal and sulphate concentrations can be elevated and of concern in neutral drainage from waste rock and tailings. In the present paper, metal release in high ionic strength mine drainage at neutral pH is evaluated at several mine sites. Specific factors including oxidation rates, buffering capacity, and hydrology are also addressed and their effect on the production of contaminated NMD from mine wastes is evaluated. Case studies are presented involving current seepage water quality and predictive geochemical modelling to illustrate the possible time frame and magnitude of the contamination.
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