Contribution of Specific Minerals to the Neutralization Potential in Static Tests
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2000
A reconnaissance study of the neutralization potential of 30 diverse minerals, 28 of which are silicates and aluminosilicates, has shown that most of these minerals contribute minimally to the neutralization potential (NP) in standard static tests. Feldspars in particular give low NP values and would not be expected to attenuate the acidity to any significant extent in acid rock drainage settings. The BET-determined surface areas of the minerals vary considerably, and the large surface areas of some of the pulverized samples have clearly affected the NP values even though the standard static-test protocol was used for the preparation of the samples. The low NP values of most silicates and aluminosilicates are in general agreement with the laboratory-determined slow dissolution rates for these minerals. The results suggest that, in the prediction of whether rocks will be acid-producing, the most realistic measure is that of the carbonate content. In mine wastes from metalliferous ore deposits, the contribution to the NP by the non-carbonate gangue assemblage is unlikely to be more than a token amount until well after the establishment of an acid rock drainage situation.