Acid Rock Drainage Prediction for Low-Sulphide, Low- Neutralisation Potential Mine Wastes

Li, Michael G.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Prediction of acid rock drainage (ARD) for low-sulphide, low-neutralisation potential (LSLNP) mine wastes is methodologically different from that for normal sulphidic mining wastes. In this paper. LSLNP wastes are conveniently defined as those with S2 < 1% and ABA-NP2 < 20 kg CaCO3 eq/t. The distinctiveness of ARD prediction for LSLNP materials originates from their frequently low oxidation rates and is mainly attributable to two reasons. First, the utilisation efficiency of available carbonate neutralisation potential (CNP2) rapidly deteriorates when the sulphide oxidation rate per unit mass of waste drops below a certain level. Reducing the flushing rate of a waste has the same effect as increasing the oxidation rate. Second, silicate neutralisation becomes increasingly important as oxidation rates diminish, and can no longer be ignored in LSLNP materials as it often is for normal sulphidic mine wastes. In this paper, the effects of oxidation rate, pore gas CO2 partial pressure, and flushing rate on ARD prediction for LSLNP materials are theoretically demonstrated with the help of modelling using the computer program MINTEQA2. A new methodology for ARD prediction for LSLNP materials is presented in terms of a prediction procedure. Finally, a case study is given to validate some of theoretical aspects discussed and to illustrate the use of the newly proposed ARD prediction procedure.
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