Thoughts on Ways to Improve Acid Drainage and Metal Leaching Prediction for Metal Mines
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2000
Modified after procedures for assessing acid-generating potential of coal spoils, most acid-base-accounting (ABA) analyses inadequately characterize highly varied metal deposits. Although mineralogy critically controls acid generation and metal leaching, acquisition of appropriate data and their interpretation are poorly developed. Metal loading rates are commonly determined by kinetic testing, which rarely duplicate actual field samples and conditions. Accurate predictions and reduced assessment costs can conceivably be achieved by (i) use of geochemical analyses to define surrogate indicators; (ii) intelligent acquisition and use of mineralogical data; and, (iii) compilation of geo-environmental ore-deposit models to validate inference based on detailed geology.