Relocation and Submergence of Net-Acid-Generating Waste Rock for Control of Acidic Drainage: A Case Study
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2000
One technique for controlling ongoing acidic drainage is to relocate and submerge net-acid-generating waste rock in a lake or water-retaining impoundment. This can lead to the overall improvement of water quality and the reduction In short-term environmental liabilities. A case study of this technique is the Eskay Creek Mine in northern British Columbia. Some findings of the study are: (1) the addition of lime to each truckload of rock, based on its rinse pH, neutralized the accumulated acidity and suppressed the accumulated-metal release, (2) only 10-20% of the dump's neutralization potential had been consumed when acidic drainage appeared, (3) water chemistry in the watershed recovered roughly three years after relocation, and (4) environmental liability was reduced due to the cessation of on-land acidic drainage with no degradation of lake chemistry.