Treatment of Mine Drainage Water Using a Combined Passive System

Ordóñez, Alumudena ; Loredo, Jorge ; Pendás, Fernando
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Water derived from mine-tailings typically contains high concentrations of H+, SO4, Fe and other metals, and it frequently suffers a decline in pH and the development of acidic mine drainage (AMD). A paper describing the results of a series of laboratory experiments with real AMD and a subsequent field trial with a in situ pilot system to assess a potential method for remediating tailings-derived water is presented here. After testing different organic substrates, residence times and flow conditions during two years to determine the most appropriate treatment for a polluted Spanish AMD, a pilot scale system combining SAPS, ALD, oxidation/sedimentation ponds and an anaerobic wetland was designed. Preliminary analyses of effluent samples indicate acidity and metal removal is occurring within the system, although sulphate removal is not complete. The results of this small-scale field trial suggest a potential cheap, long-term alternative for remediation of acid mine drainage.
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