Long Term Performance of the Nickel Rim Reactive Barrier: A Summary
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2000
A full-scale reactive barrier was installed into an aquifer impacted by acid mine drainage in August 1995 at the Nickel Rim mine site near Sudbury, Ontario. The primary mechanism of water quality improvement is bacterially mediated sulfate reduction and metal sulfide precipitation. Dramatic changes in the groundwater chemistry are observed with up to 90% decline in Fe (from >18 to <2 mmol L-1) and increases in alkalinity from <1 to >10 mmol L-1 (as CaCO3). Over a 3 year period, the rate of Fe removal declines by approximately 35%. Primary controls on barrier performance are organic carbon reactivity, groundwater temperature, and variable residence time within the barrier.