Neutralization of acid mine pit water at Gibbons Creek lignite mine

Horbaczewski, J. K.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
The reclamation of an open dragline pit (Pond A3P-2) at the Gibbons Creek lignite mine in east-central Texas required neutralization of acid mine pit water. At the start of treatment with hydrated lime (Ca(OH)2) on March 28, 2000, the pond had partially filled with 913,000 m3 (740 acre ft) of pH 4.9 water. Another 666,600 m3 (540 acre ft) of pH 3.3 water was pumped in from an adjacent pit (PitA3P- 1). By the end of the project (July 5, 2000), a combined volume of 1,579,000m3(1,280ac-ft or 417milliongal) in PondA3P-2 had been successfully treated to pH 8.2 with 431 t (475 st) of lime. This was two to three times more neutralizer than laboratory trials and detailed chemical titration had predicted. The main reasons for the difference are thought to be the inadequate representation in a laboratory setting of some of the chemical reactions that occurred in the field, including incomplete mixing of reactants, reactions with clay minerals in the pit walls, the kinetics of biologically-mediated reactions and the kinetics of aluminum oxyhydroxide polymerization (aging).
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