Integrated bioreactor system for the treatment of cyanide, metals and nitrates in mine process water

Canty, M. ; Beckman, S. ; Clark, P. ; Hiebert, R. ; Thompson, L.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
An innovative biological process is described for the treatment of cyanide-, metals- and nitrate-contaminated mine process water. The technology was tested for its ability to detoxify cyanide and nitrate and to immobilize metals in wastewater from agitation cyanide leaching. A pilot-scale demonstration is described in which a pilot plant was constructed to demonstrate the technology on a mine process-waste stream at a mine in Nevada. The demonstration was performed jointly under the Mine Waste Technology Program (MWTP), funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and jointly administered by the US De¬partment of Energy's (DOE) Western Environmental Technology Office (WETO) under Interagency Agree¬ment Number DW89938513-01-0. The Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) demonstration program was also involved in the project. MSE Technology Applications Inc. (MSE), Butte, MT, was the contractor responsible for conducting the project, and Pintail Systems Inc., Aurora, CO, was the technology provider. The pilot-scale unit was field-tested at Echo Bay's McCoy/Cove Mine southwest of Battle Mountain, NV. The biotreatment process was considered successful in destroying cyanide in the mine process water. The process was also determined to be effective in removing metals. The pH was consistently neutralized and nitrates were successfully removed from the mine process water. From the results of these pilot-scale tests, it was concluded that the biotreatment process potentially of¬fers an innovative, cost-effective alternative for the treatment of mining wastewaters.
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