MATEC Web Conf.
Volume 268, 2019The 25th Regional Symposium on Chemical Engineering (RSCE 2018)
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Process for Energy and Environment|
|Published online||20 February 2019|
Prediction of acid mine drainage formation and zinc migration in the tailings dam of a closed mine, and possible countermeasures
Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita 13, Nishi 8, Kita-ku Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
2 Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita 13, Nishi 8, Kita-ku Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
3 Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Mathematics, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, A. Bonifacio Avenue, Tibanga, Iligan City 9200, Philippines
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Acid mine drainage (AMD), the very acidic and highly contaminated leachate generated in closed/abandoned mines, is commonly managed by neutralization to raise the pH and precipitate most of the heavy metals. Although effective, this approach does not generate any product of economic value, so it is very costly and unsustainable in the long-term. Unfortunately, there are currently no effective alternatives to neutralization, and one way to improve the sustainability of this process is to reduce the volume of AMD generated and/or the concentration of heavy metals. The tailings dam investigated in this study is located in northern Hokkaido, Japan. Detailed characterization of borehole core samples showed that even after almost 40 years of exposure to the environment, the tailings still contain pyrite (FeS2) and substantial amounts of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). Reactive-transport modeling using Visual MODFLOW predicted that AMD quality would likely continue to deteriorate with time and that treatment should be continued for at least 1,000 years. The model also predicted that a barrier with low permeability installed downstream of the tailings dam or ground sealing techniques for recharge reduction could lower the volume of AMD and concentration of Zn from the site.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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