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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Environment > Prediction, preventive and remedial action against acid mine drainage (AMD)
Graphic element Prediction, preventive and remedial action against acid mine drainage (AMD)
     
 
New waste management methods using engineered dry covers reduce leakage and soil contamination from polymetallic sulphide mines. Copper, zinc and manganese can be extracted.
 

Increasing health and environmental concerns have made waste treatment and disposal and soil rehabilitation high priorities for many mining and former mining sites. Acid mine drainage (AMD) refers to the typical leakage and soil contamination seen in association with polymetallic sulphide mining. Traditional best practice has been to construct special dumps for AMD-generating spoil, but these are not perfect and many European populations are still at risk in areas heavily polluted by long-abandoned mining activities.

This project was one of the first in Europe to investigate AMD. Its aim was to develop improved processes for managing waste from polymetallic sulphide mines. A new computer model for predicting the spread of pollution from spoil protected by "engineered dry covers" was tested and a novel technique was developed for chemically treating contaminated waste water from mines so that copper, zinc and manganese can be extracted and sold. Also, an economical and effective method was developed for using alkaline additives to prevent or minimise AMD from dumps.

The new methodology is useful for owners of both operating and closed-down polymetallic sulphide mines, say partners.

Cordis RCN: 6618
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