Drainage Chemistry on Mining Industry

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Drainage Chemistry on Mining Industry

Geology on new Zealand,  topography and climate has various considerably so both mine and natural drainage has difference of water quality and implications of environmental according to groundwater, mine water at a mine site, surface water and location.

All mining have potential to chemically interaction with mineralised rocks on environment. On the east Coast and in new Zealand, where goal and coal are the major commodities mined, waters from mine drainage also can develop with distinctly difference compositions from nature background waters. So the chemistry of mine drainages associated with gold and coal mines has highly variable.

Coal and gold mines may production as mine drainage ranging to neutral pH balance (neutral mine drainage, NMD) with high metal concentrations, to acid mine drainage (AMD) with pH<2 and iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) concentrations up to ~1000 mg/L and elevated with concentration of trace element. Acidic drainages may also occur in non-mined areas; this is typically called to as acid rock drainage (ARD) and has similar characteristic to AMD.

Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is the most danger chemical water quality impact from gold or coal mining. Acid of gold mine drainage has low pH balance, elevated dissolved Fe and Al concentrations, elevated with trace element concentrations, nonalkalinity, and increasing chemical oxygen demand in the mining.

Trace elements that are probably elevated in coal and gold mine drainage include zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni) and manganese (Mn). At low pH, this metal is  very soluble in waters and transported downstream in dissolved form.

These metals also become less soluble with increase of pH balance and can adsorb and precipitate to substrates at various pH balance thresholds. The precipitates of coal mining are commonly Fe and Al oxyhydroxides or occasionally more complex chemical compounds.

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