Learning and Discussion of Innovative ideas about Mining Waste Management and also Mining Related News and Activities

  • Mine Waste Management Training

    Mine Waste Management Short training sponsored by Government of Japan through JICA in corporation with the Government of PNG through CEPA, MRA and DMPGM.

  • Mount Sinivit Mine

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) continues to flow from the abondoned workings (mine). It is of two types and they are Mine Drainage from underground and open-pit and the seepage water from waste dump and tailings dam.

  • Mining Warden Hearing at Ok Isai Village, Frieda River, East Sepik Province, PNG

    Landowner grievances is always a challenge for the PNG Mining Industry. However, the Regulators of the Mining Inductry facilitate Mining Warden Hearings and Development Forums to address grievances related to mining.

  • Osarizawa Underground Mine Adit

    Osarizawa Underground Mine is an abandoned mine in Akita Prefecture, Japan. Event though the mine is closed, the mine site is kept for sightseeing purposes.

  • Hidden Valley Tailings Storage Facility (TSF)

    Mine Waste refers to the waste related to mining activities such as tailings and waste rock. Management refer to how the mine derived waste is managed by the operator and or the Regulatory Body.




Showing posts with label Mine Pollution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mine Pollution. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Environmental Engineering Questions and Answers

1.       Define environment (in terms of mining).

Environment is Conditions that affect working atmosphere and development of mining. Or is the physical condition that exists in mines.

2.       What is mining?

It is the extraction of minerals from the earth.

3.       Why does environment become a subject to mining?

Because serious mine closure issues remain after mine is closed so by taking environment as a subject to mining, the mine closure issues can be addressed and must be known to the local people of what is going on and what preventive measures that can be taken to protect people and the natural environment.

4.       What are main sources of physical impacts by mining operations?
They are: exploration, development and extraction.

5.       What are main sources of chemical pollution due to mining?

Main sources of chemical pollution are cyanide and sulfuric acid for (leaching) and organic reagents (flotation agents) from ore separation processes. Others include mercury, toxic blast chemicals and hydrocarbon products run – off.

6.       What particular problem exists with both ferrous and precious metallic ores?

Acid mine drainage is a particular problem in many mines and both ferrous and precious metallic ores are the main sources of ARD.

7.       What is the main concern of trace metal concentrations?

The main concern of trace metal concentration is that, when they are leached into the river systems and streams it cause bioaccumulation which is a concern to the river systems.

8.       State the magnitude of mineral’s contributions to economic growth in developed and developing nations.

High proportions of minerals are mined in developing countries and so the economy of poor countries depends largely on minerals whereas minerals contribute a small portion to the economy of developed countries like USA, Japan and Great Britain.

9.       What are the effects of increased demand for minerals?

The demand for minerals increased as there was an increased in technology, development and human civilization. As a result, environmental impacts of earth based resource extraction increases.

10.   Why is every mine different and related environmental effects?

Because every mine has different characteristics with respect to environment. These characteristics include;
*      Amount of materials removed.
*      Deposit depth.
*      Ore chemical composition
*      Ore process technology/techniques
*      Degree of stewardship practiced.

11.   Describe very briefly how mineral is extracted by surface mining methods and underground methods.

In surface mining method, the mineral is extracted by removing the overburden, drilled, blasted, loaded and hauled to the processing plant.
In underground mining methods, mineral deposits are extracted at certain depths. Ore is drilled and blasted stopes, marked and hauled to the surface via hoisting systems or diesel units.

12.   What aspect of operation distinguish surface from underground mining?

Underground mine operations are complex compared to surface operations. Surface mining is easy and cheap to operate because the ore deposit is near surface whereas underground mining is hard and expensive to operate because mineral deposit is at certain depth.

13.   State the natures of environmental impacts caused by mill operation, underground and surface mining respectively.

Riverine Tailings from mill operation is dangerous as most mineral deposits are associated with sulfur. In addition, smelting generate large amount of toxic gas. Smelters cause regional pollutions where SO2 can travel considerable distances and cause “acid rain” and climate change.

Potential sources of water pollution include drainage from surface and underground mines, waste water from beneficiation, and contaminated surface water from toxic blast chemicals and hydrocarbon products run – off.

14.   Why is chemical pollution more serious than physical?

Because chemical means are hard to reverse and these must be controlled at process stage. But environmental impacts through physical impacts can be reclaimed through rehabilitation during mining and post – mine period.

15.   Differentiate tailings and waste rock and describe respectively environmental impacts.

Tailings compose mostly of mud and slurry containing high proportion of fine particles. Mud and slurry tailings once exposed to air and rain cause oxidation, releasing sulfuric acid, causing acid rock drainage. The suspended solids cause river bed sedimentation, diversion of watercourses, flooding and destruction of aquatic life.
Waste rock is solid coarse materials from both surface and underground mines. Waste rock dump occupy large portions of land, often outside the special mining lease under lease for mining Purposes.

16.   If Frieda Copper mine is predicted to produce 1million/year ore at 0.45%Cu, what is the annual waste material generated?

Data: production = 1,000,000 tonness/year
       grade = 0.45%
Annual waste generated =????

Copper concentrate = production x grade = 1,000,000 x 0.0045 = 4500 tonnes copper.
Annual wastes = 1,000,000 – 4,500 = 995,500 tonnes of waste.


17.   If Hidden Valley mine has minable ore of 5minllion tones grading 2.5g/t Au, for mine life of 10 years, the tailings dam should be designed to what capacity?

Data: mineable ore = 5 million
Ore grade = 2.5g/t     mine life = 10 years.
 /year x 2.5g/t = 12,500,000 grams/year.
Total value mineral = 10 years x 12,500,000 gram/year = 125,000,000 grams
 In terms of tonnes = 125 tonnes.

Waste and value minerals = 5,000,000 tonnes /year x 10 years = 50,000,000 tonnes of ore.

Therefore; total waste generated would be = 50,000,000 tonnes – 125 tonnes = 49,999,875 tonnes.

So the tailings dam should be designed in such a way that will cater for 49,999,875 tonnes of waste over the ten year period. If tonnage factor was given then the answer would be expressed in volume.


18.   What is beneficiation? Describe it?

Is the entire process of crushing, grinding, sizing and separation of ore into valuable mineral and waste
In other words it is the process that liberates mineral grains locked in rock/ore which can be separated physically and chemically.

19.   State the two types of mineral separation and examples of each.

Two basic means of separation are physical and chemical.
·         Physical separation involves; - (a) magnetic and (b) gravity separation.
·         Chemical separation methods are: (a) floatation (b) cyanidation (c) amalgamation and (d) heap leaching.

20.   Briefly describe the processes: (a) heap leaching (b) cyanidation & (c) amalgamation.

*      Heap leaching – is a process used to extract metal values from run – of – mine ore. The ore is usually porous and readily soluble in aqueous solvent.

*      Cyanidation – is a process for extracting gold or silver from ore by treating the ore with a weak solution of sodium cyanide and recovering the metal particles from the resulting solution.
 *        Amalgamation – is a method of extracting a precious metal from an ore by using mercury to form an amalgam (an alloy of mercury and another metal) with the metal.





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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Environmental Impacts of Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining in Papua New Guinea


Mechanize Small Scale Mining

Artisanal and small scale gold mining (ASSM) offers lucrative employment opportunities to the locals of most developing countries. The major drawback of ASSM is its impacts on the environment as a result of improper mining and processing techniques. Exposed and disturbed lands are usually subject to soil erosion and avalanches of debris in active ASSM areas. Mercury is commonly used to concentrate gold, and if not handled properly causes pollution of life supporting river systems.

Small scale gold miners in many developing countries rely primarily on deposits containing free gold and may be classified as shallow/deep alluvial or lode type. The mining method used in artisan small scale gold mining employ very basic technology. Shallow alluvial deposits are commonly found in valleys and streams at depths not more than two meters. Deep alluvial deposits are found along major riverbanks and older river courses, and usually at depths exceeding six metres along the banks of rivers. The lode type of gold deposits is usually composed of partially weathered gold bearing reefs, which are either outcrops or near surface deposits. In Papua New Guinea, active artisanal mining are commonly found abandoned mining areas like Panguna and Missima and also near operating mines like Porgera, Eddie Creek in Wau Bulolo, Morobe Province. Not only that but also other parts of the Provinces also have active small scale miners. Other provinces include but not limited to: East Sepik, Sandaun, Enga, Western, Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka, Madang, Western Highlands, Oro, Milne Bay,Morobe.

 The small scale gold fields are mainly riverine deposits where mining occurs along river banks, terraces and in active river channels. Using poorly constructed sluice boxes, gold bearing material is fed into the inclined sluice boxes. The box is constructed using plywood or flattened roofing iron with wooden/metal ripples. These types of operations are associated with low to very low recovery because of uncontrollable river flow rates, incorrect inclination of the sluice boxes and inappropriate amounts of feed material at any one time. It is extremely difficult to introduce mechanised alluvial mining because of low skills and knowledge, isolation from transport infrastructure and lack of basic infrastructure.

The gold bearing gravels are concentrated by rippled sluice boxes. The fine gold is not commonly trapped in the ripple compartments. The fine particles of sand with gold in it are than poured into the panning dish for further panning. Mercury is placed in into the panning dish to concentrate the fine gold particles. Amalgamation is an efficient mean of extracting gold particles from concentrates after panning or sluicing.

In PNG small scale mining operations, the concentrates from sluicing operations are mixed with mercury in gold dishes or in sluice boxes. Mechanised concentrating equipment like the shaking table and Nelson concentrators are other options that few small scale miners are looking at. 

Health and environmental impacts (Watch Video)

The artisanal and small scale gold mining provides employment at local and national levels, and the sector is an important source for the inflow of foreign exchange into rural communities. However, small scale mining activities are associated with sensitive health and environmental issues.

The process of recovering gold by retorting and heating the amalgam over an open fire is a dangerous practice. The open fire could be in houses or at river banks and thus a whole family could be exposed to poisonous mercury fumes.

Concentrate from sluicing near streams is usually mixed with mercury and a considerable amount of mercury is lost to the streams. Apart from direct inhaling of mercury fumes by miners, aquatic life also feeds on mercury lost into the river, which are then eaten by the locals through the food chain. The Watut and Bulolo Rivers has been subject to prolonged mercury contamination and discharges of hydrocarbon wastes. The Watut people depend on the river for fishing, washing and farming on the river banks.

Some miners in old shafts and adits and they are consequently exposed to the trapped noxious gases such H2S. Locals have been reported that they are buried alive when they burrow through soft oxidized lodes or vein systems.

Some operators locate their sluice boxes in streams, thus polluting the water. Silting and stream discolouration are very common. Farmlands are usually destroyed by mining activities. Locals even uproot big trees along structurally defined thin gold deposits. Sometimes, the narrow gullies are not rehabilitated and are left to be taken care of by nature.

Exposed and disturbed lands are subject to soil creep widening the flow channels, and debris avalanches are common along rivers at the active mining areas. The loss of fertile land due to small scale mining puts socio-economic pressure on the local society. Old gravel pits are usually abandoned without reafforestation. Pits filled with stagnant water are common.

Education and training

Small-scale mining technology in most developing countries is simple and attracts many unskilled people. The desire for economic and social survival has attracted many people to the industry. The law expects the licensed small-scale miner to mine using effective and efficient methods, and observe good mining practices, health and safety and protect the environment.

The Small Scale Mining Branch of PNG Mineral Resources Authority (Formerly Department of Mining) in Wau, Morobe Provine has created education and training materials for the miners. The Department has produced seven booklets and DVDs on

• Simple Gold Mining;
• Basic Mining Practice;
• Advanced Mining practice;
• Handling of Mercury;
• Occupational Health and Safety;
• Environmental Issues; and
• Economics of Mining.

The major focus of the training resources is to ensure that small scale operations are safe, environmentally friendly and economically viable.

Small-scale mining operations in most developing countries have serious negative environmental impacts. One of the major factors is the implementation of the associated mining Acts  which are lacking.


Donor agencies like the World Bank, European Union and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have in recent times shown keen interest in the negative and positive impacts of the PNG’s ASSM sector. AusAid and the World Bank have sponsored the building of the ASSM sector capability in PNG through legislative framework and training and awareness on the use of mercury.

Note: This article is a reproduction of a learning material with inclusion of up to date information.

Reference
[1] Ail, K. K. (2005. Kwoe River Alluvial Gold Deposit Evaluation and Development Plan, PNG University of Technology, Lae.

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Sunday, 28 January 2018

Data Analysis of Rapid PACKTEST Results

Upon the completion of the setup and PACKTEST, you have the data available at hand to record. In your note book you record the readings of pH, Turbidity, Temperature, metal conductivity. Then you have the other sets of data from the PACKTEST results. Each element tested has got a numbered colour range that corresponds to the concentration of that element/compound in the water sample. You record every data for the elements that are tested.

Finally, you need to digitise the data and analyse the test results. To do that, you need to have a computer or a laptop. Create an excel spread sheet in your laptop or computer and enter the field data in a tabulated format. Your sample results look like the table below:
Table 1 Rapid PACKTEST Results
Now, data analysis is the comparison, verification and few comments or conclusion drawn from the raw data collected from various spots/sites which are tabulated like Table 1 (above). A good analysis of data/ results is always a careful comparison and contrast in the data obtained by plotting the data in different graphical methods.

Be careful to graph the related data so that any conclusion drawn can make sense with respect to particular information. i.e. if you plot all the data into one graph then always take note of the legends so that your interpretation is accurate in reporting.

It is also better to take readings at different weather patterns i.e. during rainy seasons and dry seasons. Remember to keep the sample points unchanged so that a good comparison is made.
From the data analysis, it is better to make few comments and off course a recommendation is anticipated from the field investigation. Your recommendation should provide a clear direction/ indication should there be precautions taken within the vicinity of the impacted project area especially the mine impacted communities. Your recommendation should also alert the local government authorities regarding the findings and what to do in that part of the area.





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Characteristics of Zeolite Ore


  • Like any other matters, Zeolite has two major characteristics which are:
1.      a chemical composition having zeolitic water, and
2.      An excellent ion exchange capability.
Zeolitic water is unique in the composition which is hardly observed in other minerals, as dehydration occurs without changing the crystal structure under heating. This hydration behaviour enables zeolite to be used as moisture absorbent.
In addition, the dehydrated zeolite has a myriad of holes like a honeycomp and the holes have such small sizes in the order of angstroms (Symbole:Å, unit cm/100 million). Accordingly a mixture of gasses with different molecular sizes, which are chemically difficult to separate at the molecular level, can be sieved through zeolite. This is called the “molecular sieve effect.”
The Cation exchange capacity of zeolite is explained as follows:
The general chemical composition of zeolite in general is indicated by
(M2+,M2+)O.Al2O3.mSiO2.nH2O. The symbols in the parentheses at the beginning of the formula indicate exchangeable cations. Cations in zeolite are exchangeable with other cations in aqueous solutions. In chemical terms, material with a positive charge is referred to as a base. The ability to exchange bases is Base Exchange capability (or cation exchange capability), while the capacity to exchange bases is base exchange capacity (or cation exchange capacity) and is called C.E.C., the acronym for “Cation Exchange Capacity.”

Ion exchangeability allows silicon (Si) atoms located in the centre of the zeolite crystal lattice to be partially replaced with aluminium (Al) atoms, resulting in the loss of cations. Cations such as sodium (Na), Calcium (Ca) are captured in the crystal lattice to compensate for the shortage.
The function of C.E.C. is similar to that of the liver of an animal which stores nutrients. Zeolite adsorbs and stores fertilizer components (bases) such as sodium, potassium and calcium to supply the nutrients (fertilizer components) to crops in response to request.
The unit of cation exchange capacity is represented by mg equivalent (meq) per 100g of soils or zeolite rocks.
The cation capacities of clay minerals are different depending on the type of minerals. Montmorillonite is the main mineral source for bentonite which exhibits the highest C.E.C. after zeolite.

                                 
 Zeolite Mine in Japan
Localities of Zeolite Ore
Zeolite (Boiling Stone) Ore

Reference:
Boiling stone (zeolite), Zeolite Dynamics, Lecture Notes.
Roskill Report (1990)
Annual Reports of Various Companies.
Nouko to Engei (Agriculture and Horticulture), September 1978.

JACT News.
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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Data Collection of Rapid PACKTEST Results

Data collection is the recording and assembling of results obtained from the Rapid PACKTEST experiments at various locations.

Before you conduct the packtests, you need to have the required materials for preparation, experiment and recording of data. The materials and equipment you would require for testing include but not limited to:
Packtest Kits.
GPS
Note Book
Pencil/pen
3 x Half cut container
syringe
0.45µm filter
Camera/smart phone with camera.
turbidity meter
pH meter
Laptop/computer

Once you have the above equipment list, you are about to conduct the PACKTEST and other necessary measurements. But before that you must never forget to give a sample location name or sample code/ID and record the coordinates, location zone and offcourse altitude of the sample location. This will ease the management of various data of the same type.

Thereafter, you proceed with the PACKTEST procedures as outline below which is a global practice:

Sampling Procedure for PACKTEST

1. Fetch water in container and filter the water using syringe and 0.45µm filter to filter water sample and pour filtered water sample into a clear mini cylinder(half cut container).
2. Remove the colored line at the top of the tube to clear the aperture.
3.    Press tube's sidewall to expel air, and hold the tube.
4. Immerse the aperture of the tube into the water sample in the mini cylinder and release to fill the tube halfway.
5. Shake the tube slowly for few seconds.
6. Wait for the reaction time as indicated in the instruction manual, and then compare the actual color in the tube with provided Standard Color. The nearest color indicates the concentration value (mg/L = ppm) of the analyte in your sample.

Concurrently set up the equipment for measuring the pH, temperature, metal conductivity and turbidity of the water sample at the same sample location for the packtest water sample taken.  After the setup is complete, you take the reading carefully as the reading varies every second. It is recommended to take the best average reading.

Upon the completion of the setup and PACKTESTs, you have the data available at hand to record. In your note book you record the readings of pH, Turbidity, Temperature, metal conductivity. Then you have the other sets of data from the PACKTEST results. Each element tested has got a numbered colour range that corresponds to the concentration of that element/compound in the water sample. You record every data for the elements that are tested.

Finally you need to digitise the data and analyse the test results. To do that, you need to have a computer or a laptop. Create an excel spread sheet in your laptop or computer and enter the field data in a tabulated format. Your sample results look like the table below:
Table 1: Rapid PACKTEST Results
How to do data analysis from the PACKTEST results and other measurements is in a different article (Data Analysis of Rapid PACKTEST Results)


Related Articles:
Rapid PACKTEST
Data Collection of Rapid PACKTEST Results
Data Analysis of Rapid PACKTEST Results
How to Conduct Rapid PACKTEST in a Well


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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Mine Waste Disposal in Papua New Guinea

Mine waste disposal is any waste related to mining is disposed into any environment. Environment could be land, river or deep sea or tailings dam. Waste can be either solid or slurry.

Most of the mining companies in PNG provide shallow reasons to government to allow them to dispose mine waste into river or deep sea tailing placements.
Some of these factors include but not limited to:
- Topography
- Climatic conditions.
-Geological structures with respect to seismic activities.
- Soil/rock competency etc..

The above are the factors that pose threat to the tailings dam construction, thus developers propose to dump tailings into riverine and deep sea tailings placement.

Hidden Valley mine and K92 mine have built TSF  and it is anticipated that other new mining projects could build TSF.

PNG should completely discourage riverine tailings and DSTP in PNG and encourage TSF to save PNG from mining waste management issues.
Waste Rock Dump at Ok Tedi Mine

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Relationship of pH and Conductivity of Heavy Metal Contents under Rainy Condition

pH increases as the conductivity is low in water. Heavy rain can increase the conductivity of heavy metals contents in water which reduce the pH of water.

During heavy rain you would expect a higher reading for conductivity and turbidity on the turbidity measuring equipment. at the same location and during dry days you would expect a different reading with low pH values.
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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Possible Mine Pollution in a Metal Mine

In an event when rain fall, water seepage cause subsidence of overburden materials. Rain water reacts with acid forming rocks and generate acid mine drainage (AMD). The ionized water flows with lose particles of materials known to be sediment runoff which eventually becomes the tributary of a nearby stream. Consequently the pH is reduced at the nearby stream.

Sometimes structures of facilities fail and waste water is released into the environment without proper treatment and this is a concern for environment pollution along the riverine inhabitants. 

In sulfide mines the possible pollution are:
  • Acid drainage from mine adit
  • Surface exposure to atmosphere and moisture
  • Tailing dam gradually eroded by river water
  • Bursting of waste rock/tailing dam
  • collapse of abandoned dressing plant.
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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Mining and Natural Environment

Mining is one of the old human activities just like agriculture, fishery, forestry, manufacturing etc. Human lives are supported by obtaining and utilizing mineral resources from the earth's crust.

The Distinctive Features of Mines and Mining include but not limited to the following:

  • Non-renewable assets - Mining Industry is based on non-reproducible and depleting assets. 
  • Location  - Mining takes places where the ore body is reachable at economic value.
  • Environment Impacts - Mining may disturb and contaminate the surrounding environments.
  • Local Community Relations - Usually mines are located in the remote areas, thus close relationship with local communities is strongly encouraged.
  • Working Condition - Occupational Health and Safety are the first priorities of mining.
  • High Risk and Vulnerability - Mining Projects are susceptible to a variety of risks.
  • Long Leading Time - Engineering works and permission to open a new mine need a longer term.
  • Required Engineering Ability - Stable and successful mining is likely dependent on a combination of widely used practical technologies.
  • Capital Advantage - Intense capital is required for continuous prospect or explore new deposits and endure risky business.
Out of the distinctive features of mines and mining, one of the most critical agenda around the globe is the Environment Impacts related to mining.

Environment Impact in mining is unavoidable but can be controlled to minimize the aftermaths. Mining is a backbone of a country's economic growth. In Papua New Guinea(PNG), the country's economy is mostly dependent on the extractive Industry which include Mining and Petroleum.

Some people in PNG speak negative about mining and encourage the protection of the natural environment. It should be understood that, before gardening, it must be cultivation of the land for farming. Then sacrifice the vegetation to farm the land. Similarly, the forest and the surrounding environment is sacrificed to mine out what is on/beneath the earth's crust including ocean floor.

There are legislations, prevention and treatment techniques available to safeguard and protect the environment from the waste generated from the mines.


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Monday, 1 May 2017

Mercury Pollution and Prevention Measures In Papua New Guinea

Mercury is a heavy silvery-white liquid metal used in some thermometers and barometers. (Symbol: Hg). It is also used to extract fine gold from the mixture of fine sand. Dispose of mercury into the environment is harmful.

Mercury is used in many ways and people do not realize when it gets released into the environment which in turn causes mercury pollution.

In Papua New Guinea almost all Small Scale Miners use mercury in the amalgamation process during gold recovery from the fine sands. Mercury is used in different ways to recover gold. some pour in between the riffles on the sluice boxes in an attempt to capture fine-grained gold.

The contact time between the gold and mercury is not effective for the amalgamation to occur. Often fine gold remains suspended in the flow of particles above the riffles and do not settles to contact the mercury. Thus, about 30  percent (%) of mercury used in sluice boxes in PNG is release into the river systems.This is actually a treat to the environment.

The Mineral Resources Authority's Small Scale Mining Branch in Wau- Morobe Province try its best to train local miners especially small scale miners on Safe Use and Handling Of Mercury in the process of amalgamation. The Training Center also train the miners other alternatives to be use in the gold recovery process to avoid use of mercury.

Other alternative methods of gold recovery techniques the small scale miners should be looking at would be Gravity Separation methods in the recovery of fine gold.
Gravity separation methods are vital and best alternatives to engaged instead of Mercury. Such methods include but not limited to:

  •  Recovery of Fined Size of gold grain should use Shaking table, Humphreys spiral, Pinced sluices, Reichert cone, etc..
  •  Recovery of more finer gold particle should use Nelson concentrator, Falcon concentrator.
The mercury released into the environment is unaccounted for and undetected. Mercury can be detected by a Rapid Pack-test by use of Rapid pack test kits. However, rapid pack test is not available in the country and it is anticipated that pack-test kits will be imported from overseas to use for training and study purposes. 

The next strategy is to ban import of mercury and introduce the alternative gold recovery methods and draft a treatment strategy through research and training. 
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Friday, 28 April 2017

Abandoned Mines and Possible Issues

Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)  is a common issue in abandoned mines. AMD is produced by oxidation of pyrite (FeS2) and AMD also contains heavy metals.

After the exploitation of sulfide minerals in the metals mines, heavy metals such as pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena and other minerals that are not mined during the mining operation. The remaining minerals react over time with groundwater and oxygen and produce acid mine drainage that heavy metals are contained in it.

Tailings dam where tailings of mine related waste are dumped into the tailings dam or Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) become a source of mine pollution as seepage. Metals in the seepage water from the tailings dam dissolve out with rain and surface water which eventually contribute to the issues.

The content of heavy metals reduces the pH level of Water and reduces the quality of water which people commonly refer to as mine pollution.
Photo: Example of Abandoned Mine  - Mt.Sinivit Gold Mine, PNG.

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Water Pollution

Water Pollution is of two types. Waste Water Pollution and Mine Water Pollution. Mine water pollution is induce when water from the mine or rain water passes through exposed acid forming rocks/minerals. Waste water pollution is when the miner/operator of the mining project discharges the waste water containing heavy metals into the environment. Both of them causes the pH of the water/creeks/rivers to be lower than 7.

Some mines treat the waste water and raise the pH level up to 10 at the water treatment plants before discharging into the environment.

Waste water can be treat and controlled by active treatment and mine water can be actively treated or passively treated. Active treatment of mine water is an expensive exercise.

Mine Water pollution and its treatment is a challenge for all the Mining Regulators in the world today. Most tributary creeks/rivers of the polluted creeks/rivers have higher pH which can dilute the polluted creek/river and raise pH level.

One of the challenges face by the riverine communities is turbidity which affects the drinking water quality and also the diversion of river course which affects the riverine communities as well.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Mine Waste Management

Mine Waste refers to the waste related to mining activities such as tailings,waste rock, sediment, chemical residues, etc . Management refer to how the mine derived waste is managed by the operator and or the Regulatory  Bodies.

This site welcomes critics and comments and suggestions related to the Mine Waste Management to improve the lives of people living within the vicinity of mine impact areas.


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Osarizawa Mine in Akita Prefecture, Japan

Osarizawa Underground Mine Adit Osarizawa mine is an abandoned mine in Akita Prefecture, Japan . Event though the mine is closed, the ...

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