British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Environmental & reclamation measures : Equity Silver Mines Ltd. Patterson, Robert J.


Acid Mine Drainage (A.M.D.) formed from oxidation of disposed pyritic wastes presents a potential pollution hazard for Equity Silver Mines Limited and the mining industry in general. Failure to collect and treat these acidic effluents can eventually affect the quality of receiving streams and endanger aquatic life forms. Treatment and discharge of A.M.D. to the receiving environment must comply with stringent anti-pollution laws. Wastes mined at Equity Silver Mines Ltd. are predominantly acid generating and must be handled according to a materials management plan to minimize impact on the environment. Effluent collection and treatment facilities have been constructed to address the short term environmental concerns with reclamation and research programs being developed to address and monitor abatement measures for control over the long term. The purpose of this paper will be to offer a brief overview of these measures. Key topics for discussion will be: kinetics of Acid Mine Drainage, acid generating potential, water treatment and sludge handling, special wastes, waste dump construction, waste rock amendments, bacteriocide research, simulations, and reclamation measures. Programs designed to evaluate impact on the receiving environment, although they form an extensive part of the program, will not be discussed in this paper.

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