British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Acid mine drainage in British Columbia : today and tomorrow Errington, John; Ferguson, Keith D., 1952-


Of the 16 metal mines currently operating in British Columbia, five generate acid mine drainage. At least five abandoned mines also produce acid mine drainage. Acid mine drainage flows from underground workings, tailings, open pits and waste rock dumps. The production of acid mine drainage from open pits and waste rock dumps is a major concern in B.C. The date of initial release of acid mine drainage is uncertain for most mines, but is known to be as rapid as one year and as slow as 11 years. Significant levels of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans have been found in all acid mine drainage. Release of acid mine drainage has resulted in some major impacts on the environment in B.C. The five operating mines have instituted comprehensive pollution abatement programs to address the problem while little has been done to control the abandoned mines. New mine proposals are now reviewed in detail. Many of the properties currently under active exploration have the potential for acid generation. Potential acid generating mines are primarily massive sulphide deposits although there are three possible coal mines with acid mine drainage potential.

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