Clear Solutions

The Environmental Geochemistry and Water Group produces a newsletter covering some of the latest trends, opportunities and leading practices in water quality management and treatment.

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Clear Solutions No.12 (2014) – Clear Solutions for Underground Mines.

In this past issue: Plan ahead to avoid AMD, Managing operational water quality and odour issues, Inert atmosphere technology for post-closure AMD management.

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Research Publications

Earth Systems is staffed by environmental professionals that are active contributors to their selected professional communities. The following is a selection of informative publications authored or co-authored by our staff.

Global heavy metal pollution (AMD/ARD) impacts (2012)

Presented at the 1st International Acid and Metalliferous Drainage Workshop in China, this paper briefly discusses the global social, environmental and economic impacts AMD/ARD.

Identification and prediction of heavy metal pollution (AMD/ARD) risk (2012)

Presented at the 1st International Acid and Metalliferous Drainage Workshop in China, this paper briefly describes the risks of AMD/ARD within a mining context.

Alkalinity producing cover materials for providing sustained improvement in water quality from waste rock piles (2006)

This paper discusses the solubility and dissolution characteristics of specialized calcium-enriched caustic magnesia (MgO) materials which makes them ideal for use as an alkaline amendment in new and existing waste rock covers.

Successfully lowering the risks and costs associated with the legacy of the abandoned Brukunga Pyrite mine, South Australia (2006)

This paper discusses the steps taken to reduce the AMD risks at the Brukunga mine site in southern Australia. Improvements in site water containment and collection, upgrades to treatment facilities and improvements to downstream water quality are discussed.

Chemical stability of acid drainage treatment sludge and implications for sludge management (2006)

This paper investigates the stability of a range of AMD treatment sludges. The stability of the sludges and their susceptibility to leaching under certain conditions is related to their inherent neutralizing potential.

A summary of passive and active treatment technologies for Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) (2006)

This paper explains the concept of acidity and acidity load before summarizing the range of available treatment technologies. Also discussed at some depth is the difference between passive and active systems along with examples of each outlining their benefits and limitations.

Treating ARD – how, when, where and why (2003)

This paper focuses on the various passive and active treatment alternatives, examining their strengths, weaknesses and suitability for particular applications. The paper provides a starting point for selecting an appropriate technology to meet specific treatment requirements and goals.

The Passive Prevention of ARD in Underground Mines by Displacement of Air with a Reducing Gas Mixture: GaRDS (2000)

This paper discusses a new approach to stabilize sulphide minerals, thereby reducing pollutant loads, from underground mines. The approach uses a low cost technology to manipulate the atmosphere in mine voids displacing oxygen with a reducing gas mixture, thereby reducing sulphide oxidation and acid generation rates.

Coming to Terms with Acid Drainage

Using case studies from the Asia-Pacific, this paper reviews and evaluates a range of established techniques, recent advances and new concepts developed for the control and management of acid drainage from mine sites. It identifies the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and highlights where each can be most cost effectively and successfully used. It also reviews some areas of continuing research into cost-effective techniques for minimising or avoiding acid drainage formation, techniques that offer hope for expanding the future options of environmental managers.

From Concept to Best Practice – Innovations in AMD Prevention and Management (2008)

This paper reviews a wide range of technologies for combating acidic and metalliferous drainage (AMD), spanning characterization, prevention, mitigation and treatment.

Rehabilitation of a Highly Sulfidic Tailings Dam in South-eastern Australia (2008)

The paper discusses the rehabilitation strategies used to address short and long-term environmental issues at an abandoned mine site. The key objective was to minimise oxidation of the tailings, and therefore AMD generation, by establishing a water cover and self-sustaining passive treatment system.

Oxygen Consumption Techniques to Quantify Acidity Generation Rates (2012)

Presented at the 1st International Acid and Metalliferous Drainage Workshop in China this paper discusses the oxygen consumption (OxCon) testwork techniques along with key benefits.

The benefits of kinetic testwork using oxygen consumption techniques and implications for the management of sulfidic materials (2011)

This paper discusses the key advantages of oxygen consumption (OxCon) test work and its use in the management of sulfidic materials.