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Managing the hydrologic impacts of mining on Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range.
Alderdice-L; Adams-JL; Eger-AP
Achieving land use potential through reclamation: proceedings of the 9th Annual National Meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, June 14-18, 1992, Duluth, Minnesota. Princeton, WV: American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, 1992 Jun; :108-116
Research conducted by the Bureau of Mines, Twin Cities Research Center, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is helping to define the environmental impacts of mining and mineral extraction on the hydrology of Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range. Cooperative research studies are concentrating on the unique reclamation problems associated with mining on the Range. One study focuses on the impact of open pit mining on surface and groundwater. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a model which will predict the impacts of these mine pits on the hydrologic balance. This model can be used by mining companies for future mine planning as well as closure operations. The first phase of this project has been to determine the evaporation from open pits as they fill with water at the cessation of mining. The second phase will be to evaluate the groundwater component by assembling and analyzing historical pumping records and pit water levels. Another joint research study is evaluating the use of sulfate reducing bacteria for removing heavy metals from mine waste rock drainage. Four locally available organic materials are being evaluated to determine their effectiveness in removing heavy metals and raising pH. A second phase of this study will determine the most effective organic material for a constructed wetland substrate in field scale experimentation.
Author Keywords: hydrology; Mesabi Iron Range; groundwater; mine pit; hydrologic balance; sulfate reducing bacteria; heavy metals; wetland
Achieving land use potential through reclamation: proceedings of the 9th Annual National Meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, June 14-18, 1992, Duluth, Minnesota
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division