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Low-Cost Removal of Trace Metals from Copper-Nickel Mine Stockpile Drainage, Volume I--Laboratory and Field Investigations.

Lapakko KA; Eger AP; Strudell JD
BoM, 1986 Aug; :1-103
This report describes a two-phase experimental program to examine the feasibility of removing trace metals (cu, ni, CO, zn) from stockpile effluent using readily available materials in low-cost, low-maintenance systems. Volume I details the process, beginning with the first phase, a laboratory screening program using (1) batch experiments to screen wood chips, peat, till, tailings, zeolite, lime, and sponge iron, and (2) column experiments to select the most promising materials for field trials. Low-sulfide tailings were chosen for the second phase field testing to utilize both treatment beds and joint disposal bins. Saturated and unsaturated flow tailings treatment beds demonstrated the greatest removal efficiency for copper (95 and 89 pct) and lowest for nickel (9 and 24 pct). A model was developed for the unsaturated bed to express output flow at a given distance from the input as a function of input flow. In the joint disposal study, total discharge from waste rock was reduced 34 pct by the addition of tailings and 66 pct by the addition of tailings followed by revegetation. The associated reductions in trace metal mass release were 73 and 87 pct, respectively. The drainage from the bins incorporating tailings had lower trace metal concentrations and higher ph than the drainage from the controls.
Glacial-till; Tailings; Calcium-oxides; Ion-exchanging; Cost-effectiveness; Solid-waste-disposal; Trace-metals; Mine-acid-drainage; Environmental-pollution; Solid-wastes-pollution; Mineral-industries;
Publication Date
Document Type
CP; Final Contract Report;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
OFR 20A-87
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Bureau of Mines, Washington, DC
Performing Organization
Minnesota Dept. of Natural Res., St. Paul
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division