Reduction of surface mineral waste through underground in situ leaching of fragmented ore and fill material.
Paper in Env Issues & Waste Mgmt in Energy & Minerals Prod Balkema, 1992; 2:951-959
Environmental protection is increasingly more important in the design and development of mining operations. Research on mining systems for future operations must consider the effects on and explore ways of protecting the environment. As part of its in situ leach mining program, the U.S. Bureau of Mines is conducting research on underground ore processing that reduces surface waste disposal problems. One such technique is leaching of ore or mineralized backfill in open stopes or rooms. Major obstacles to implementing stope and backfill leaching are solution control and leaching chemistry. Geologic and hydrologic characterization of the site prior to leaching is a critical part of effective solution control. In lixiviant selection, the lixiviant must leach metal from the ore, yet maintain a low toxicity and have the least adverse effects on the surrounding area.
Paper in Env. Issues & Waste Mgmt. in Energy & Minerals Prod. Balkema, V. 2, PP. 951-959