Acid mine drainage is a global problem with significant environmental impacts. Groundwater flows through open mine shafts running past rocks containing minerals, salts and metals. These materials leach into the flowing water, this changes the colour, pH and pollutes the water to a hazardous level. Acid Mine Drainage water is generally stored in large lagoons near the mines it derives from, this water is treated conventionally using the mineral lime. Lime corrects the pH and precipitates the metals and salts from the water, however the sludge containing these precipitated materials is harmful and costly to dispose of.
As mines usually penetrate the earth well below the water table level, many mines around the world require water to be pumped out constantly, this waste water will be contaminated by whatever has leached out of the rock plus any machinery pollutants, and this must be treated before being released into the environment. With the resurgence of 'Clean Coal' power stations many old mines are being reopened, these mines have filled with water over time and need to be emptied before mining can commence, this can take years depending on the size and composition of the mine.
Our unit would remove the requirement to store vast amounts of toxic mining slurry waste, substances like mercury, arsenic, chromium and manganese are currently stored in slurry holding lagoons or behind large dams, as was the case with the flooding this year of the small town of Bento Rodrigues in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. These toxins could be removed from the waste as it is produced, allowing the water to be put to drain and removing the potential risk of flooding, If the sediment is not harmful but contains material
that has a value to the customer then the separation filter will allow it to be collected just as any other waste stream.