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Domaining acid rock drainage risks using geometallurgical data


Parbhakar-Fox, A and Lottermoser, B, Domaining acid rock drainage risks using geometallurgical data, Proceedings of 8th Australian Workshop on Acid and Metalliferous Drainage, 28 April - 2 May 2014, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 483-494. ISBN 978-0-9924856-0-3 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2014 SMI Knowledge Transfer (SMIKT)

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Best practice for acid rock drainage (ARD) risk assessment predominately relies on the geochemical properties of sulphidic rocks. Consequently, there are a plethora of geochemical tests routinely utilised by the mining industry to predict the likelihood of ARD formation. However, due to limitations associated with these tests and their relatively high costs, analysis of recommended best practice sample numbers is rarely achieved, thus reducing the accuracy of waste management plans. This research aimed to address this through identifying potential geometallurgy indicators.

Drill core samples (n=70) obtained from Copper Mines of Tasmania, Australia were subjected to a range of mineralogical analyses, routine ARD geochemical tests (e.g., paste pH; acid base accounting, ABA; net acid generation, NAG), field-based techniques (e.g., portable X-ray fluorescence, pXRF; short-wave infrared spectrometry, SWIR), and geometallurgical analyses (e.g., HyLogger, EQUOtip). Geochemical and mineralogical results were compared against geometallurgical and field-instrument datasets to determine: i) how relative carbonate content measurements (generated by HyLogger) can be used to calculate effective acid neutralising capacity (ANC); ii) if mineral hardness (measured by EQUOtip) can be used to classify lag-time to acid formation; and iii) whether field-portable techniques can be used to domain ARD forming potential.

Several clear relationships between geometallurgical and routine ARD data were identified, thus demonstrating the applications of Hylogger, EQUOtip and pXRF for effective ARD domaining. For example, Hylogger data allows identification of acid-neutralising carbonate minerals. EQUOtip hardness data provide a conservative indication of lag-time to acid formation. pXRF data give insights into the abundance of environmentally significant elements. Consequently, the application of geometallurgical techniques to drill core allows the domaining of ARD risks. Such knowledge permits the development of best practice waste characterisation protocols and waste management plans.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:environment, geometallurgy, risk management, mining, acid rock drainage
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geochemistry
Research Field:Exploration geochemistry
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use
UTAS Author:Parbhakar-Fox, A (Dr Anita Parbhakar-Fox)
UTAS Author:Lottermoser, B (Professor Bernd Lottermoser)
ID Code:88588
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Earth Sciences
Deposited On:2014-02-07
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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