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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: January 27th 2003

 
    
:: Wheal Jane To Become Test Bed  

A feasibility study funded by the European Social Fund Objective One, and undertaken by the UK's Cambome School of Mines and the Clean Rivers Trust, has concluded that the Wheal Jane mine in Cornwall could be developed as a site of international excellence for research into the treatment of metal-contaminated mine waters as well as other waste waters and techniques for contaminated land. The former mine became the site of a passive treatment project after a large escape of metal-contaminated acid mine water escaped from the flooded operation into nearby rivers.

The passive treatment process consists of a series of reed-bed cells through which the mine water passed. Various treatment configurations and pre-treatment techniques were tested during the course of a five-year investigation. However, the process was found to be inadequate for the treatment of the whole flow from the mine, even if the size of the reed beds were significantly increased. As a result, a more technological solution has been adopted to treat the outflow.

Over the past three years, the UK's Department of Trade and Industry has sponsored a project co-ordinated by The Mineral Industry Research Organisation, which is seeking to characterise the processes taking place within the reed beds rather than assess their performance. These data, together with ongoing performance monitoring, have been incorporated into a computer model that has been developed as a predictive tool for passive-treatment systems. There are plans to modify the site to incorporate the latest ideas for passive-treatment systems and use it as a test case to develop a protocol for the planning and implementation of mine-closure plans. In order to achieve this, there is a requirement to identify a sustainable income to maintain the site in the long term, and it is hoped that there will be a commitment made to the site from both industry and academia.

 

 

Click for more info on Sustainable Minerals '18

Contact:
Alan Gibbon
The Mineral Industry Research Organisation
alan.gibbon@
miro.co.uk

Source:
Mining Journal, Jan.24, 2003, p.56

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