Acid Rock Drainage/Metal Leaching Studies

Our knowledge and expertise in hydro-geochemistry contribute to a higher understanding of complex geologic processes in the fate and transport of harmful species that possibly mobilize as a result of stressed environments such as mining and oil and gas operations. The chemistry of mining drainage can be different based on the mineralogy, processes that the rock mass has experienced, and geochemical conditions of the storage. In addition, the chemistry may show temporal changes as a result of the preferential dissolution of minerals and hydrogeological changes. Geochemical, hydrogeological and chemical skillsets are used by our team to provide a comprehensive delineation of such conditions.

Acid Rock Drainage/Metal Leaching

Acid rock drainage (ARD) is one of the major environmental issues of mining. Sulfide minerals, especially pyrite, are responsible for ARD generation if present. In a simple word, pyrite oxidation, facilitated by bacteria, through exposure to air and water may result in the generation of acidic effluent elevated in sulfate and heavy metals and toxic elements.

Mineral extraction from mines and further processing provides favorable conditions for acid generation by increasing the surface area of waste rock/ore and change in geochemical conditions. Depending on the balance between acid-producing and neutralizing minerals, the ultimate effluent may be acidic.

The generation of ARD may harm water quality which inevitably may result in a dramatic influence on aquatic life and flora. Plus, not all mine drainages are acidic and still have constituents that are harmful to environment.

To protect the environment and to satisfy local and federal regulations, it is mandatory/recommended to examine/predict mine water quality and ARD generation potential for mining projects. Many active/abandoned mine sites are already facing the issue of ARD occurrence or release of unwanted constituents due to the lack of an ARD management plan at the early stage of their projects in the exploration and operation phases.

Our Experience in ARD/ML Studies

Our team of professionals has more than 20 years of experience in dealing with ARD projects in different types of mining activities such as coal, gold, copper, lead and zinc, hard rock lithium, as well as oil and gas sites, constructed roads, aggregate quarry and pipeline projects.

We are always available to help you with the ARD evaluation and management of your project at any stage. Please, do not hesitate to contact us at +1-403-870-1146 or for a detailed consultation on the ARD evaluation and management of your project.

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