Title: Optimising the rehabilitation of polluted mine tailings and water by an organic medium passive acid mine drainage treatment in South Africa

Authors: O. Pollmann, L. Van Rensburg, F. Wilson

Addresses: School of Environmental Science and Development, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus (PUK), Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa. ' School of Environmental Science and Development, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus (PUK), Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa. ' Impact Chemical Corporation/Impact SupaZorb Corporation, P.O. Box 101479, Meerensee 3901, South Africa

Abstract: Up to the present polluted Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) also known as Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) from South Africa|s gold mines was treated by the precipitation of heavy metals with lime and expensive caustic soda where the residues accumulate in the treated water. This water then is dispersed into wetlands for natural remediation. The environmental damage to soil is irreversible and can sterilise soil in a very short period while acting as a plant toxin. This study about AMD as one of the biggest environmental problem is carried out using organic and mechanical treatment with an organic medium.

Keywords: mine tailings; AMD; acid mine drainage; pH buffering; tannin; lignin; heavy metals; organic rehabilitation; Eliote; Casuarina; caustic soda; lime; ionic exchange; gold mining; soil contamination; South Africa; environmental pollution; plant toxins.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2010.033240

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2010 Vol.41 No.3/4, pp.336 - 354

Published online: 14 May 2010 *

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