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Project Overview

Project Number
M10442
Total Grant Value
$4,558,586
MRIWA Contribution
$125,000
Project Theme
Acid Mine Drainage and Treatment of Tailings
Project Period
2022 - 2027

The Challenge

Mining of an area changes the interactions of the mineral content of local rocks with meteoric and ground water. Where these changes are inadequately understood and controlled, water draining from a mine site can adversely impact ecosystems and human health in downstream areas. Management and remediation of such mine drainage issues in Australia is likely to exceed $100k per hectare.

Proposed Solution

This project will improve understanding of mine drainage through monitoring the properties of water interacting with mineralised rock and mine waste under both acidic and neutral conditions.  In important advances over previous studies of this type, fluids will be studied in actual mined environments rather than under artificial laboratory conditions, and the study will include consideration of the influence of microbial activity.

The results of this research will be used to develop improved models delivering more accurate prediction of mine drainage properties. This improved understanding will support better planning and mine design to reduce the risk of adverse environmental impacts from mine drainage during and after mining.

Proposed Benefits to WA

Use of the findings of this research in mine planning could reduce the incidence of negative consequences arising from poorly understood mine drainage in downstream ecosystems, preserving and improving environmental conditions in mined areas.


Keywords: AMD; rehabilitation; environmental impact; microbiology; sustainability

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Page was last reviewed 12 July 2022

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