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Management of Sulfide-Bearing Waste, a Challenge for the Mining Industry

Department of Geosciences, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
International Network for Acid Prevention, 2105 Oneida Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2012, 2(1), 1-10;
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 3 January 2012 / Accepted: 2 February 2012 / Published: 8 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
PDF [311 KB, uploaded 8 February 2012]


Oxidation of iron sulfides in waste rock dumps and tailings deposits may result in formation of acid rock drainage (ARD), which often is a challenging problem at mine sites. Therefore, integrating an ARD management plan into the actual mine operations in the early phases of exploration, continuing through the mine life until final closure might be successful and decrease the environmental impact. A thorough characterization of ore and waste should be performed at an early stage. A detailed knowledge of mineralogical composition, chemical composition and physical properties such as grain size, porosity and hydraulic conductivity of the different waste types is necessary for reliable predictions of ARD formation and efficiency of mitigation measures. Different approaches to prevent and mitigate ARD are discussed. Another key element of successfully planning to prevent ARD and to close a mining operation sustainably is to engage the mine stakeholders (regulators, community and government leaders, non-governmental organization (NGOs) and lenders) in helping develop and implement the ARD management plan. View Full-Text
Keywords: sulfide oxidation; acid rock drainage; tailings management; waste rock management sulfide oxidation; acid rock drainage; tailings management; waste rock management

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Öhlander, B.; Chatwin, T.; Alakangas, L. Management of Sulfide-Bearing Waste, a Challenge for the Mining Industry. Minerals 2012, 2, 1-10.

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