n Inside Mining - Turning a liability into a sustainable venture : Western Basin Environmental Corporation : corporate

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1999-8872


Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a problem commonly experienced during and after mining operations. AMD is the result of the oxidation of pyrite (FeS) in the presence of water and bacteria, which win energy from oxidising iron. The reaction releases ferrous iron (Fe2+) and sulphuric acid (HSO). Pyrite is also present in slimes dams and waste dumps around the Witwatersrand, where the same process takes place. Some of these tailings storage facilities were even built in areas underlain by dolomite, where the acidic waters result in the formation of sinkholes.

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