Integrating desulphurization in the management of AMD-generating mine tailings

Symposium Rouyn-Noranda 2002
Mostafa Benzaazoua, Mukendi Kongolo, Michel Aubertin,
Abstract Generating acid mine drainage (AMD) involves the
simultaneous presence of three elements: water, air and iron
sulphides. The main techniques proposed to prevent pollution
of the environment by AMD mainly aim to limit the presence of
water and/or oxygen in the sulphide tailings. A new approach
has however come to light in the last few years, namely
desulphurization at the mill. By separating the sulphides from
the other gangue minerals, the volume of AMD-generating
tailings to be managed and rehabilitated is reduced. When the
technique is integrated right at the start of tailings management,
it is even possible to practically eliminate the presence of
AMD-generating tailings at the surface. In this document, we
present a synthesis of the work carried out on desulphurization
during the last few years by the UQAT and its collaborators. The
feasibility of floating the gangue sulphides found in various
tailings is first presented. We then continue with the
presentation of the main results obtained on the use of the
desulphurized fraction in a cover with capillary barriers to limit
the generation of AMD from the sulphur concentrate. Finally we
present a general discussion on integrating desulphurization in
the global management of tailings at the mine.
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