Podolsky Mine’s Environmental Challenge

CIM Toronto 2009
Ian Horne, Harry Marshall,
Abstract Striving for zero environmental impact, both short and long term should be every mines aim. FNX Mining believes it is an attainable goal which just requires some hard work and creative thinking.

Ammonia in mine effluent is potentially toxic to fish. The ammonia concentration in mine water is affected by two key factors, the effective use of explosives and dilution of the effluent by ground water.

During the advanced exploration and early operations stages ammonia was removed in a natural bog located to the west of Podolsky mine. As underground activity escalated, the volume of water requiring treatment increased dramatically and ammonia concentrations increased.

There came a point in time when the choice came to shut down the source or run the risk of polluting the receiving environment. A decision was made to stop all blasting activity and all water discharge. The race was on to find a solution to this problem.

This is the environmental story of a small mine’s journey from exploration through to production and how the issue of ammonia in the mine’s effluent was brought under control by engaging the work force, using temporary pretreatment on surface and finally the introduction of a state of the art treatment facility.
Keywords: Water, Environmental, PWQO, Ammonia
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