MSc Project title Application of mineralogy in the interpretation of laboratory scale acid rock drainage (ARD) prediction: A gold case study
(Supervisors: Dr M Becker, Dr J Broadhurst, Prof S Harrison) Graduated: 2014
Gold mining is a major contributor to the South African economy, but is associated with several environmental issues such as acid rock drainage (ARD). ARD is due to the oxidation of sulfides in gold tailings and is characterised by low pH, high sulfate content and elevated concentrations of heavy metals that contaminates scarce water resources and subsequently limits the use of such waters without treatment. Treatment strategies can only be implemented if the acid generating potential of mine wastes is effectively predicted using common static and kinetic acid prediction tests. The choice of test performed is usually a trade-off between the number of samples, speed of the test, cost of the analysis and level of information obtained. Often the results of these various tests are not consistent with one another. This study used mineralogy to analyse biokinetic test results of a Witwatersrand gold sample in order to improve the understanding of behaviour of mine wastes under different ARD prediction test conditions. The study has shown that mineralogy can be used both to characterize the acid generating potential of a sample directly and to assist in the interpretation of the geochemical reactions and governing species controlling its acid generating behaviour. This information, in turn, serves to validate and complement the results of static and kinetic ARD prediction tests.
Dyantyi N. 2014. Application of mineralogy in the interpretation of laboratory scale acid rock drainage (ARD) prediction: A gold case study. Masters dissertation, University of Cape Town.
Peer-reviewed conference proceedings
Dyantyi, N., Becker, M.E., Broadhurst, J.L., Harrison, S.T.L. and Franzidis, J.-P. 2013. Use of mineralogy to interpret laboratory-scale acid rock drainage prediction tests - a gold case study. Proceedings of the World Gold 2013 Conference - Challenges in Gold Mining, 26-29 September 2013, Brisbane, Australia. Carlton Victoria: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. ISBN9781921522963.
Oral conference presentations
Becker, M., Dyantyi, N., Broadhurst, J., Harrison,S.T.L and Franzidis, J-P. 2014. Application of mineralogy in the interpretation of laboratory scale Acid Rock Drainage (ARD) prediction tests: A gold case study. Process Mineralogy ’14, 17-19 November, Cape Town, South Africa. Paper also presented at the 32nd annual SAIMM Mineral Processing Conference, 7-8 August, Cape Town.