Boojum Research LTD - 25 years of Ecological Engineering

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The role of Phosphate and Phosphate mining wastes in controlling ARD and AMD. Is it a chemical or biological role or is it both ?. Invited by West Virginia Mine Drainage Task Force Symposium Morgantown , March 2011 M. Kalin and W. N. Wheeler Boojum Research Ltd Toronto, Canada. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Boojum Research LTD - 25 years of Ecological Engineering

  • Invited by West Virginia Mine Drainage Task Force SymposiumMorgantown , March 2011

    M. Kalin and W. N. Wheeler Boojum Research Ltd Toronto, Canada The role of Phosphate and Phosphate mining wastes in controlling ARD and AMD.Is it a chemical or biological role or is it both ?

  • Margarete Kalin/Boojum Research LTDPresident and founder of Boojum Research LTD

    Adjunct professor at U of Toronto, Ryerson University, U of Windsor, Queens Univeristy , Kingston

    QEP with the Institute of Environmental Practice and Senior Ecologist with the American Ecological Society.

    has written and presented more than 100 scientific papers, many book chapters and more than 100 technical reports

    has applied the technology to effluent streams from coal, uranium, base metal and precious metals in North and South America as well as Europe.

    RECIPIENT OF THE:Noranda Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Land Reclamation Teck-Cominco Environmental Award Distinguished Lecturer for the Canadian Institute of Mining.

  • No patents Natural processes : Virtual Library is 29 years old, with contracts worldwide.Canadian contracts only shown

  • ECOLOGICAL ENGINEERING aims to practically and beneficially apply knowledge of how ecological systems operate on the mineral and rocks surfaces within these landforms

  • Geomicrobiology has a long history- and they dominate the MWWMA ecosystem These ecosystems are living landforms they change with time

  • Mineral Surfaces: The Site of the Problem and the Solution

    Oxidation of sulphide particles in tailings, waste-rock piles, underground mine workings and open pit walls Limited by the transport of oxygen

    Convection, advection or diffusion to the mineral surface


  • Scale diagram of typical bacteria size compared to the surface roughnessNutrients need to be added, NOT to the water, BUT to the rock surfaces and it has to stick to the rock in the oxidation pit

  • Members of this Task force did leading work with tests of phosphate material

  • Results from 5 Soxhlet leaching cycles Appendix 1 My conclusion; Internal precipitation took place* Calculated average N=3 ** N= 24, each amendment all application rates N=3

    pHFeSAcidityCondNO PHOSPHATE*Cycle 12.01100300036014.20Cycle 22.6170400382.70Cycle 32.855140291.66

    Amendments all types including North Carolina phosphate----------------------------- min max -------------------------------pHFeSAcidityCondCycle 1**1.8 2.3436 12063314 -1925150 3907.2 13.75Cycle 22.8 3.625 119190 4938 321.3 2.36Cycle 32.8 3.58 63103 - 357 7 - 281.0 1.4

  • Field experiment

    Fill #2 - 366 Tons shale/coal (parting)Fill #6 - 367 Tons shale/coal l with 1.14 tons of apatite rockFill #7 - 368 Tons shale/coal with .55 tons of apatite rockResults were good but did not make sense so lets think what went wrong!

  • Acid Mine drainage treatment: Phosphate Technology- the chemical Phosphate role P and Fe cycling are closely linkedP concentrations (e.g. for organisms) are generally very lowP is sequestered as co-precipitates with Fe hydroxides (oxic conditions)P forms metal salts (anoxic conditions)P is bound by organics (e.g. humic substances in muskeg)P may absorb to pyrite (source of AMD) surfaces and inhibit acid generation

  • The Northern Miner Magazine Sept Oct. 1991 reported on the cessation leaching of Cu from a dump in B.C.

    Sample obtained in 1992

    How did it start? A customer requested that something should be done to reduce oxidation rather than waiting for it occur!

  • The key questions are :

    How do we get NPR to the mineral surface or to the place where the AMD is generated? AND It has to be economic and practicalIt has to be suistainable lasting for everIt has to be general i.e. work in all types of wastes

  • NPR Code 484 mm to < 0.04 mmRelating the Scale of the ObservationsPhosphate RockWaste Rock150mm

  • B- zone waste rock pile in distance with muskeg area in front B-zone waste rock pile

  • B-zone waste rock pile Distribution of measured elements comprising 10% of a Waste Rock PileAs (0.07%)S (0.29%)Fe (10%)

    LOAD IN SEEPAGESAsFeSAnnual Load% Leached from pile%/year0.260.00030.65Years to exhaustionyear378322153

    Maximum elemental concentrations in Rock and Secondary PrecipitateAsFeSWhole Rockmg.g-12.7431.5n=97WRP-P Precipitatemg.g-12422067.2n=1

  • We had to work in the field first it has to work there, so we set up large field tests with Texas Gulf Natural Phosphate Rock Train cars full of the stuff came to Northern Ontario and Quebec In uranium tailings In phyrrotite tailings ( Cu , Ni ) In coal, coarse waste rock in polymetallic concentate spills In sulphidic waste rock ( Cu , Zn )

  • Autopsy section overviewPiles 1 to 4Lime compacted etc Pile 5 NPR

  • Tailings Surface Cover Development through Integration of Reactive Phosphate and Organic Matter (PHITO)

  • integrate nutrients, precipitation agents and NPR below the roots, then grow organics

  • Stanrock: Horse Manure and Natural Phosphate Rock1995Heterotroph Oxygen RequirementsHeterotrophs counted fresh tailings: 107/gPopulations oxygen requirement: 175L/gOxygen present in fresh tailings: < 20 L/g

  • Only practical long term tests in mining wastes in the field can provide evidence of the validity of the assumptions Tests NPR additions to tailings and conc. spill2- 85 % sulphide left in field 3.2-3.7 years monitor the pore water metal acidityTAILINGS AREA Inco: 2700m2; Stanrock:432 m2Test NPR additions to waste rock 4-15 % sulphide left outdoors 2.7 years monitor the effluent metal acidityMonitoring 1.8

  • Results of the waste rock drums

  • pH profile for low pyriteStable layerUnstable layer no matter what amount of pyrite acid rock drainage is with you !

  • If sulphide oxidation can be reduced - the process has to be similar in a large variety of mining wastes: Pore water results : Control NO NPR and NPR additions

    UraniumPyhrrotite Polymetalic Waste rockElements (mg.L-1)Control NPRControl NPRControl NPRControl NPRN=1N=1N=1N=1N=2N=2N=3N=6Fe180.01430.110530.023.770.32P0. (mgCaCO3 .L-1)656396715109055448725776


    r = 10-19.71 (0.86). Eh12.93(1.04). pH1.0(0.29) (1)log r =-19.71(0.86) + 12.93(1.04)log(Eh) +1.0(0.29)log(pH)Williamson and Rumstidt . 1994

  • The reactant: Phosphate mining wastes or Natural Phosphate RockUn-economic for fertilizer productiona sedimentary deposit N. Carolina Sea shells Shark teeth (organophosphate) grain size 4cm to < 0.04 mmNPR contains 8-12 % P and 20-35 % Ca (as CaCO3)

  • Taylor mesh conversion and size description for the NPR Code 48 particles

    Taylor Mesh Size UsedRange of Particle Diameter (mm)M.I.T Particle ClassificationPercent finer thanPercentage of the total material 6>3.35Fine Gravel (44.8%)90.754%9.246%82.36 - 3.3555.183%35.571%101.7 - 2.36Coarse Sand (52.0%)10.281%44.902%141.18 - 1.74.826%5.455%200.85 - 1.183.881%0.944%280.6 - 0.853.229%0.652%350.425 - 0.6Medium Sand (2.2%)2.600%0.630%480.3 - 0.4251.819%0.781%540.212 -0.31.008%0.811%1000.15 - 0.212Fine Sand (0.7%)0.736%0.271%1500.106 - 0.150.400%0.336%2000.075 - 0.1060.270%0.130%2700.053 - 0.075Silt (0.3%)0.176%0.094%3250.045 - 0.0530.116%0.060%4000.038 - 0.0450.065%0.051%

  • MACRONUTRIENTSP (nucleic acids synthesis, ATP), K (enzymes activation), Ca (cells walls and endospores), Source :Chapelle, F; (1993 Ground-Water Microbiology & Geochemistry John Wiley & Sons, Inc) NPR is acid-soluble and provides all the nutrients needed for microbial growth It needs to be in particulate form on the mineral surface to change the environment We suspect the fine particles made it to the mineral surfaceWe dissolved NPR in 0.1N sulphuric acid and only a fraction of it dissolved

    WE HAD THE BIOLOGICAL ROLE OF NPR! - MICRONUTRIENTS Fe (electron transport systems), Mn, Cu, Ni, Mo, Co and Zn (components of protein complexes and enzyme activators)

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy of Waste Rock Surface (1st Observation)1995

  • Figure 8 - (A) A2 SEM/EDS 2009 (rock 2); (B) A3 SEM/EDS 2004 10Boojum Research and U of Toronto(ongoing research)After 3 years of outdoor exposure and 11 years of storage PSAuFe20092007AMIRA P933 Report

  • Mineral Surfaces: The Site of the Problem and the Solution Untreated waste rockWaste rock with NPRUntreated waste rockWaste rock with NPR

  • Bugs generally cause only trouble, but when fed, they are here to help!A mining research group confirmed the presence of a biofilm on rocks from our experiment in 2008. It is presently being tested on other waste rock by the same group.Do you want to reduce Acid Generation? What are you waiting for. We are ready to work with you?

    *** move the it is ************* ****** ************