Everything You Need To Know About Coal Mines And Water Pollution

Coal mine water treatment in Australia has been a challenge for years now. When you look at coal mines, you will realize that they dig big holes. When you dig a big hole in the ground to mine coal, you should expect infiltration from groundwater to seep in. while there are strict regulations on how coal mines should be managed to avoid water pollution, not all mining companies adhere to these regulations. Pollution from coal mines continues to be a big challenge.Some coal mines that were shut years ago are still causing pollution with no one taking responsibility. When you visit some old coal mines that were shut down years ago, you will notice that the rocks or stones in the ruins have decolourized . Coal mines lead to cracking of stones and changing of layers of earth.

Water management

Mining activities affect groundwater and surface water in different ways: reduction of surface runoff, interruption of the follow pattern of surface water and reduction of water quality in the environment. There are different strategies for water treatment employed on mining sites: diversion of upstream water, construction of dikes to control surface water, water from pits being used for coal processing, pits water being treated by sedimentation pond and so on.

Treatment methods

During the mining of coal, the generation of poor quality water starts from the beginning to the end of the mine exploration. Coal mine water treatment is required to meet the standards established by the law. There are different types of mine effluent that require treatment: acid mine drainage, mine dewatering, process water, tailing reclaim water and mineral processing and so on.

Acid mine drainage

Tailing and waste rock from coal mine can generate acid with a very high content of metals due to sulfide mineral presence which can react with water and oxygen to produce acid water if enough buffer minerals or alkali are not present to neutralize the acid water. It is therefore important for the mining industry to have enough buffer or alkali to neutralize the acid produced.

Mine dewatering

When mining coal, extraction explosives may be used. These explosives are made by different materials such as ammonia and nitrate. During dewatering, the produced solution may contain nitrate, ammonia, TSS and ions of metals in significant concentration which may require treatment.

Process water

The processing of coal involves the use of different types of chemicals such as cyanide, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. This means that the resulting water may contain cyanide and acids.

Tailing reclaim water

Sulphur oxyanions which are known as thiosalts are produced during flotation and grinding of coal in alkaline medium. If the used technology during the flotation and grinding cannot prevent the generation of thiosalts then it is important to have an alternative coal mine water treatment Australia system for thiosalts. Pollutants present in the effluent from mines such as acidity, metals, thiosalts, TSS and cyanide can be removed by physical, chemical or biological treatment. The selection and design of an adequate treatment system for certain mines depend on the objective of the treatment.

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