New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 13, 2018

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Effects of Olivine on Acid Rock Drainage

Margaret Tinsley1, Ingar Walder, Rodrigo Embile and Franciszka Stopa

1New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM, 87801,

Olivine has some neutralizing capacity, and has been promoted as part of remediation plans for some mine sites, especially those where olivine is a major part of the deposit. This talk examines the utility of olivine for improving drainage water quality at the former Bruvann nickel mine. A combination of lab and field studies are reviewed to determine the effects of olivine on water pH and nickel content. Columns of waste rock from the site treated with a continuous flow of pH 1.5 acid maintained a pH of 2.0 or higher, indicating some neutralization is taking place. However, kinetic columns rinsed with water produced a range of drainage pH values, including several acidic ones. These columns also consistently released nickel in their drainage. Water samples taken in the field did have approximately neutral pH, but still contained nickel. Overall, this research indicates that the presence of olivine within mine waste solves, at most, only part of the problem.


AMD, mine, water quality

pp. 77

2018 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 13, 2018, Macey Center, New Mexico Tech campus, Socorro, NM