International Journal of Environmental Protection and Policy
Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages: 9-16
Received: Dec. 27, 2018;
Accepted: Jan. 31, 2019;
Published: Feb. 28, 2019
Views 495 Downloads 58
Grace Ofori-Sarpong, Department of Minerals Engineering, University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana
Richard Kwasi Amankwah, Department of Minerals Engineering, University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, Ghana
The generation of acid in reactive sulphide-containing rocks is a major global problem confronting advanced countries, and serving as a wake-up call for developing countries like Ghana. South-western Ghana hosts two major gold belts, which house ten large-scale mining companies, several small-scale mining companies, farms and other activities. The presence of sulphur in the rocks, coupled with the land disturbances stemming from the activities mentioned above, suggests the potential for uncontrolled acid generation. These have thus generated interest in studies on mapping out the acid generating potential of these areas, so that proactive steps can be taken to prevent acid mine drainage. In this study, several samples were taken from mine waste, mineralised waste and ore from a mine concession in Ghana, and subjected to mineralogical, geochemical and Acid-Base Accounting (ABA) studies. Mineralogical studies reported about 75% quartz while carbonates, feldspars, pyroxene, sericites and chlorites accounted for 25% of samples tested. Polish sections showed pyrite content of up to 5% while arsenopyrite accounted for 1%. The results from geochemical and Acid-Base Accounting (ABA) passed 31% of the samples as non-sulphidic, whereas 20% had sulphur content above 0.5%. The sulphur content in excess of 0.5% gives an indication that the rock can generate acid. Analysis of paste pH confirmed that about 80% of the samples were neutral to basic (i.e. pH 6.5-8.5). Further analysis using Net Neutralising Potential (NNP) and ratios of Maximum Neutralisation Potential to Acid Production Potential (NP: AP) placed 35% of the samples as having the potential to generate acid since the NNPs were negative, while the NP: AP had values less than 1. This 35% had the capacity to significantly deteriorate natural water quality. The study concludes that there is a great potential for AMD generation in south-western Ghana, and this calls for periodic monitoring and development of proactive neutralising strategies to arrest the situation.
Richard Kwasi Amankwah,
Acid Drainage Potential of Rocks in South-Western Ghana, International Journal of Environmental Protection and Policy.
Vol. 7, No. 1,
2019, pp. 9-16.
Johnson, D. B. and Hallberg, K. B. (2005). Acid Mine Drainage Remediation Options: A Review. Science of the Total Environment, 338 (1–2), pp. 3-14.
Akcil, A. and Koldas, S. (2006). Acid Mine Drainage (AMD): causes, treatment and case studies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14 (12-13), pp. 1139-1145.
Ofori-Sarpong, G., Osei, K. and Amankwah, R. K. (2013). Ascertaining the Acid Mine Drainage Potential of a Mineral Concession in South-Western Ghana. International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis, 1 (1), pp. 34-39.
Pozo-Antonio, S., Puente-Luna, I., Lagüela-López, S. and Veiga-Río, M. (2014). Techniques to correct and prevent acid mine drainage: A review. DYNA 81 (184), pp. 73-80. ISSN 0012-7353 Printed, ISSN 2346-2183 Online
Naidoo, S. (2017). Acid Mine Drainage in South Africa, Springer Briefs in Environmental Science, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-44435-2_2, pp. 9-17.
Anon (1994a). Acid Mine Drainage Prediction. US Environmental Protection Agency, Self Published, 48 pp.
EPA (2009) Method 1627: Kinetic test method for the prediction of mine drainage quality. USA environmental protection agency: Washington D. C., EPA-821-R-09-002.
Ferguson, K. D. and Morin, K. A. (1991). The Prediction of Acid Rock Drainage – Lessons from the Database. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Abatement of Acidic Drainage, Montreal, Quebec, September 16-18, Volume 3, p. 85-106.
Oldcorn, R, Bray, C, Arthur, J and Bourassa, Y. (2014). Technical Report on Resources and Reserves, Golden Star Resources Limited, Bogoso Prestea Gold Mine. 138 pp.
Kesse, G. O. (1985). The Minerals and Rock Resources of Ghana, Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 610 pp.
Manu, J., Hayford, E. K., Anani, C., Sakyi, P. A., Kutu, J. M., and Armah, T. E. K. (2013). Aspects of the Chemical Composition of the Birimian Gold Fluid. Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering, 3 (4), pp. 87-106.
Roy Chowdhury, A., Sarkar, D. and Datta, R. (2015). Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage-Impacted Water. Current Pollution Reports. 1, pp. 131-141. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40726-015-0011-3.
Yanful, E. K., Simms, P. H. and Payant, S. C. (1999). Soil Covers for Controlling Acid Generation in Mine Tailings: A Laboratory Evaluation of the Physics and Geochemistry. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 114, pp. 347–375.
Kefeni, K. K., Msagati, T. A. M. and Mamba, B. B. (2017). Acid mine drainage: Prevention, treatment options, and resource recovery: A review. Journal of Cleaner Production. 151, pp. 475-493. doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.03.082.
Moodley, I., Sheridan, C.M., Kappelmeyer, U. and Akcil, A. (2017). Environmentally sustainable acid mine drainage remediation: Research developments with a focus on waste/by-products. Minerals Engineering. 126, pp. 207-220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mineng.2017.08.008.
Oyewo, O. A., Agboola, O., Onyango, M. S., Popoola, P. and Bobape, M. F. (2018). Current Methods for the Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage Including Continuous Removal of Metals from Wastewater and Mine Dump. In: Bio-Geotechnologies for Mine Site Rehabilitation. Elsevier, pp. 103-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-812986-9.00006-3.
Sobek, A., W. Schuller, J. R. Freeman, and Smith, R. M. (1978). Field and Laboratory Methods Applicable to Overburdens and Minesoils. Prepared for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio. EPA-600/2-78-054, 203 pp.
Lapakko, K. (2002). Metal Mine Rock and Waste Characterisation Tools: An Overview, Minerals Metals and Sustainable Development, 67, 31 pp.
Brady, K. B. C. and Hornberger, R. H. (1990). The Prediction of Mine Drainage Quality in Pennsylvania. Water Pollution Control Association Pa. Magazine, 23 (5), pp. 8-15.
Kleinmann, R. L. P. (Ed) (2000). Prediction of Water Quality at Surface Coal Mines. The National Mine Land Reclamation Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, 241 pp.
Banerjee, D. (2014). Acid drainage potential from coal mine wastes: environmental assessment through static and kinetic tests, Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 11, 1365–1378. DOI 10.1007/s13762-013-0292-2.
Anon (1994a). Ghana Mining and Environmental Guidelines, Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Council, Accra, Ghana, 41 pp.
Vogel, A. I. (1989). Vogel's textbook of quantitative chemical analysis. Longman Scientific and Technical, 545 pp.