Research and analysis

Treatment of pollution from abandoned metal mines

This research summarises the development of a passive treatment technology to remove metals from mine waters.

Documents

Treatment of polluting discharges from abandoned metal mines: investigation of passive compost bioreactor systems - report

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Treatment of polluting discharges from abandoned metal mines: investigation of passive compost bioreactor systems - summary

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Detail

Waters draining from abandoned metal mines pollute up to 3,000 km of rivers in England and Wales and prevent these rivers from achieving ‘good ecological and chemical status’ under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

This research project summarises the development of a passive treatment technology to remove metals from mine waters. Researchers at Newcastle University operated laboratory and pilot-scale compost bioreactors to remove metals, particularly zinc which is the most common pollutant in metal mine drainage.

These systems could help the Environment Agency, the Coal Authority and Defra to minimise construction and operating costs when dealing with metal mine pollution.