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Acid Mine Drainage

Acid Mine Drainage

Acid_Mine_Drainage.jpgAcid and Metalliferous Drainage is the outflow of acidic and/or metalliferous water into the environment. In a mining situation this is refered to as Acid Mine Drainage and can be a significant issue for the development, operation and closure of mine sites.

When certain rock and soil types are disturbed and exposed to the environment, there is the potential for them to become acidic and in some cases, release metals from the surrounding environment. This can cause significant environmental issues. Therefore, before large scale operations begin, it is advisable for companies to test the potential of their site to create acid mine drainage.

ChemCentre can assist clients in avoiding serious, long-term environmental issues by providing reliable and fit-for-purpose analyses in accordance with international standards, Western Australian and Federal guidelines.

Our services include:

  • Acid Base Accounting (ABA)
    ABA tests are the basic, initial static tests used to determine the potential for acid generation from mine waste rock. Measurements include pH and Acid Neutralisation Capacity (ANC). Analytes include sulphur, sulphate and carbon.
  • Australian Standard Leaching Protocol (ASLP)
    ASLP tests are used to assess the leaching potential of wastes, sediments and contaminated soils, including processed mine waste (e.g. tailings) and hence help to inform mine site closure planning and waste storage and management.
  • Kinetic Tests
    Kinetic tests complement static tests by demonstrating over time the long-term leaching potential of mining waste rock material.


In keeping with our promise of expert solutions, ChemCentre will provide chemistry-related interpretation of your results and offer sound recommendations and advice for follow-up action.

ChemCentre is committed to your financial and environmental security and seeks to provide comprehensive analytical solutions that will help you achieve your objectives. Throughout the life of the mine, we are here to listen and respond to the chemical risk management needs of your operation.

Acid Base Accounting (ABA)

ChemCentre offers a suite of static tests that can be performed to determine the potential for acid generation from mine waste.

We are investigating and improving the effectiveness and reliability of ABA tests, as static tests alone are often not sufficient to provide the certainty required for mine site closure planning and waste management.

We therefore recommend ABA tests as a preliminary measure of acid generating potential. Our scientists will work with you to discuss your results and provide advice for further analyses by other tools such as sequential leaching and/or long-term kinetic tests.

ABA is based on calculation of acid production from sulphur content, preferably the non-sulphate sulphur (= sulphide sulphur), and the Acid Neutralisation Capacity (ANC) of the rock. A confirmation of the calculation is achieved by the Net Acid Generation (NAG) test, which is additional to ABA.

Australian Standard Leaching Protocol (ASLP)

The Australian Standard Leaching Protocol (ASLP), is derived from the USEPA Method 1311(Toxicity characteristic leachate procedure or TCLP). The main difference is that the ASLP method calls for the particle size of the test material to be less than 2.4 mm and it allows the use of a DI water extraction, whereas the TLCP method allows the particle size of the test material to be up to 9.5 mm.

The ASLP method is applicable to the 1:20 extraction of wastes which are primarily solids (not liquids) by tumbling extraction for the analysis of metals and non-volatile compounds.

Reports include analysis of leachate, the pH of the fluid used and the final pH of the leachate.

Kinetic Methods

Longer-term kinetic tests complement static tests to reveal how quickly a sample will react in the field.

Basic kinetic test methods include leaching columns and humidity cells. ChemCentre has a tailored program of kinetic methods that mimic field scenarios and cover analysis of leachate and sample characteristics.


Leaching Potential Assessments and Waste Management


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