Acid Metalliferous Drainage

Acid Base Accounting (ABA) identifies the risk of acidic and/or metalliferous water discharging in to the environment. This discharge is called Acid Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) or in the past, 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 into the surrounding environment. This can have a significant environmental impact. Therefore, before large scale operations begin, it is advisable for companies to test the potential of their site to create acid mine drainage.

Avoid serious, long-term environmental issues with ChemCentre’s reliable and fit-for-purpose analyses in accordance with international standards, Federal and Western Australian 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 Acid Neutralisation Capacity (ANC), total sulphur, and sulphate sulfur.

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.

ABA testing alone often is not sufficient to provide the certainty required for mine site closure planning and waste management, therefore ABA tests are recommended 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.

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.

The ASLP is derived from the USEPA Method 1311-Toxicity Characteristic Leachate Procedure (TLCP). 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 deionized water extraction, whereas the TLCP method allows the particle size of the test material to be up to 9.5 mm.

The ASLP method uses a 1:20 (solid : liquid) extraction of solid wastes by tumbling  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 Tests

Kinetic tests complement static tests by demonstrating over time the long-term leaching potential of mining waste rock material.

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

Sequential Testing

An alternative to Kinetic testing, ChemCentre’s sequential leaching tests have been developed to identify in just weeks rather than years, the chemical risks to the environment from potential contaminants due to the migration of metals and elements at mines into ground and surface water sources.

The new sequential leaching method predicts the order and extent of major ions, metals and metalloids that would be leached from waste rock material in non-acid environments (a process known as neutral metalliferous drainage).

Aided by a decision support tool, tests can be optimised as a screening tool for early identification of risks, saving industry and government time and money, enabling better resource allocation and waste management, and will support efficient mine closure planning.

In keeping with our promise of expert solutions, ChemCentre is committed to your financial and environmental security and seeks to provide comprehensive analytical solutions via chemistry-related interpretation of your results, chemical recommendations and advice for follow-up action 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.

Contact us today

Postal address

PO Box 1250

t: (08) 9422 9800
f: (08) 9422 9801

ABN : 40 991 885 705

Street address

Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar
Resources and Chemistry Precinct
Corner Manning Road and Townsing Drive
Bentley WA 6102

Reception: Level 2, South Wing, Building 500.

Deliveries: Ground floor - use Conlon Street entrance