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Columbus, Ohio 43204
(614) 278-2600 

Mine Management Plus
MINING INDUSTRY



ACID MINE DRAINAGE  

 
 Coal strip mines both active and inactive produce piles of mine waste called "gob piles", and turn the land into barren "moon scapes" where nothing can grow. The soil, the gob piles and water run-off is often acidic and contain high levels of oxidized iron, sulfur, manganese, aluminum and other heavy metals.
   

Bioremediation utilizes modified wetlands and pond systems with compost, mixed microbial consortia and plants. This treatment raises pH levels and reduces metals to non-toxic levels prior to discharge in receiving streams.
 Acid mine drainage treatment
using chemical methods.
 
   Acid mine drainage treatment using microbial bioremediation 


Representative mine jobs include:

West Virginia:
  • Acid mine drainage of iron, manganese, aluminum, selenium, etc.
  • 400 acre site
  • 500 acre site

Pennsylvania:
  • Raw mine drainage of iron, manganese;
  • prevention of formation of acid mine drainage from mine pool discharge.
  • 700 acre site
  • 500 acre site – acid mine breakout of a deep mine into creek. Compliance achieved in 2 months and maintained for remainder of contract.

Nevada:

  • Microbial mining processes including gold, along with remediation of waste oil contaminated soils and other processes.

Canada:

  • Cyanide, molybdenum, copper contamination
  • 5 by 10 mile copper molybdenum silver mine tailings in an alkaline lake, with intermediary muskeg bog.
  •  Iron mine tested using natural tundra wetlands (muskeg bog) as flow-thru from catchment pond back into contaminated pit when mine closed.
  1. British Columbia, Canada. 5 mile by 10 mile copper molybdenum silver mine tailings in an alkaline lake. They were closing operations, which had a corridor intermediary muskeg bog, a secondary flow-thru fresh water system was installed, connecting the large holding pond thru the 4 miles of muskeg bog and back into the abandoned pit mine. We added 50 “BIO-CARB” bags with 300 pounds of charcoal each that had been soaked in the inoculums developed from the native microbes collected on the site. They removed the dam holding the toxic alkaline drainage water with high levels of copper, molybdenum, sodium, arsenic, and some silver into the bog, treatment pond and the mine pit. After six months of monitoring, the mine was closed and no longer allowing mine drainage to flow thru surface water creeks and groundwater.
  2. PA. 500 acres site. Acid mine drainage breakout of a deep mine. Five long, deep (8-10 foot) ponds with a 1,000 gallon NaOH tank between the first and second pond had never met NPDES standards. We added a calculated number of bags of charcoal inoculated with the microbes cultured from the site and separated the last pond into four smaller pondsinto which we introduced two tons of twice-used mushroom compost and planted rooted macrophytes. The mine was discharging water at the rate of 160- 250 gallons of water per minute. We achieved compliance in two months and maintained it for the two years covered by our maintenance contract.
  3. Canada. Iron Mine tested using natural tundra wetlands (a muskeg bog) as a flow-thru from the catchments pond back into the contaminated pit when they closed the mine. The Alpha Omega solution saved them $2 million on the mine closure.
  4. WV - 400 acres site.
  5. WV - 500 acres site
  6. Country Club, CT - 200 acres site.
  7. Garrett Co., MD - 1000 acres site. Coal, gob piles, ponds and creeks
  8. Washington, PA - 700 acres site


MICROBIAL SCRUBBING  
Power boost to clean coal processes -
Microbial scrubbing removes carbon, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and other gases produced by coal firing plants and removes waste products from the metabolic processes of other microbes.

Scrubbers are the present gaseous and particulate removing technologies employed by the coal-fired energy plant to clean the tall stacks before they release “greenhouse gases and particulates.” Adding an additional “scrub” with Alpha microbes is a process that will help to produce clean coal in an environmentally sound manner.

Carbon Reduction Credits consists of the collection and storage of carbon from the atmosphere through reforestation, forestation, ocean and soil collection and storage efforts. This approach is currently recognized as an effective way to reduce the Global Carbon Emissions crisis. Because Alpha Omega restores and/or maintains the natural balance in the ecosystem surrounding coal mines, the mine areas are more eco-friendly and easily maintain an acceptable green environment.

COAL FINES  
Reduction or elimination of moisture from coal fines to levels of 20% or less, potentially producing billions of tons of additional clean and environmentally “green” coal as a fuel source. In addition, microbial mining techniques can potentially be used to gather coal fines before they are saturated with water, eliminating waste impoundments all together.

An all-natural native microbial consortium can remove iron, sulfur, manganese, nitrates and aluminum from coal fines, increasing their BTU's in the process, as well as removing the precursors of acid rain. (The Theta Process)

Treating the waste impoundments where coal fines are stored either in active or abandoned ponds with Alpha technology can potentially produce billions of tons of additional clean and environmentally “green” coal as a fuel source. In addition, microbial mining techniques can potentially be used to gather coal fines before they are saturated with water eliminating waste impoundments all together. (Desulfurization article)

MICROBIAL MINING (BIO-LEACHING)  
1.Microbial mining or bio-leaching can recover trace amounts of gold, silver, copper, etc. from waste piles by separating the metals from the crushed quartzite, sulfur compounds, etc.
2.Developed as an alternative to cyanide gold reclamation from mine tailings, the microbial process removes precious metals from placer sands in worked out gold mine claims and was first introduced in the state of Nevada. A mixatrophic culture of microbes that are indigenous to the sandy placer arroyos and to old mine tailing ponds and refuse piles is spread over the mine site.
3.The process microbially separates the precious metals from the sulfidic ore fines, carbonaceous gold ore fines and silica bound gold ore fines in a slurry pond and the floating “mat” can be skimmed and fired, and the precious metals extracted as pure “buttons.”
4.Using a microbial consortium is less expensive and can be self-sustaining (rather than using single microbes that must constantly be replenished). In Nevada microbial mining processes included gold and silver, along with remediation of waste oil contaminated soils and other processes.

BIO-TRANSFORMATION (Heavy Metal Management Plus)  
1. Metals cannot be bioremediated. Micro-organisms, however, can interact with metals and transform them (biotransformation) from one chemical form to another by changing their oxidation state. Microbes are also capable of influencing metal behavior in soils in other ways, such as changing the acidity of the system in the area of treatment and altering the form of organic compounds that influence metal mobility. Whether a metal becomes more or less soluble or mobile is controlled by the microbial processes that are present in the consortium.
This microbial treatment can be supplemented using phyto-remediation. Phyto-extraction removes toxic metals from soil through metal-accumulating plants. Hyper-accumulation of metals (greater than 1 percent dry weight) is common for plants that are acclimated to soils high in cobalt, copper, chromium, manganese, selenium, lead, nickel, and zinc.
2.There are many complex and interdependent influences on the environmental availability of metals in soil or sediment, including physical, geochemical and microbial processes. These factors include:
  • Redox potential (oxidative or reducing environment)
  • pH
  • Organic matter content (TOC)
  • Percent clay (aluminosilicates)
  • Types of complexation (organometallic, inorganic, precipitate formation, etc.)
  • Particle size*
  • Ionic strength/types of ions present

    *Particle size is a factor because the surface regions of soil aggregates may be an oxidizing environment while the interior of soil particles is typically a reducing environment.
Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage Case Studies
Raw Mine Drainage report
Country Club report
Bio-Carb & Wetlands article



   

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