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The first step in preventing or removing acid rock drainage problems is to identify the acid generating or neutralizing minerals that may cause or mitigate acid rock drainage (ARD).

Aerial view of river

SGS’s High Definition Mineralogy team has the expertise to address these points and provide you with objective, robust data you need to proactively manage this important environmental issue.

SGS experts use environmental mineralogy to characterize acid generating minerals or phases to:

  • Determine the potential for future contamination
  • Develop remediation plans including the treatment and processing of products and waste material
  • Establish methods to control the redistribution of acid generating or acid neutralizing minerals in the environment
  • Create monitoring systems to ensure ongoing compliance

The characterization of the acid-generation potential of ores is a vital component in the management of ARD and the prevention of long-term environmental liabilities. SGS can perform a full mineralogical characterization of rocks, ore and tailings to determine their acid generating or acid neutralizing potential. From such characterizations, acid generating minerals (e.g. pyrite, marcasite, pyrrhotite) and acid neutralizing minerals (e.g. calcite, dolomite) are quantified.

The ratio of these acid generating or neutralizing minerals and their locked or liberation characteristics will determine if a sample will be a net acid generator, thus assisting with environmental planning, closure planning, and rehabilitation projects. This type of fundamental data can then be used to determine project costs.

SGS is a global technical leader in the field of acid rock drainage (ARD, also known as acid mine drainage) characterization and testing. We have years of experience globally, addressing the acid generating potential of mining projects and have earned the reputation as an organization that truly understands the testing required to define acid rock drainage scenarios.

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