Acid Mine Drainage Containment – Intramine®

Generation of mining wastes is inevitable in the mining industry’s production routines. Despite the efforts to reduce the amount of mine wastes, this types of wastes still constitute one of the world´s largest contaminated streams. Thus, they have to be addressed during the mining operations to minimize their environmental impact. The spectrum of harmful mine water pollutants varies depending on the ore deposit composition, with Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Zinc, Nickel and Arsenic generally being the most common pollutants. Waste materials, such as waste-rock dumps, flotation tailings impoundments and roasting-smelting wastes, present a variable content of toxic elements, including Copper, Lead, Zinc, Chromium and Cadmium.

Intragreen® is highly adsorptive towards a wide range of heavy metals, due to the higher specific surface, when compared with other conventional colloidal material already available in the market. When injected into contaminated soils and sediments, it forms a stable and effective adsorptive barrier preventing further migration of contaminated streams. Due to its wide pH range of applicability, it is a promising candidate for mine waste leachates containment via the set-up of in situ adsorptive barriers.

Our solution is able to generate a decisive reduction in the amount of contaminated waste produced, to convert contaminated streams into natural resources, as well to convert as solid wastes into more valuable products, to support a sustainable circular economy model that promotes zero wastes. Depending on the specific site conditions, with our Intramine® nanotechnology, we can achieve a reduction of heavy metal pollutants by approximatelly 80 – 100%, with a very low carbon footprint.