Leaching Analysis of Coal Mine Spoil Material

by Robert W. Shanks, Arch Mineral Corp, St. Louis, MO, USA,
Edgar L. Langrand, Arch Mineral Corp, St. Louis, MO, USA,
Roger N. Pasch, Arch Mineral Corp, St. Louis, MO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water for Resource Development


Arch Mineral Corporation has conducted a column leaching study to analyze the leaching characteristics of surface coal mine spoil material in order to predict post-mining groundwater quality. Samples were collected from the cast overburden material. One set of 21 columns were leached in a saturated condition. A second set of 21 columns were subjected to a series of wet-dry leaching cycles. Synthetic rain water was added until the leachate showed a stable pH and conductivity. A review of the pre and post-leaching overburden characteristics showed that the spoil material was not significantly altered by the leaching process. Furthermore, chemical analysis of the composited leachate collected from each column showed that the quality of the leachate was similar to the pre-mining groundwater quality and to the quality of the initial samples collected from monitoring wells completed in reclaimed areas.

Subject Headings: Coal mining | Leaching | Mine wastes | Coal | Mines and mining | Groundwater quality | Material properties | Leachates

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