Monday, December 27, 2004

Canadian mining company finds way to reduce arsenic waste

Although the news is about contamination of Arsenic in Canada. I still like to share these with all that concern. California especially the north have been populated with goldmines.

perhaps the cities water district should constanly monitoring those ex-site on the level of contamination, & make sure that it is safe for the resident's on their drinking water on arsenic & other contaminations.

Canadian mining company finds way to reduce arsenic waste
Last Updated Fri, 24 Dec 2004 13:05:07 EST

RED LAKE, ONT. - A Canadian mining company has developed a simple technique to prevent poisonous arsenic waste produced by gold mining from entering drinking water.

To produce gold, rock must be mined and chemically refined, a process that often leaves a toxic stew full of arsenic in tailing ponds.
Each bar of gold boullion is worth about $2.5 million US

The arsenic can devastate virtually everything living in waterways near the mines and contaminate the source of drinking water.

Now Canadian mining company Goldcorp has pioneered a new way to handle and reduce the arsenic in tailing ponds.

The simple process takes places in a bio-reactor facility at Red Lake, about 150 kilometres from Kenora in northern Ontario.

Millions of bacteria feed on molasses, become energized, and give off a gas which binds to the arsenic in the contaminated water. The arsenic then separates out.

"It was just simply an idea," said Randy Wepruk, an environmental manager at Goldcorp. "Taking the idea out of the lab and putting it into an industrial-size application ... that was the challenge."
Randy Wepruk

The process doesn't solve the larger arsenic problem in mining since it doesn't eliminate arsenic altogether. Still, it is a step in the right direction, according to one environmentalist.

"There's a real problem with arsenic in the water effluents," said Joan Kuyek of Mining Watch Canada. "So we can treat small amounts of those and probably more in the future." Read More...
CBC News - CBC News: Canadian mining company finds way to reduce arsenic waste

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