September 2000
Volume 52    Issue 9

Integrated bioreactor system for the treatment of cyanide, metals and nitrates in mine process water

Mining Engineering , 2000, Vol. 52, No. 9, pp. 35-39
Canty, M.; Hiebert, R.; Thompson, L.; Clark, P.; Beckman, S.

Typical contaminants in mine process waters include cyanide, metals and nitrates. Cyanide is used in the mining industry to extract precious metals from ores. And, while cyanide is an effective extraction agent, it is also an acute poison and can form strong complexes with several metals, resulting in increased mobility of those metals. Undesirable metal contaminants are liberated from the ore during preciousmetal-extraction processes. Nitrates arise from blasting agents or from reclamation materials such as fertilizer, as well as the degradation of cyanide-derived ammonia.

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