Non-carbonate geochemical options for long-term sustainable acid and metalliferous drainage control at-source

  • Yan Zhou
  • Michael D. Short
  • Jun Li
  • Rong Fan
  • Gujie QianEmail author
Original Article


Acid mine drainage (AMD) from mine wastes is a critical environmental issue worldwide. It is caused principally by the oxidation of pyrite (FeS2) through a combination of complex reactions (physical, chemical, and biological), often associated with toxic metals/metalloids with varying toxicity, such as As, Cd, Pb and Zn. This paper is specifically focused on the role of reactive silicate minerals (including aluminosilicates) in contributing to pyrite surface passivation (at-source control for reduced AMD generation) and neutralisation processes for long-term AMD mitigation. The neutralisation potential of (alumino)silicate minerals (those readily accessible on-site) to buffer acid generation at reduced pH levels in the long-term is also discussed in the review. Overall, the review aims to present cost-effective solutions, using readily available (alumino)silicate minerals, to provide long-term neutralisation and precursors required for pyrite surface passivation (source control) for sustainable at-source geochemical AMD control.


Acid mine drainage Geochemical controls Pyrite oxidation Silicate dissolution Surface passivation 



This project was financially supported by BHP Billiton (Australia), Teck (Canada) and the Australian Research Council (ARC) via ARC Linkage projects LP140100399 and LP130100568. Prof. Andrea Gerson is thanked for valuable comments and suggestions on the overall structure of this review.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural and Built Environments Research Centre, School of Natural and Built EnvironmentsUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  2. 2.Future Industries InstituteUniversity of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  3. 3.College of Science and EngineeringFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia
  4. 4.College of Science and EngineeringFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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