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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Mine chemicals in Hungary
Roland Chambers

Joined: 07/09/2010

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Mine chemicals in Hungary
Posted: 07/10/2010 07:27:54
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Hi, i'm a newbie in mid Wales, enjoying surface exploration at the moment but hoping to go down some mines soon. I've been following this forum for a bit and have seen that the knowledge with regards british mines and mining processes is extensive. My question is this: Are toxic problems being stored up in british mines/mine sites? there were issues with Mynydd Parys a couple of years ago, and filtration on outflow from Rheidol mines is a hot topic locally at the moment. What is being stored and how is it managed/monitored.

Thanks
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Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Mine chemicals in Hungary
Posted: 07/10/2010 09:35:15
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Although you didn't mention the Hungarian problem in your question, you have used it in the title of the thread. So let's knock one thing on the head from the start. The sludge lagoon in Ajka was artificially concentrated aluminium processing waste, not "natural" mine waste. It is a by-product from the processing of aluminium ores. What might issue from a disused mine is a completely different thing altogether, and very unlikely to be as toxic as the red sludge in Hungary, which some reports have given a pH as high as 13.


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Hé ! Ki kapcsolva le a villanyt ?
IP: 81.144.191.248 Edited: 07/10/2010 09:35:46 by Peter Burgess
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Mine chemicals in Hungary
Posted: 07/10/2010 09:38:28
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Hi Roland

By what is being stored do you mean actually stored or what is being discharged?

As far as I know Pandora mine in the Gwydyr Forest was used for storing some farily noxious chemicals - I cannot remember where I heard this - maybe somebody could confirm if I made it up or not?!

Previous threads you might find of interest related to old gold mines around your area:

Gwynfynydd Gold Mine redevelopment (now shelved): [web link]

Cwm Rhiedol Mine: [web link]

The gold prospecting / mussel thread (signs went up around Gwynyfnydd around this time warning panners): [web link]

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indicative of the type of individual found at the periphery of a fringe activity
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sougher

Joined: 16/10/2008
Location: Hampshire

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Mine chemicals in Hungary
Posted: 07/10/2010 11:22:15
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A recent incident occurred in Derbyshire in January, 2007 when the tailings dam at Cavendish Mill (owned by Glebe Mines) which is sited at the top of Stoney Middleton Dale, burst and a flood of slurry surged down the main road and into the village, the road was closed and a lot of damage caused to houses in the village. This was the second time that this happened. See the following websites for more information.

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/Villagers-shocked-by-slurry-deluge.1986588.jp

http://yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Mining-dam-bursts--and.1986534.jp

IP: 90.220.104.134 Edited: 07/10/2010 11:23:05 by sougher
AR

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Mine chemicals in Hungary
Posted: 07/10/2010 11:37:47
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Another example was Grove Rake mine up in the North Pennines, when the pumps were turned off the EA started monitoring the river nearby. Initially there wasn't a problem, but after a while they had a sudden rise in acidity in the mine water along with a lot of lead and zinc. The problem was that the water sat in the flooded stopes had time to leach out the pyrite from the veinstuff, forming sulphuric acid which then speeded up the dissolution of lead and zinc from the veins, and this then started coming out in the discharge. I believe levels have now stabilised, but it's a good excuse for keeping the pumps on at an abandoned mine!

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jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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Mine chemicals in Hungary
Posted: 07/10/2010 16:23:39
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AR wrote:

Another example was Grove Rake mine up in the North Pennines, when the pumps were turned off the EA started monitoring the river nearby. Initially there wasn't a problem, but after a while they had a sudden rise in acidity in the mine water along with a lot of lead and zinc. The problem was that the water sat in the flooded stopes had time to leach out the pyrite from the veinstuff, forming sulphuric acid which then speeded up the dissolution of lead and zinc from the veins, and this then started coming out in the discharge. I believe levels have now stabilised, but it's a good excuse for keeping the pumps on at an abandoned mine!


The theory was that all the nasty stuff would filter through the limestone over a period of years before the water rose to the surface.
What actually happened was that within a few weeks all the nasty stuff came out of the drainage adit
It was the Environment Agency that suggested switching off the pumps. The EA's atemts to deal with the situation resulted in the obliteration of the remains of one of the worlds oldest known lead smelters if I recall correctly.
The power was one to all of Grove Rake for years after closure along with the pumps and everything else.

As a side note there was 3 phase power there until around 4 years ago when scrap thieves pulled the transformer out through the building wall. It was still live when they pulled it out and it was happily buzzing away to itself lying on its side in the yard.
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staffordshirechina

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Joined: 15/11/2009
Location: North Staffordshire

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Mine chemicals in Hungary
Posted: 07/10/2010 19:51:39
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Along the lines of the Grove Rake problem, I have long nursed a theory that one day all the old disgarded rubber gloves and wellys left underground should eventually rise up to adit levels all over the country and happily wash out into rivers and seas.
Sadly I am still waiting to be proved right.
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