An Investigation into Determining the Source of Elevated Metals in Seepage at Mount Polley Mine

After identifying elevated metal concentrations in two seepages from a waste rock pile at Mount Polley Mine, an investigation was launched to determine the potential source as well as the implications for potential treatment. Evidence points to a previously unidentified source of acid mobilizing metals from the waste rock pile and being neutralized along the way, before daylighting at the base of the pile. The most likely source that was identified was a sulphur pile, which was stockpiled on site as a source of acid for leach pad research. Acidic drainage from the sulphur pile has been confirmed and there was evidence that this acid had breached its containment. Rock samples from under the sulphur pile were collected and determined to have been altered by acid generated from the sulphur pile. A geochemical model will be built and possible treatment options will be recommended to Mount Polley Mining Corporation.

Shauna Litke
Faculty Supervisor: 
Wenying Liu
British Columbia
Partner University: