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Jacob, J., I. Raignault, F. Battaglia-Brunet, C. Mailhan-Muxi, J. Engevin, and M. Djemil.
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure Volume 1:911-920(2019)

The closed underground fluorspar Burg mine produces mine drainage with a pH of 6.3 and high concentrations of iron (14 mg/L) and manganese (12 mg/L) at an average flow rate of 27 m3/h. A passive water treatment is being developed to replace the current lime treatment with a technology that is more environmentally friendly and economical and produces less sludge. The pilot consists of a 1 m3 settling tank to precipitate iron followed by an up-flow, 1 m3 fixed-bed bioreactor. The bioreactor is filled with a mixture of limestone and pyrolusite and supplied with air to precipitate manganese. Residence time ranged from 20-50 h. Results indicated that maximum removal rates were 99% for both iron and manganese and concentrations were below the 1 mg/L standard. Iron removal rate in the settling tank ranged from 80-160 µg/L/h. Manganese removal rate in the bioreactor ranged from 130-350 µg/L/h. Surprisingly, up to 38% of the manganese was removed in the settling tank at low residence time. Residence time and aeration rate are still being optimized, and clogging is being assessed. The pilot has been operating for 6 months and will continue to operate for another 6 months.

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