Tracking Nitrate Sources at a Platinum Mine - Putting the puzzle together

Author(s): 
Sarah J.W. Skinner
Date: 
Sunday, June 25, 2017
First presented: 
IMWA 2017 Finland_Mine Water & Circular Economy_13th International Mine Water Asociation Congress
Type: 
Published paper
Category: 
Water Management

Elevated nitrate may be associated with mining activities but can also be attributed to the application of fertilizers, human and animal waste and other sources. Nitrogen readily undergoes biologically mediated reactions. This transformation and the mixing and evaporation processes that occur with reuse of water underground renders distinguishing between the origins of the nitrate in water a complex task.

This case study from a platinum mine in South Africa demonstrates how the hydrochemistry and the hydrogeological evidence, combined with evidence from stable isotopes analysis, allowed for the identification of the source areas contributing to elevated nitrate in the water resources.

 

 

 

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