Concluding Remarks

The active and passive techniques have been developed to treat AMD. It is noted that the most suitable treatment depends on the overall treatment performance compared to other technologies (Barakat, 2011), technical factors such as fitting into the life cycle of the mine, operational factors such as utility requirements and maintenance, environmental impact such as waste disposal as well as economics parameter such as the capital investment and operational costs. Most of these treatment methods suffer from lack of economic sustainability with the biggest challenge being the high operational costs associated with low revenue generation, if any. An alternative, therefore, in the treatment of AMD is to consider it as a valuable resource and look at the recovery of water that would satisfy the needs of a variety of mining and non-mining users and other valuable and saleable by-products such as metal sulphides and hydroxides that could be used to offset some of the operational costs (Simate and Ndlovu, 2014). This approach which is widely discussed in Chapter 9 has the potential to open a range of flowsheet options that treat mine water as a resource rather than a pollution problem (Warkentin et al., 2010). Indeed, the production of industrially valuable products may address the problem of AMD in a holistic and sustainable manner. As already stated, this approach is considered in Chapter 9 which falls under Part III of this book.

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