Ongoing Research Projects at the Pit

PitWatch Issue Volume 5, Number 1

The Berkeley Pit in 1979-80, several years before the closure of the mine. Photo from the Library of Congress, Aug 79 Jan 80 Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) shoot.

The Berkeley Pit in 1979-80, several years before the closure of the mine.

The Berkeley Pit is one of the most high-profile examples of the adverse impacts of mining. Although the Berkeley Pit Superfund site is currently in a simple monitoring mode, an extensive amount of work is performed locally related to the understanding and remediation of the Pit and similar systems.

Ongoing projects include:
•    treatability studies including metals recovery and in-situ treatment
•    use of photocatalytic reactions to enhance water treatment
•    demonstration of innovative technologies, such as a Biosulfide process for recovery of copper sulfide, zinc sulfide and sodium hydrosulfide products
•    vertical and seasonal characterizations of Pit water
•    biological surveys
•    remediation using algae
•    wall-rock interaction with water
•    evaluation of organic carbon in the Pit
•    use of neural networks to simulate the Pit system.

For more information about these and other projects, contact MaryAnn Harrington-Baker, EPA’s Mine Waste Technology Program at MSE Technology Applications, (406) 494-7240, James Madison, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, (406) 496-4619, and Steve Anderson, Montana Tech Mine Waste Technology Program, (406) 496-4409.

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