Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is the main environmental problem caused by mining sulphide-rich mineral deposits. In the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), more than a hundred abandoned works have resulted in enormous metal wastes that seriously degrade the Odiel and Tinto watersheds. As a result, the IPB is the world paradigm of AMD and a first class natural laboratory to investigate the cycling of metals. The objectives of the project are: 1) Implement an optimized design of a passive treatment of acid mine drainage process, in a kind of IPF mining location.Demonstrate by building and launching a full-scale plant of passive treatment technologies. 2) Accelerate and anticipate in achieving the objectives of the National Hydrological Plan for rivers Tinto, Odiel and Piedras. Because of the special characteristics of these rivers heavily polluted, the deferral until 2027 the European objectives of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) that marked 2015 as the deadline for achieving good ecological and chemical level National Hydrological Plan European waters. Apply a passive treatment of acid mine drainage, for debugging such waters to allow its use for irrigation. 3) Use treated water to promote the implementation of vineyards and citrus plantations as an alternative economic activity in the affected areas. 4) Improve the mining potential of the area, which, being the Odiel river basin one of the most polluted waters in the world, ensuring validate technology use in almost any other place (European locations). Would provide a technology that would make viable and profitable mining under environmental regulations.
Project staff: J. Bellés, E. Torres, A. Lozano, R. Bartrolí, M. Cabañas