Wednesday 2:50 Sean C. Muller, AquAeTer
Utilization of High Sulfur Coal for Selenium Removal in Phosphate Mine Waters
Selenium is mine waters and soils has recently been an issue for phosphate producers in southeastern Idaho. Carbonaceous shale beds proximal to phosphate bearing beds in the Phosphoria Formation liberate oxidized selenium to pit water, surface water and mine soils in quantities that are acutely toxic to sheep and horses when concentrated naturally in vegetation or consumed directly as stock water. In order to deal with the selenium toxicity problem, the phosphate mining companies have evaluated several treatment technologies, both active and passive for selenium removal and stabilization. One passive technology that holds promise is the active treatment of water and the passive treatment of soils and tailings using high sulfur coal. Another technology that is under evaluation is the treatment of selenium-enriched waters with low selenium apatite from phosphate mines in Utah. This paper will present the results of column testing to compare the effeciencies of high sulfur coal and selenium deficient phosphate ore for selenium removal from pit water from an inactive mine. A pilot scale tailings application of both media is planned for an active mine this summer. Detail regarding this proposed field application will also be presented.
Sean Muller has over 30 years of industry and consulting experience.
His technical specialties include forensic geochemistry, mine lands
remediation and new technology development. He has a bachelors in
Earth Science/Biology from LaSalle University and a Masters in Geology
from Idaho State University. He currently works for AquAeTer as the
director of the Mining Group.