Treatment of Acid Water at the Wedge Mine, New Brunswick

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 786, 1977

W. J. Kuit, Research Chemist, H. E. Jackson, Senior Research, Chemist, and R. M. Matt son, Senior Mining Project Engineer, Cominco Ltd., Trail, B.C.

Since closure in 1968, the Wedge Mine, situated adjacent to the Nepisiguit River in New Brunswick, has been flooding with acidic water containing toxic levels of heavy metals. Cominco Ltd. has undertaken a series of pollution control measures to mitigate the threat posed to the river quality. Included has been a successful treatment campaign in 1976 which discharged in excess of 30 million gallons of high-quality effluent from the accumulated volume of mine water. The sources of contamination have been identified as actively leaching waste dumps. A comprehensive program of permanent corrective measures has been prepared which will culminate in mine backfilling. Once completed, the unacceptable burden of water treatment in perpetuity at a non-producing property will be removed.
Keywords: Environmental control, Wedge Mine, Cominco Ltd., Acidic water, Effluents, Water pollution, Backfilling. Liming, Waste dumps, Dewatering.