Description: The Midnite Mine is an inactive open-pit uranium mine located on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State. Drill samples from two large waste rock dumps on the site, known as South Spoils and Hillside Dump, were collected with a Becker hammer drill and evaluated to determine potential of the rock to generate acid mine drainage (AMD). Waste rock at this mine contains both pyrite and uranium, and AMD effects are more complicated on this site than most in that uranium is soluble in both acidic and neutral aqueous solutions. Although AMD protocols identified 26% of the South Spoils samples as potentially acid, under 7% of the spoil samples were actually producing acid. Considerable calcite exists in the South Spoils, and weathering feldspars further contribute to acid neutralization. The Hillside Dump has low concentrations of pyrite and calcite that acid-base accounting protocols would predict to be non-acidic. Accumulation of sulfate in rocks with concentrations of less than 0.3% S causes some of those normally non-acid producing rocks to produce acid in the Hillside Dump.
Creator: Moore, Bruce W.; Price, Jesse W. & Gardner, Ted
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