Presented paper

IMWA2019 Students work

Sustainable Salt Management In Mine Affected Surface Waters

Laubrich, Jan (1); Metschies, Thomas (2); Kassahun, Andrea (3)
1: Wismut GmbH, Germany; 2: Wismut GmbH, Germany; 3: Wismut GmbH, Germany

Water treatment is for a key process during and after the remediation of the tailings ponds at the former uranium processing site Seelingstädt and the flooding of the former uranium mine Ronneburg. For that reason Wismut GmbH operates water treatment plants at each site in the eastern part of Thuringia.

The plants were designed for the removal of uraniumand metals from the mine water by using lime precipitation. Beside these contaminants, the mine water contains high concentrations of sulphate, chloride, calcium and magnesium.

Treatment plant flow rates need to be managed according to the respective flow situations in the receiving creeks and the river Weiße Elster. Especially in dry season, the local water management is a very challenging task.

The availability of water is a limiting factor and does not allow lower salt concentrations especially in the Culmitzsch creek. Other alternative technologies are currently under investigation in various lab and pilot scale experiments aiming for a technical solution fulfilling the main criteria for long-term suitability.But there are still a number of open questions concerning the implementation of this technology at the site.