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Environmental Geology

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 445–456 | Cite as

Temporal variation in discharge chemistry and portal flow from the 8-Level adit, Lynx Mine, Myra Falls Operations, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

  • Alexandre J. Desbarats
  • Gavin C. Dirom
Original Article

Abstract

The Lynx mine, currently inactive, has produced copper and zinc concentrates from massive sulfide deposits on a lease within the rainy, mountainous interior of Vancouver Island. Tailings, used to back-fill a mined-out stope, are being leached by percolating groundwater and the resulting acidic, metal-laden drainage is discharging from the portal of the 8-Level adit. Temporal variations in the flow rate, specific conductance and temperature of the discharge were monitored continuously over a 2-year period while effluent chemistry was sampled weekly. Conductivity was relatively constant throughout most of the year but peaked with the first autumn storm events as accumulated soluble sulfide oxidation products were flushed from the workings. Concentrations of sulfate and most metals were closely correlated with conductivity as were low pH values as stored acidity was released along with dissolved species. Variations in pH controlled the speciation and partitioning of metals between dissolved and particulate phases.

Keywords

Acid mine drainage Metal loading Hydrograph Chemograph Specific conductance Regression Vancouver Island 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank management of Myra Falls Operations, Boliden-Westmin (Canada) Ltd. for providing financial and logistic support for this project and for permission to publish study results. Mine staff, particularly Steven Januszewski and Darryl Boyd, provided much-needed assistance in the field and in the laboratory. Sam Alpay and Roger Beckie provided many constructive comments that improved the original manuscript. The authors are especially grateful to the late Dan Boyle of the Geological Survey of Canada who initiated this project and supervised the water chemistry work. Geological Survey of Canada contribution no. 2003320

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of Canada601 Booth St.OttawaCanada
  2. 2.Boliden-Westmin Ltd.Campbell RiverCanada

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