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minerals

Article
Characterization of Mine Waste and Acid Mine
Drainage Prediction by Simple Testing Methods
in Terms of the Effects of Sulfate-Sulfur and
Carbonate Minerals
Shinji Matsumoto 1, *, Hirotaka Ishimatsu 2 , Hideki Shimada 2 , Takashi Sasaoka 2
and Ginting Jalu Kusuma 3
1 Geological Survey of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology,
Higashi 1-1-1, Ibaraki, Tsukuba 305-8567, Japan
2 Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Kyushu University, Motooka 744, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395,
Japan; Hirotaka.Ishimatsu92@gmail.com (H.I.); shimada@mine.kyushu-u.ac.jp (H.S.);
sasaoka@mine.kyushu-u.ac.jp (T.S.)
3 Department of Mining Engineering, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Ganesha 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia;
jaluku@mining.itb.ac.id
* Correspondence: shinji12@kyudai.jp; Tel.: +81-29-861-3347

Received: 13 July 2018; Accepted: 10 September 2018; Published: 13 September 2018 

Abstract: Characterization of mine waste rocks and prediction of acid mine drainage (AMD) play an
important role in preventing AMD. Although high-tech analytical methods have been highlighted
for mineral characterization and quantification, simple testing methods are still practical ways to
perform in a field laboratory in mines. Thus, this study applied some simple testing methods to the
characterization of mine wastes and AMD prediction in addition to a leaching test and the sequential
extraction test with HCl, HF, and HNO3 , which have not been applied for these purposes, focusing
on the form of sulfur and the neutralization effects of carbonates. The results of the Acid Buffering
Characteristic Curve test supported the changing trend of the pH attributing carbonates only during
the first 10 leaching cycles in the leaching test. The change in the Net Acid Generating (NAG) pH in
the sequential NAG test reflected the solubility of sulfur in the rocks, providing information on the
form of sulfur in the rocks and the acid-producing potential over time. Consequently, the sequential
NAG test and sequential extraction with the acids in combination with the current standards tests
(Acid Base Accounting and NAG tests) provided important information for preventing AMD.

Keywords: open-cast mining; acid mine drainage (AMD); cover system; leaching test; sequential
extraction test; sulfate-sulfur; carbonate minerals

1. Introduction
Acid mine drainage (AMD), i.e., polluted acidic water, is formed from exposure of sulfide minerals
from waste rocks that are excavated during mining operations to oxygen and water. Several previous
studies reported that AMD is a serious, global environmental issue that occurs during and/or after
mining activity [1,2]. Several options currently exist to treat AMD consequences, such as pH control
via neutralization and wetland treatment [3,4]. However, these treatment processes are often expensive
in terms of both capital and operating costs [5]. AMD preventive measures (e.g., sulfide mineral
isolation and source rock desulfurization prior to backfilling [6,7]) play a more important role than
post-treatment of acidic water because prevention reduces operating costs involved in the treatment
activities as well as the amount of treated wastewater. Therefore, preventive action is an important

Minerals 2018, 8, 403; doi:10.3390/min8090403 www.mdpi.com/journal/minerals


Minerals 2018, 8, 403 2 of 14

option when dealing with AMD issues in addition to treatment after mining activities, which leads to
resource development with smaller AMD impacts and more environmentally friendly mining.
Cover systems, as a preventive method widely used in industry for AMD treatment, involve
the use of a cover layer that prevents water from interacting with sulfide minerals. A cover system
is an example of an isolation method, i.e., the use of an impermeable sheet to create a water shield
with cement [8,9]. In this system, mining waste rocks, classified as non-source rocks for AMD,
are commonly used as cover materials due to their low cost and easy use at mine sites compared to the
abovementioned materials [10–12]. A cover layer comprising non-source rocks inhibits the supply of
oxygen to sulfide minerals throughout the waste dump [13]. Waste rocks are classified as AMD source
or non-source rocks on the basis of their potential to produce acid and their neutralizing capacity,
analyzed via an acid–base accounting (ABA) test, in order to obtain the net acid producing potential
(NAPP) and the net acid generating (NAG) pH. Source rocks are commonly known as potentially acid
forming and non-source rocks are known as non-acid forming [14,15]. These simple tests are used by
industry and frequently conducted in field laboratories at mining sites.
However, current standards used to classify waste rocks as AMD source or non-source rocks
have several drawbacks. For example, the current standard tests (i.e., the ABA and NAG tests) do not
account for the effects of sulfur and iron carbonate mineralogy [16–20]. Stewart et al. [17] observed
that acid consumption via iron carbonate in samples prevents the Fe2+ oxidation process in solution
during the ANC test, which results in misinterpretations of ANC results. Furthermore, Dold stated
that the NAG test does not account for the Fe(III) hydroxide and Fe(III) hydroxide sulfate groups
(e.g., the jarosite–alunite group, schwertmannite) as well as sulfates [18].
To overcome these problems, mineral characterization and quantification methods have been
developed as precise analytical techniques to predict AMD occurrence. The use of quantitative
mineralogical methods (e.g., quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy
and mineral liberation analysis) for predicting AMD occurrence are expected to produce reliable
results [18,21]. Although these high-tech analytical methods have gained popularity in recent years,
combined with problems posed by simple geochemical tests (e.g., ABA and NAG tests) [16–20], simpler
testing methods are still widely used and are more practical in field mining laboratories with limited
resources [22]. Improvement in these simple testing techniques must consider the effects of non-sulfide
sulfur and carbonate minerals that cause the misinterpretation of AMD predictions and rock types [18].
To overcome this problem, several methods have been developed: the chromium reducible sulfur
test [23,24], a leaching method with a hot NH4 -oxalate leachate [25], sequential NAG tests [14,17],
a modified NP test [26], and the acid buffering characteristic curve (ABCC) test [14,17]. However,
an alternative and/or additional simple method is still being discussed worldwide in terms of a
practical method performed in a field in mines.
The present study attempts to apply some simple testing methods to the characterization of
mine wastes and AMD prediction in addition to a leaching test and the sequential extraction test
with HCl, HF, and HNO3 , which has not been applied for the purposes. To elucidate the effects of
the form of sulfur and the neutralization obtained by carbonate minerals on the formation of AMD
over time, the simple tests are performed in combination with the current standards test (ABA and
NAG tests). Furthermore, on the basis of the results, the application of the simple testing methods
to the classification of waste rocks for cover systems preventing AMD is reviewed in the context of
sustainable mining.

2. Experimental Methods
Six types of waste rocks were collected from three open-cast coal mines in Indonesia in addition
to a crystalline pyrite sample obtained in Japan. The waste rocks were collected in the pits from each
layer prior to excavation, packed into plastic bags to prevent oxidation, and then transported to the
field laboratory. The samples were labeled as A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Sample E was a crystalline pyrite
collected in Japan. Sample A and B, C and D, and F and G were taken in three mines, respectively.
Minerals 2018, 8, 403 3 of 14

Sample A, B, C, D, and F were categorized as argillaceous rock, and sample G as sandy silt according
to the geological data in the study area. The samples were pulverized to a 75 µm grain size for
geochemical analysis and 1.0–2.0 mm for leaching tests. The pulverized samples were used for the
ABA test, as well as to measure the acid potential (AP) and ANC and to perform the NAG, the paste
pH [14], sequential acid extraction [27], the Bernard calcimeter [28,29], the acid buffering characteristic
curve (ABCC) [14,17], the sequence NAG [14,17], the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses,
and the leaching tests. Sequential acid extraction [27] and the sequential NAG test [14,17] were
performed to understand the effects of the sulfur structure on AMD occurrence over time due to
varying mineral dissolution rates. Previous studies have shown that sequential extraction is a simple
technique to improve AMD prediction precision [18,30,31]. In this study, mineral extraction was
performed with HCl, HF, and HNO3 according to the methods described in [27], where sulfides in
abandoned mine tailings were extracted. We expected sulfide and sulfate separation to occur through
the application of this extraction process to waste rocks found at active mining sites in order to predict
AMD occurrence based on the samples used in this study. Sequential NAG tests consider the net effects
of the presence of non-acid forming S and neutralizing species not measured by the ANC test [17].
In addition, the Bernard calcimeter [28,29] and ABCC tests [14,17] were used to examine the effects
of neutralization on changes in water quality during the leaching tests. The ABCC test, developed
in 1995, involves sample titration with an acid while continuously monitoring the pH. The ABCC
test results can complement the ANC test results by providing an indication of the relative ANC
reactivity during short time frames [17]. Furthermore, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and XPS analyses were
conducted to observe different mineral form compositions in the seven samples. The pH, electrical
conductivity (EC), and electric potential of the normal hydrogen electrode (Eh) throughout the analyses
and leaching tests were measured using WM-32EP (DKK-Toa, Tokyo, Japan), GST-2729C DKK-Toa,
Tokyo, Japan), and PST-2739C (DKK-Toa, Tokyo, Japan) with a 3.3 mol/L Ag/AgCl electrode, as well as
CT-27112B (DKK-Toa, Tokyo, Japan). GST-2729C was calibrated with standard C6 H4 (COOK)(COOH)
and KH2 PO4 + Na2 HPO4 buffer solutions with pH value of 4.01 and 6.86, respectively. The measured
oxidation reduction potential (ORP) was converted to Eh based on the reference showing single
electrode potentials in a solution at 20 ◦ C [32].

2.1. Geochemical Characteristics


The ABA, NAG, and paste pH tests were conducted based on the regulations described in the
Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Ltd. (AMIRA) standard in addition to XRD and
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyses [14]. The total sulfur content in each sample was quantified via
XRF analysis. XRD analyses were performed after the samples were dried at 80 ◦ C for 24 h in an
oven equipped with a wide-angle goniometer, RINT 2100 XRD (Rigaku, Tokyo, Japan), operated
under the following conditions: continuous scanning with 2Theta/Theta, Cu Kα radiation, 0.050◦ step
scanning, a scan speed of 2.000◦ /min, and a scan range of 2.000◦ –65.000◦ . During the XPS analysis,
X-ray photoelectron spectra were collected for samples A and D based on the results of the sequential
acid extractions over a binding energy range of 0 to 1400 eV. XPS analyses used a Kratos AXIS-165
(Shimadzu, Tokyo, Japan) operating in the Al Kα X-ray radiation mode. Spectral sets were processed
using the Casa XPS software (Ver. 2.3.12). Background corrections were made using the Shirley method
for S 2p and peak shapes were defined using a Gaussian–Lorentzian function [33]. The C–C bond has
a well-defined position at EB (binding energy) [C 1s] = 284.6 eV and was used as a reference peak to
correct for the charging effects. The XP-spectra were collected under the same conditions as those used
for samples A and D.

2.2. Sequential Acid Extraction


Sequential acid extractions were performed according to the methods described by
Sasaki et al. [27]. A total of 2.50 g of pulverized, dried sample (<75 µm) was dissolved with 20 mL
of 1 mol/L HCl, 60 mL of 10 mol/L HF, and 10 mL of concentrated HNO3 . The shaking time of the
Minerals 2018, 8, 403 4 of 14

mixture in the HNO3 extraction stage was changed from 2 h, previously used [27], to 6 h to completely
dissolve the sulfide minerals [34]. Sulfur concentration in the extracted solutions was measured using
an ICP–OES (VISTA-MPX ICP-OES, Seiko Instruments, Chiba, Japan). The proportion of each sulfur
form was calculated based on the amount of sulfur that was extracted (mg/g) from the rock samples.
According to previous studies, HCl extracts readily soluble minerals, HF extracts silicate minerals,
and HNO3 extracts the refractory minerals such as sulfide minerals [27]. We assumed that the amount
of sulfur produced in the HCl extraction stage indicated the amount of sulfate based on the sulfate
dissolution process with HCl [35]. In this study, the amount produced in the HNO3 extraction stage
was assumed to be the amount of sulfides. We did not measure the amount of sulfur extracted with
HF because the amount of sulfur does not significantly change the water quality according to the XRD
analysis results.

2.3. ABCC Test


The ABCC test was conducted to understand rocks’ capacity to neutralize various species similar
to the ANC test [14,17]. In this test, the samples were titrated with HCl while continuously monitoring
the pH. Incremental HCl concentrations were determined according to the AMIRA procedure [14].
Even though the neutralizing capacity is not accurately quantified in the ANC test, due to Fe carbonate
(e.g., siderite) dissolution effects [17], it can be quantified by accounting for the effects of siderite
during the ABCC test using sequential titration [14]. In this test, we calculated the amount of H2 SO4
to be added based on the volume of HCl already added and the equation proposed in the AMIRA
procedure [14]. A neutralization curve was drawn by plotting kg H2 SO4 /ton on the X-axis and pH on
the Y-axis.

2.4. Sequential NAG Test


In the NAG test, the sulfide content is commonly determined using H2 O2 extractions. However,
sulfides do not completely dissolve during the NAG test extraction process due to elevated sulfur
concentrations. This results in misinterpretations of the NAG pH [17]. In the sequential NAG test,
sulfides dissolve completely with H2 O2 in several extraction stages [14]. The experimental procedure
is identical to the NAG test to the point at which 15% H2 O2 is added to 2.5 g pulverized dried sample
(<75 µm) during a 2 h period to accelerate the reaction [14]. After 2 h, the beaker is placed on a hot
plate at 150–200 ◦ C and gently heated until effervescence stops. After returning to room temperature,
the sample’s pH is measured as the NAG pH. The residue is reused after filtering procedures by
adding 15% H2 O2 until no further reaction is visually observed.

2.5. Column Leaching Test


Figure 1 shows a schematic view of the leaching test. A column, with an inner diameter of
40.5 mm and a height of 57 mm, was filled with 1.0–2.0 mm grain size pulverized samples (A–G) to a
height of 20 mm. At the bottom of each column, to a height of 10.0 mm, 1.0 mm of glass beads, a filter
paper, and a wired net were placed to prevent the samples from leaking. Column porosity was set at
approximately 60% based on the calculations using the sample density and the height to which each
column was filled. A total of 100 mL of deionized water (pH 6.71, EC < 1 µS/cm) was gently poured
into the column. The column was allowed to saturate for one minute by closing the cock on the tube at
the bottom of the column, followed by leaching by opening the cock. After measuring the pH, EC,
and Eh of the leachate, the leachate was subjected to ion-chromatography (ICS-90, Dionex, Sunnyvale,
CA, USA) coupled with an auto-sampler (AS50, Dionex, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) and a suppressor
(CSRS 300, 4 mm and ASRS 300, 4 mm, Dionex, Sunnyvale, CA, USA) to measure SO4 2 − and Ca2+
concentrations after the addition of 100 µL of HNO3 . The samples in the column were dried using an
artificial light for 6 h after leaching. The drying process continued until the point at which the column’s
weight, with the sample, was identical to the weight prior to leaching. We repeated this wetting and
drying cycle 40 times by assuming that these conditions were similar to the rainwater supply to rocks
Minerals 2018, 8, 403 5 of 14

and drying conditions in the field. In addition, the total amount of water that was poured over the
column was converted into the amount of annual Indonesian rainfall based on the column’s cross
Minerals 2018,
section, 8, x FOR PEER
the amount REVIEW
of water 5 of 14
that was poured, and the annual Indonesian rainfall calculated using
Equations (1)–(4) below [36]. According to these calculations, the total amount of water that we poured
calculated using Equations (1)–(4) below [36]. According to these calculations, the total amount of
over a period of 40 cycles corresponds to the amount of annual rainfall observed in this region.
water that we poured over a period of 40 cycles corresponds to the amount of annual rainfall
observed in this region. A = R2 × 3.14 = (2.025)2 × 3.14 = 12.88 (cm2 ) (1)
A = R2 × 3.14 = (2.025)2 × 3.14 = 12.88 (cm2) (1)
V = V × A = 3037 × 0.1 × 12.88 = 3912 (cm3 ) (2)
VA =A V × A = 3037 × 0.1 × 12.88 = 3912 (cm3) (2)
3
Vtotal = 100
Vtotal × 40×= 40
= 100 4000 (cm3(cm
= 4000 ) ) (3)
(3)
Y =Y V=total
V/V = 1.02
A /V
total A = (year)
1.02 (year) (4)
(4)
whereAAisisthe
where thesectional
sectionalarea
areaofofthe
thecolumn
column(cm 2 ),2),RRisisthe
(cm theinternal
internaldiameter
diameter(cm),(cm),VVAAisisthe
thevolume
volumeofof
thewater
waterininthe thecolumn
columncalculated
calculatedbasedbasedon
onregional,
regional,annual annualrainfall
rainfall(cm
(cm 3), V is the annual rainfall
3 ),
the V is the annual rainfall
(mm),VVtotal
(mm), is the
total is the total
total volume
volume of of water
water poured
pouredduring
duringthe theleaching
leachingtest, andYYisisthe
test,and theratio
ratioofofthe
thetotal
total
amountofofwater
amount waterpoured
pouredinto
intothethecolumn
columntotothat
thatrequired
requiredtotobebeequivalent
equivalenttotothe thetotal
totalIndonesian
Indonesian
annual rainfall.
annual rainfall.

Figure1.1.Schematic
Figure Schematicofofthe
theleaching
leachingtest.
test.

3.3.Results
Resultsand
andDiscussion
Discussion
3.1. Geochemical Characteristics
3.1. Geochemical Characteristics
Figure 2 shows the sample XRD patterns, and Table 1 summarizes the results of the ABA, NAG,
Figure 2 shows the sample XRD patterns, and Table 1 summarizes the results of the ABA, NAG,
paste pH, and Bernard calcimeter tests. Quartz and kaolinite (Al4 Si4 O10 (OH)8 ) peaks were obtained
paste pH, and Bernard calcimeter tests. Quartz and kaolinite (Al4Si4O10(OH)8) peaks were obtained
for all samples. Samples C and E show clear pyrite (FeS2 ) peaks, which are not observed in the other
for all samples. Samples C and E show clear pyrite (FeS2) peaks, which are not observed in the other
samples. Illite [(K,H3 O)(Al,Mg,Fe)2 (Si,Al)4 O10 [(OH)2 ,(H2 O)], muscovite (KAl2 AlSi3 O10 (OH)2 ), albite
samples. Illite [(K,H3O)(Al,Mg,Fe)2(Si,Al)4O10[(OH)2,(H2O)], muscovite (KAl2AlSi3O10(OH)2), albite
(NaAlSi3 O8 ), and siderite (FeCO3 ) are also observed in the samples, and samples B and G showed clear
(NaAlSi3O8), and siderite (FeCO3) are also observed in the samples, and samples B and G showed
siderite peaks. Jarosite (KFe3+ 3 (OH)63+(SO4 )2 ) is only observed in samples D and F. In Table 1, samples C
clear siderite peaks. Jarosite (KFe 3(OH)6(SO4)2) is only observed in samples D and F. In Table 1,
and E are characterized by high NAPP values (383.9 and 776.6 kg H2 SO4 /ton, respectively), which are
samples C and E are characterized by high NAPP values (383.9 and 776.6 kg H2SO4/ton, respectively),
supported by clear pyrite peaks in Figure 2. Although we do not observe pyrite, except for samples C
which are supported by clear pyrite peaks in Figure 2. Although we do not observe pyrite, except for
and E, all samples have positive NAPP values which causes AMD formation. All samples are classified
samples C and E, all samples have positive NAPP values which causes AMD formation. All samples
as AMD source rocks according to the classification scheme described in Miller et al. [14,37]. Clear
are classified as AMD source rocks according to the classification scheme described in Miller et al.
siderite peaks in samples B and G support the presence of elevated ANC values (20.3 and 9.2 kg
[14,37]. Clear siderite peaks in samples B and G support the presence of elevated ANC values (20.3
and 9.2 kg H2SO4/ton, respectively). In addition, the elevated carbonate content in sample B is
consistent with the presence of a siderite peak (Figure 2). Although previous studies have reported
that siderite acts as both a neutralizer and an acid producer under certain conditions [18], based on
the experimental conditions used in this study, we expect siderite to act as a neutralizer according to
the acidic conditions associated with AMD formation (pH 1–5).
Minerals 2018, 8, 403 6 of 14

H2 SO4 /ton, respectively). In addition, the elevated carbonate content in sample B is consistent with
the presence of a siderite peak (Figure 2). Although previous studies have reported that siderite acts
as both a neutralizer and an acid producer under certain conditions [18], based on the experimental
conditions used in this study, we expect siderite to act as a neutralizer according to the acidic conditions
Minerals
associated 8, x FOR
2018,with AMDPEER REVIEW (pH 1–5).
formation 6 of 14

Figure
Figure 2.
2. Sample
SampleX-ray
X-raydiffraction
diffraction(XRD)
(XRD)patterns.
patterns.Ill:Ill:
Illite, Ka:Ka:
Illite, Kaolinite, Qz:Qz:
Kaolinite, Quartz, Ja: Jarosite,
Quartz, Py:
Ja: Jarosite,
Pyrite, Al: Albite, Si: Siderite, and Mu: Muscovite.
Py: Pyrite, Al: Albite, Si: Siderite, and Mu: Muscovite.

Table 1.
Table Summary of
1. Summary of the
the sulfur
sulfur content,
content, and
and results
results of
of the
the acid–base
acid–base accounting
accounting (ABA),
(ABA), net
net acid
acid
generating (NAG), paste pH, and Bernard calcimeter tests. AP: acid potential, ANC: acid neutralizing
generating (NAG), paste pH, and Bernard calcimeter tests. AP: acid potential, ANC: acid neutralizing
capacity, NAPP:
capacity, NAPP: net
net acid
acid producing
producing potential,
potential, NAG
NAG pH:
pH: net
net acid
acid generating
generating pH.
pH.

Sample Sulfur(%)
Sulfur
APAP ANCANC NAPP NAPP
Paste pH Paste NAG Carbonate
NAG pH Carbonate
(%)
Sample (kg H2 SO4 /ton) (kg H2 SO4 /ton) (kg H2 SO4 /ton)
(%) (kg H2SO4/ton) (kg H2SO4/ton) (kg H2SO4/ton) pH pH (%)
A 0.89 27.4 0.0 27.4 3.10 2.80 0.50
AB 0.89
0.77 27.4
23.5 20.3 0.0 3.2 27.4 2.82 3.102.28 2.80 0.50
1.58
B C 0.77
12.55 23.5
383.9 0.0 20.3 383.9 3.2 1.21 2.82 2.28
1.04 1.58
0.23
D 4.99 152.8 0.0 152.8 1.74 1.47 0.30
CE 12.55
25.46 383.9
779.1 2.5 0.0 776.6 383.9 1.24 1.21 1.08 1.04 0.23
0.38
D F 4.99
5.67 152.8
173.5 3.7 0.0 169.8 152.8 4.80 1.74 1.47
2.90 0.30
0.24
EG 25.46
0.93
779.1
28.7 9.2
2.5 19.6
776.6 6.16 1.244.37 1.08 0.38
0.29

F 5.67 173.5 3.7 169.8 4.80 2.90 0.24


GThere is 0.93
a large 28.7
difference between the 9.2
paste and NAG pH 19.6
for samples 6.16 4.37
B, F, and G. This 0.29
difference
results from the neutralization effects of carbonate dissolution, as indicated by the high ANC values
(20.3,There is a 9.2
3.7, and large
kg difference
H2 SO4 /ton, between the paste
respectively). and NAG
Carbonate pH for are
minerals samples B, F, andbyG.higher
characterized This
difference results from
values of solubility the neutralization
relative effects of
to sulfide minerals. carbonatenearly
Therefore, dissolution, as indicated
all carbonate by the
minerals high
dissolve
ANC
in thevalues (20.3,flush
first water 3.7, and 9.2 kg
without H2SO4/ton,dissolving
completely respectively). Carbonate
the sulfide minerals
minerals duringare the
characterized
paste pH test.by
higher valuesin of
This results ansolubility
increase in relative to sulfide
the paste pH. Onminerals.
the otherTherefore,
hand, in the nearly
NAGallpH carbonate minerals
test, decreases in
dissolve
the NAGinpH, theassociated
first waterwith
flushsulfide
without completely
mineral dissolving
dissolution using the
Hsulfide minerals
2 O2 , surpass the during
carbonatethe buffer
paste
pH test. In
effects. This results in
addition, an increase
although samplein the paste pH.
B exhibits theOn the other
highest hand,
values forinboth
the NAG
ANC pH andtest, decreases
carbonate (%)
in the NAG pH, associated with sulfide mineral
via the Bernard calcimeter test (20.3 kg H 2 SO 4 dissolution using H2O2, surpass the carbonate buffer
/ton and 1.58%), positive ANC values for samples E, F,
effects.
and G areIn addition,
not correlated although sample
with the B exhibits
carbonate the (%).
content highest
The values
Bernardfor both ANC
calcimeter testand carbonate
analyzes (%)
the total
via the Bernard
carbonate calcimeter
in samples test2 (20.3
via CO kg H2SO
volumetric 4/ton and
analysis, 1.58%),
which positive via
is liberated ANC thevalues
addition for samples
of HCl toE,theF,
and G are[28,29].
samples not correlated
While thewith the carbonate
Bernard calcimetercontent
test is a(%).
simpleTheandBernard calcimeter
inexpensive test analyzes
method, the errorstheof
total carbonate
less than 5% in in thesamples via CO
test results 2 volumetric
should be taken analysis,
into accountwhich is liberated via the addition of HCl to
[38].
the samples [28,29]. While the Bernard calcimeter test is a simple and inexpensive method, the errors
of less than 5% in the test results should be taken into account [38].
Therefore, the mineral form, within a rock, contributes significantly to pH changes, and the effect
on changes in water quality over time are not identifiable solely using the ABA and NAG tests.

3.2. Changes in Water Quality During the Leaching Test


Minerals 2018, 8, 403 7 of 14

Therefore, the mineral form, within a rock, contributes significantly to pH changes, and the effect
on changes in water quality over time are not identifiable solely using the ABA and NAG tests.

3.2. Changes in Water Quality During the Leaching Test


Figure 3 plots the changes in the pH during the leaching tests, and Figure 4 shows the change
in EC and Eh for 40 leaching cycles. Changes in pH are divided into three patterns: a change at a
Minerals
high pH2018, 8, x FOR G
in sample PEER REVIEW
(approximately 7 of 14
pH 7.4), a gradual increase in samples A and D, and a change
at a low pH in samples B, C, E, and F (approximately pH 3.0). Comparing the results in Table 1 with
low pH in samples B, C, E, and F (approximately pH 3.0). Comparing the results in Table 1 with
changes in pH during the leaching test, we observe that the change at a high pH in sample G correlates
changes in pH during the leaching test, we observe that the change at a high pH in sample G
with decreased AP, elevated ANC, and a pH of 6.16 for the paste pH. However, samples A and B are
correlates with decreased AP, elevated ANC, and a pH of 6.16 for the paste pH. However, samples
characterized by a lower pH than sample G even though their AP values are lower than that of sample
A and B are characterized by a lower pH than sample G even though their AP values are lower than
G. AP values for samples A and B are 27.4 and 23.5 kg H2 SO4 /ton, respectively, and that for sample G
that of sample G. AP values for samples A and B are 27.4 and 23.5 kg H22SO44/ton, respectively, and
is 28.7 kg H2 SO4 /ton. This difference is due to the neutralization effects indicated by their respective
that for sample G is 28.7 kg H22SO44/ton. This difference is due to the neutralization effects indicated
ANC values. Furthermore, samples A and B exhibit an opposite trend in pH changes relative to their
by their respective ANC values. Furthermore, samples A and B exhibit an opposite trend in pH
NAPP values. Although samples C, E, and F, with NAPP values of more than 100 kg H2 SO4 /ton, yield
changes relative to their NAPP values. Although samples C, E, and F, with NAPP values of more
a steady change at a pH of 3 as well as high EC values (more than 7.0 mS/cm) during early leaching
than 100 kg H22SO44/ton, yield a steady change at a pH of 3 as well as high EC values (more than 7.0
stages, as shown in Figures 3 and 4, sample D shows changes similar to sample A despite a NAPP
mS/cm) during early leaching stages, as shown in Figures 3 and 4, sample D shows changes similar
value of more than 100 kg H2 SO4 /ton. Based on these results, changes in pH associated with AMD
to sample A despite a NAPP value of more than 100 kg H22SO44/ton. Based on these results, changes in
occurrence over time are difficult to estimate based solely on pH values from the NAPP and NAG
pH associated with AMD occurrence over time are difficult to estimate based solely on pH values
tests, which are used in current schemes to classify waste rocks. With regard to cover materials, for the
from the NAPP and NAG tests, which are used in current schemes to classify waste rocks. With
scenario
regard towith an materials,
cover absence offornon-source rocks
the scenario in the
with mining of
an absence area, samples A
non-source andin
rocks D,the
whose acidity
mining area,is
expected to decrease in a relatively short period with a gradual increase in pH, are preferable
samples A and D, whose acidity is expected to decrease in a relatively short period with a gradual cover
system
increaserocks dueare
in pH, to preferable
their low potential to produce
cover system acid.
rocks due to their low potential to produce acid.

(a) (b)

Figure3.3.(a)
Figure (a)Changes
Changes in
in pH
pH over
over the
the 40
40 leaching
leaching cycles
cycles during
during the
the leaching
leaching test;
test;(b)
(b)changes
changesininpH
pH
withoutsample
without sampleG.G.

Figure4.4.Changes
Figure Changesin in(a)
(a) electrical
electrical conductivity
conductivity (EC)
(EC) and
and (b)
(b) electric
electric potential
potentialof
ofthe
thenormal
normalhydrogen
hydrogen
electrode (Eh) over the 40 leaching cycles during the leaching
electrode (Eh) over the 40 leaching cycles during the leaching test.test.

3.3. Neutralization Effects


Figure 3 shows a small peak in samples B and F over the first 10 cycles of leaching. This results
from the neutralization effects caused by carbonate dissolution, as indicated by high ANC values.
Meanwhile, sample E also has a positive ANC value, whose pH changes at low pH (less than pH 3.0)
Minerals 2018, 8, 403 8 of 14

3.3. Neutralization Effects


Figure 3 shows a small peak in samples B and F over the first 10 cycles of leaching. This results
from the neutralization effects caused by carbonate dissolution, as indicated by high ANC values.
Meanwhile, sample E also has a positive ANC value, whose pH changes at low pH (less than
pH 3.0) due to a high AP value (779.1 kg H2 SO4 /ton), which exceeds the neutralizing capacity
Minerals The8,appearance
effects.2018, x FOR PEER REVIEWof a small peak in samples B and F is consistent with a decrease in Eh during 8 of 14
the first 10 leaching cycles in Figure 4, which suggests the presence of a neutralization effect. The Eh
sample
value for E, sample
with a positive
E, withANC value,ANC
a positive also decreases
value, also slightly at the
decreases beginning
slightly at the of beginning
leaching but ofincreases
leaching
immediately
but increases afterward
immediately dueafterward
to its high duepotential
to its high to potential
produce to acid. Moreover,
produce high ANChigh
acid. Moreover, valuesANC in
samples B and F only affect the pH for the first 10 leaching cycles, shown
values in samples B and F only affect the pH for the first 10 leaching cycles, shown by the appearance by the appearance of a small
peak, which
of a small suggests
peak, which that estimating
suggests long-term
that estimating pH changes
long-term is difficult
pH changes when using
is difficult whenonly usingthe ANC
only the
value.
ANC value.
Figure
Figure 55 shows
shows the the change
change in in pH with the
pH with the addition
addition of of HCl
HCl during
during thethe ABCC
ABCC test. test. Significant
Significant
neutralization
neutralization effects effects are
are observed
observed in in sample
sample B, B, which
which exhibits
exhibits aa small
small peak
peak in in Figure
Figure 3, 3, as
as well
well as
as
sample G, which is characterized by a steady change in pH
sample G, which is characterized by a steady change in pH (near pH = 7). Both observed neutralization (near pH = 7). Both observed
neutralization
effects are caused effects are caused
by siderite by siderite
dissolution dissolution
[18]. Although [18]. Although
neutralization effectsneutralization
in sample B appear effectsasina
sample
small peak B appear
duringasthe a small
first 10peak during
leaching the (Figure
cycles first 10 3),leaching
a steady cycles
change(Figure
near pH 3), a= steady changedue
3 is observed nearto
pH = 3 is observed due to a higher value of AP than ANC. However,
a higher value of AP than ANC. However, sample G exhibits a steady change in the pH (near pH = 7) sample G exhibits a steady
change
despite in the pHvalue
a higher (near of pHAP = 7) despite atohigher
compared ANC.value Basedofon APthecompared
paste pHtofor ANC.sampleBased G, on
thisthe paste
value is
pH for sample G, this value is the highest among all samples (pH
the highest among all samples (pH 6.16). Thus, the ABCC test results should be combined with the 6.16). Thus, the ABCC test results
should
paste pH be test
combined
resultswith the paste
to predict AMD. pH Although
test resultssample
to predict AMD.aAlthough
F shows small peak sample
(Figure F shows
3), weado small
not
peak
clearly(Figure
observe 3), we do not clearlyeffect
a neutralization observe a neutralization
during the ABCC test. effectTheduring theofABCC
effects high test. The effects
AP values exceedof
high AP values exceed any occurrence of neutralization effects
any occurrence of neutralization effects in sample F during the ABCC test, which leads to a steadyin sample F during the ABCC test,
which
changeleads
near to a pHa steady
of 3. In change
the ANC nearand a pH of 3. Incalcimeter
Bernard the ANCtests, and Bernard calcimeter
the solution tests,
is titrated to the solution
quantify the
is titrated to quantify the rock neutralizing capacity after sample
rock neutralizing capacity after sample dissolution with the required concentration and amount of dissolution with the required
concentration
acids, which yields and amount
undissolvedof acids, which during
minerals yields undissolved
the tests. In minerals
addition,during
since the thefizz
tests. Inin
rate addition,
the fizz
since the fizz rate
test (included in the
in the ANC fizztest)
test is
(included
determined in theviaANCvisualtest) is determined
observation, the via
testvisual
resultsobservation,
depend on the the
test results depend on the experience and skill of the observers.
experience and skill of the observers. Conversely, during the ABCC test, we obtain the generation Conversely, during the ABCC test,
we obtain
of acid the generation
production of acid production
and neutralization over time andvia neutralization
titration withover HCltime via titration
in several stages with
until HCl
the pHin
several
reachesstages
2.5. The until the pH reaches
concentration and2.5. The concentration
amount of HCl added and amount
during of HClare
titration added duringfor
accounted titration
when
are accounted for when calculating the values plotted in Figure 5. Therefore,
calculating the values plotted in Figure 5. Therefore, the ABCC test, with less human error, is more the ABCC test, with less
human
reliable error,
when is more reliable
evaluating when
the rock evaluating the
neutralization rockcompared
effects neutralization
to theeffects
ANC and compared
Bernard tocalcimeter
the ANC
and Bernard calcimeter tests. The appearance of a small peak during
tests. The appearance of a small peak during the first 10 leaching cycles indicates that it is difficult the first 10 leaching cycles
indicates that it is difficult to evaluate long-term pH changes
to evaluate long-term pH changes that result from the AMD occurrence when relying solely on thethat result from the AMD occurrence
when
ABCCrelying
test. The solely on the
results of theABCCABCC test. The
test areresults
usefuloftothe ABCC pH
evaluate testchanges
are useful to occur
that evaluate onlypH forchanges
a short
that
period during the leaching tests conducted in this study (i.e., approximately 3 months in the field (i.e.,
occur only for a short period during the leaching tests conducted in this study area
approximately
based on these 3calculations).
months in the field area based on these calculations).

Figure
Figure 5.
5. Changes
Changes in
in pH
pH with
with the
the addition
addition of
of HCl
HCl during
during the
the acid
acid buffering
buffering characteristic
characteristic curve
curve
(ABCC)
(ABCC) test.
test.

Figure 6 shows the changes in the total amount of SO42− and Ca2+ over 20 leaching cycles. The
change in gradient from a steep to gentle slope at 3–5 leaching cycles in all samples represents the
decrease in the amount of released SO42− and Ca2+ with each progressive leaching cycle. This indicates
that minerals related to SO42− and Ca2+, in particular, dissolve during the early leaching stages. Sample
B exhibits the highest concentration of Ca2+ and the lowest concentration of SO42− (Figure 6), resulting
Minerals 2018, 8, 403 9 of 14

Figure 6 shows the changes in the total amount of SO4 2 − and Ca2+ over 20 leaching cycles.
The change in gradient from a steep to gentle slope at 3–5 leaching cycles in all samples represents the
decrease in the amount of released SO4 2 − and Ca2+ with each progressive leaching cycle. This indicates
that minerals related to SO4 2 − and Ca2+ , in particular, dissolve during the early leaching stages. Sample
B exhibits the highest concentration of Ca2+ and the lowest concentration of SO4 2 − (Figure 6), resulting
in a small peak during the early leaching stages (Figure 3). This is consistent with its high ANC value
(Table 1). However, samples C and E, which have no small peaks in Figure 3, are characterized
Minerals 2018, 8, x FOR PEER REVIEW
by
9 of 14
2+
high Ca concentrations compared to sample F. This suggests that an increase in pH is not simply
Ca2+ peaks 2 − concentrations and high
NAPP values,
associated withsmall do notSince
dissolution. occursamples
(Figure C 3)and
dueEtohave
significant
high SOacid
4 produced by the sample.
Furthermore,
NAPP values, sample F displays
small peaks do nota small
occurpeak in Figure
(Figure 3) due3toand generatesacid
significant high Ca2+ concentrations
produced and
by the sample.
2+
low SO42− concentrations
Furthermore, compared
sample F displays to peak
a small samples B, E, 3 and
in Figure and C (Figure high
generates 6). Sample G, which is
Ca concentrations
and low SO4 2 −byconcentrations
characterized a steady change in pH (pH
compared = 7; Figure
to samples B, 3), also C
E, and has the lowest
(Figure SO42− concentration
6). Sample G, which is
2 − concentration
(Figure 6). Consequently, mineral dissolution related to the release of SO4 and
characterized by a steady change in pH (pH = 7; Figure 3), also has the lowest 2−SO 4 Ca influences
2+
2 − and Ca2+ influences
changes6).
(Figure in water quality associated
Consequently, with AMD. related
mineral dissolution However, since
to the ABCCoftest
release SOresults
4 are consistent with
the change
changes in pHquality
in water for only 10 leaching
associated withcycles,
AMD. shown
However, by since
the appearance
ABCC test of a small
results are peak such with
consistent as in
sample
the change B, in
estimating
pH for only changes in water
10 leaching quality
cycles, shownassociated with AMD
by the appearance over peak
of a small time such
requires
as in another
sample
parameter.
B, estimating changes in water quality associated with AMD over time requires another parameter.

Figure6.6.Integrated
Figure Integratedconcentrations
concentrationsofofdissolved
dissolved(a)(a)SO
SO2−2− and (b) Ca2+
4 4 and (b) Ca 2+ over
over20
20leaching
leachingcycles.
cycles.

3.4. Effects
3.4. Effects of
of the
the Form
Form of
of Sulfur
Sulfur
Figure7 7shows
Figure shows thethe proportion
proportion of sulfide
of sulfide and sulfate
and sulfate in all samples,
in all samples, calculatedcalculated based on
based on sequential
sequential acid extraction results. We calculate the ratio of the amount of sulfur in the
acid extraction results. We calculate the ratio of the amount of sulfur in the HCl and HNOHCl3 and HNO3
extraction
extraction stages to the total amount of sulfur. The samples are categorized into two groups, samples
stages to the total amount of sulfur. The samples are categorized into two groups, samples A and D,
A and D, in which more than 90% of the sulfur is sulfate, and samples B, C, E, F, and G, in which
in which more than 90% of the sulfur is sulfate, and samples B, C, E, F, and G, in which more than
moreofthan
50% 50% ofisthe
the sulfur sulfurFor
sulfide. is sulfide.
samples For
D samples
and F, the Dsulfate
and F, the sulfate
content content from
is derived is derived from
jarosite jarosite
(Figure 2).
(Figure 2). Since clear jarosite peaks are not observed in samples A and G due to low sulfur content
Since clear jarosite peaks are not observed in samples A and G due to low sulfur content (0.89% and
(0.89%respectively),
0.93%, and 0.93%, respectively), compared
compared to samples to samples
D and F (4.99%Dand and5.67%,
F (4.99% and 5.67%,the
respectively), respectively),
sulfate content the
sulfate
in samplescontent
A and in samples
G is alsoAderived
and G isfrom
also derived
jarosite.from jarosite.
Sulfate Sulfate dissolution
dissolution in samples in A samples A and
and D during
D during
the the earlystages
early leaching leachingduestages
to high due to high
sample sample may
solubility solubility maytohave
have led led to
gradual gradualinincreases
increases the pH
in the pH (Figure 3). Since there is a difference of more than
(Figure 3). Since there is a difference of more than 100 kg H 2 100
SO 4 kg H2SO4/ton for the NAPP values
/ton for the NAPP values between
between samples A and D, the sulfur form appears to be a morefactor
samples A and D, the sulfur form appears to be a more valuable valuable factorchanges
to track to trackinchanges
pH than, in
pH than, for example, the NAPP and NAG pH. Although sample B shows a small peak in pHthe
for example, the NAPP and NAG pH. Although sample B shows a small peak in pH during during
first
theleaching
10 first 10cycles,
leaching thecycles, the high
high sulfide sulfide (more
proportion proportion (more
than 90% of than 90% of
the sulfur) the sulfur)
causes causesnear
pH changes pH
achanges near a pH of 2.5–3.0 after 10 leaching cycles. Conversely, significant neutralization effects
pH of 2.5–3.0 after 10 leaching cycles. Conversely, significant neutralization effects and a higher
and a higher
proportion proportion
of sulfate of sulfate
in sample in samplewith
G compared G compared
sample B leadwith to
sample
changes B lead to changes
at high pH in the at leaching
high pH
in the
test leaching test (approximately
(approximately pH 7.4), although pHsample
7.4), although sampleNAPP
B has similar B has values.
similar Changes
NAPP values. Changes
in water qualityin
water quality should be estimated from the proportion of different sulfur forms combined with the
should be estimated from the proportion of different sulfur forms combined with the NAPP value,
NAPP value,
calculated from calculated
the absolute fromvalue
the absolute valuecontent.
of the sulfur of the sulfur content.
However, However,
although a good although
relationaexists
good
relation sequential
between exists between sequential
extraction extraction
and leaching test and leaching
results obtainedtestin results obtained
this study, in this
extraction withstudy,
HCl
extraction with HCl may dissolve acid-soluble sulfide or Fe(III) hydroxide sulfate minerals [18],
thereby requiring further experimentation with this testing method.
Minerals 2018, 8, 403 10 of 14

may dissolve acid-soluble sulfide or Fe(III) hydroxide sulfate minerals [18], thereby requiring further
Minerals 2018,8,8,xxFOR
Minerals2018,
experimentation FORPEER
PEER
with REVIEW
REVIEW
this testing method. 10
10 of
of 14
14

Figure
Figure 7.
Figure 7.7.Proportion
Proportion
Proportion ofof
of sulfide
andand
sulfide
sulfide and sulfate
in allin
sulfate
sulfate in all
all samples
samples samples calculated
based onbased
calculated
calculated based on
on sequential
sequentialsequential acid
acid
acid extraction
extraction
extraction
results: results:
results: calculated
calculated calculated via
via the ratio the
viaofthe ratio
theratio of
of the
amount theofamount
amount
sulfur inof sulfur
ofthe HClin
sulfur the
inand HCl
HCl and
theHNO 3and HNO
HNO33 extraction
extraction extraction
stages to
stages
stages
total to
tototal
sulfur. totalsulfur.
sulfur.

Although
Although nearly
Although nearly
nearly allall sulfur
all sulfur
sulfur inin samples
in samples
samples A A and
A and
and D D is
D is sulfate,
is sulfate, these
sulfate, these samples
these samples
samples do do not
do not exhibit
exhibit aaa clear
not exhibit clear
clear
sulfate
sulfate peak
sulfatepeak during
peakduring
duringthe the XRD
theXRD analysis
XRDanalysis (Figure
analysis(Figure
(Figure2). 2). Therefore,
2).Therefore,
Therefore,the the S
theSS2p 2p XP-spectra
2pXP-spectra
XP-spectrafor for samples
forsamples
samplesA A and
Aand
andD D
D
are
are collected
arecollected during
collectedduring
duringXPS XPS analysis.
XPSanalysis.
analysis.TheThe binding
Thebinding energy
bindingenergy is corrected
energyisiscorrected using
correctedusing E
usingEEBB[C
B [C 1
[C11SA ] from
SA]]from
SA hydrocarbon
fromhydrocarbon
hydrocarbon
=== 284.6
284.6
284.6 eV,
eV,as
eV, asshown
as showninin
shown Figure
in Figure
Figure 8. 8.
According
8. According
According to previous
to
to previous
previousstudies, the the
studies,
studies, binding
the bindingenergies
binding of S 2p
energies
energies of for3/2
SS 2p
of3/2 2p iron
3/2 for
for
sulfides
iron and/or
iron sulfides
sulfides and/orelemental
and/or elemental sulfur
elemental sulfur are 163–164
sulfur are eV,
are 163–164 and
163–164 eV, that
eV, and of
and thatsulfate
that of is 168–171
of sulfate eV
sulfate isis 168–171[39–41].
168–171 eV The
eV [39–41]. sulfate
[39–41]. The The
values
sulfate obtained
sulfate values for samples
values obtained
obtained for A and D
for samples
samples AA(Figure
and
and D D 8) are in8)
(Figure
(Figure good
8) are agreement
are in
in good with the with
good agreement
agreement bindingtheenergies
with the binding
binding
reported
energies in previous
energies reported
reported in studies.
in previous Furthermore,
previous studies. XPS
studies. Furthermore, analysis
Furthermore, XPS reveal
XPS analysis the presence
analysis reveal
reveal the of sulfide
the presence
presence of in sample
of sulfide
sulfide in D
in
in addition
sample
sampleD Din to the
inadditionsulfate
additionto tothecontent
thesulfate observed
sulfatecontent based
contentobserved on sequential
observedbasedbasedon acid
onsequentialextraction
sequentialacid results.
acidextraction This
extractionresults. indicates
results.This This
that the sulfur
indicates
indicates that
thatthein sample
the sulfur
sulfurin Dsample
in consistsD
sample Dofconsists
a large of
consists amount
ofaalarge
largeofamount
sulfate of
amount along withalong
ofsulfate
sulfate a small
along with
withamount
aasmall
small ofamount
sulfide.
amount
No
of iron sulfides
of sulfide.
sulfide. No
No iron
ironand/or
sulfides
sulfides elemental
and/or sulfur peaks
and/or elemental
elemental sulfur
sulfurare observed
peaks
peaks are in sample
are observed
observed in A due to
in sample
sample A its
duesmall
A due to itssulfur
to its small
small
concentration
sulfur
sulfurconcentrationcompared
concentrationcompared to
comparedtothat in sample
tothat
thatin D (Table
insample
sampleD 1).
D(Table
(Table1). 1).

Figure
Figure8.
Figure 8.X-ray
8. X-rayphotoelectron
X-ray photoelectron(XP)-spectra
photoelectron (XP)-spectraof
(XP)-spectra of(a)
of (a)C
(a) C1s
C 1sand
1s and(b)
and (b)SSS2p
(b) 2pfor
2p forsamples
for samplesA
samples AAand
andD.
and D.The
D. Thebinding
The binding
binding
energy
energyisiscorrected
energy is correctedusing
corrected usingEEBBB[C
using E [C1s
[C1sAA]]A
1s from
fromhydrocarbon
] fromhydrocarbon==284.6
hydrocarbon 284.6eV.
= eV.Peak
284.6 Peakaaof
eV. ofCC1s
Peak a 1scorresponds
of correspondsto
C 1s to284.6
corresponds 284.6
to
eV,
eV,peak
284.6 eV, b
peak bof
ofSSb2p
peak 2p Scorresponds
of3/2
3/2 corresponds to
to168.5
2p3/2 corresponds 168.5toeV,
eV,and
and
168.5 peak
eV, andccpeak
peak of
ofSS2pc2pof3/2Scorresponds
3/2 corresponds to
to163.2
163.2toeV.
2p3/2 corresponds eV.
163.2 eV.

Figure
Figure 999 plots
Figure plots the
plots the sulfur
the sulfur dissolution
sulfur dissolution
dissolution rate rate over
rate over five
over five leaching
five leaching cycles
leaching cycles during
cycles during
during the the leaching
the leaching test,
leaching test,test,
calculated
calculated based
calculated based
based on on the
on the ratio
the ratio
ratio ofof the
of the amount
the amount
amount of of dissolved
of dissolved sulfur
dissolved sulfur
sulfur inin the
in the first
the first five
first five cycles
five cycles to
cycles to the
to the total
the total
total
amount
amount
amountof of dissolved
of dissolved sulfur
dissolvedsulfur throughout
sulfurthroughout
throughoutthe the test.
thetest. Sulfur
test. Sulfur dissolution
Sulfurdissolution primarily
dissolutionprimarily occurs
primarily occurs during
occurs during
duringthe the early
theearly
early
leaching
leaching stages
leachingstages for
stages for samples
forsamples
samples A A and
Aand
and D.D. The
D. The amount
The amount
amount of of dissolved
of dissolved sulfur
dissolvedsulfur
sulfurin in the
in the first
the first five
first five leaching
five leaching cycles
leaching cycles
cycles
accounts
accounts for
accounts for more
for more than
more than 90%
than 90% of
90% of the total
of the dissolved
the total
total dissolvedsulfur
dissolved sulfur during
sulfur during the leaching
during the the leachingtest due
leaching test to the
test due
due tohigh
to thesulfate
the high
high
proportion
sulfate in samples
sulfate proportion
proportion in A and D (more
in samples
samples A andthan
A and D 90% ofthan
D (more
(more the sulfur).
than 90%
90% of ofThis
the is consistent
the sulfur).
sulfur). Thiswith
This the observation
isis consistent
consistent with
with the of
the
a high sulfate
observation
observationof proportion
ofaahigh
highsulfate in samples
sulfateproportion A
proportionin and D, as
insamples shown
samplesA Aand in
andD,Figures
D,as 7
asshown and
shownin 8. The
inFigures sulfur
Figures77and dissolution
and8. 8.The
Thesulfur rate
sulfur
in Figure
dissolution 9 does
dissolution rate not
rate in correlate
in Figure
Figure 99 doeswith the
does not NAPP
not correlate value,
correlate with calculated
with thethe NAPP using
NAPP value, the sulfur
value, calculated content,
calculated using but
using the roughly
the sulfur
sulfur
content,
content,but
butroughly
roughlycorrelates
correlateswith withthethesulfate
sulfateproportion
proportionin inrocks
rocks(Figure
(Figure7). 7).Non-sulfide
Non-sulfidesulfur sulfur(i.e.,
(i.e.,
the sulfate sulfur content) is calculated as the acid potential in the NAPP in
the sulfate sulfur content) is calculated as the acid potential in the NAPP in samples A and D in Table samples A and D in Table
1.
1.Although
Althoughthe theNAPP
NAPPvalues valuesarearehigher
higherin insample
sampleA Athan
thansample
sampleB, B,the
thepaste
pasteand andNAG NAGpH pHarearelower
lower
in
in sample
sample BB than
than sample
sample A A due
due to to the
the occurrence
occurrence of of sulfate
sulfate dissolution
dissolution in in the
the paste
paste pHpH andand NAGNAG
process. This is also supported by changes in pH shown in Figure 3 and XPS analyses that show the
existence of sulfates (Figure 8). However, the NAG pH of sample D does not exceed 4.50 even after
seven stages due to the existence of sulfides (Figure 8). The heterogeneous sulfide distribution in
sample D is also similar to pH changes in sample A (Figure 3). These results suggest that the effects
of the sulfur
Minerals 2018, 8, form
403 and the heterogeneous sulfur distribution in the rocks are criteria for the evaluation 11 of 14
of rock acid production, which is taken into account by categorizing waste rocks based on their NAG
pH using the sequential NAG test in conjunction with the NAPP and NAG pH tests. Changes in NAG
pH in thewith
correlates sequential NAGproportion
the sulfate test reflectinthe rock(Figure
rocks sulfur solubility, whichsulfur
7). Non-sulfide provides
(i.e.,information on the
the sulfate sulfur
form of sulfur contained within the rocks and their acid-producing potential. Therefore, changes
content) is calculated as the acid potential in the NAPP in samples A and D in Table 1. Although thein
NAG pH
NAPP during
values the sequential
are higher in sample NAG test are
A than useful
sample B, when estimating
the paste and NAG changes
pH are inlower
waterinquality
sample over
B
time. A more precise classification of cover materials (non-source), low-potential source rocks, and
than sample A due to the occurrence of sulfate dissolution in the paste pH and NAG tests. This also
AMD discrepancies
causes source rocks is achievable
among usingpaste
the NAPP, the sequential
pH, and NAG NAG pHtest in combination
values in samples A with
andthe NAPP
B in and
addition
toNAG pH tests, which
neutralization effectstake into account
in sample the effectsinthat
B, as discussed the form
Section 3.2. of sulfur has on AMD.

Figure9.9.Proportion
Figure Proportionofofthe
thetotal
totalamount
amountof ofdissolved
dissolvedsulfur
sulfurfor
forthe
thefirst
firstfive
fiveleaching
leachingcycles
cyclesininthe
the
leachingtest.
leaching test.The
Theproportion
proportionisiscalculated
calculatedbased
basedon onthe
theratio
ratioofofthe
thetotal
totaldissolved
dissolvedsulfur
sulfurduring
duringthethe
firstfive
first fiveleaching
leachingcycles
cyclestotothe
theamount
amountover
over4040leaching
leachingcycles.
cycles.

Table 2 summarizes the2.changes


Table Changesin intheNAGNAG pH during
pH during the sequential
the sequential NAG test. Although it
NAG test.
is difficult to understand AMD formation over time resulting from rock sulfur form based solely on
NAG pH (listed Sample/Stage 1
in Table 1), the results in2Table 2 3imply that4 there is5low acid6 production 7 potential
in samples A and G, A indicated 2.65
by a NAG 3.49pH of4.20
more than 4.35 4.65five stages
4.50 after - - dissolution
of the
process. This is also Bsupported by 2.28changes2.81in pH3.34
shown in3.81Figure 34.12
and XPS4.22
analyses 4.31
that show the
existence of sulfates (Figure 8). However, the NAG pH of sample D does not exceed4.07
C 2.01 2.64 2.94 3.38 3.71 4.00 4.50 even after
seven stages due toDthe existence 2.14of sulfides
2.77 (Figure
2.79 8). The2.88heterogeneous
3.28 3.77
sulfide3.95
distribution in
E 1.66 1.87 1.81 2.01 2.30 2.83 3.21
sample D is also similar to pH changes in sample A (Figure 3). These results suggest that the effects of
the sulfur form and the F heterogeneous2.41 sulfur2.84 distribution
3.05 in3.66
the rocks4.02 4.22for the
are criteria 4.12evaluation of
rock acid production, Gwhich is taken2.81 into3.39
account by3.86categorizing
4.21 waste
4.53rocks based
- on -their NAG pH
using the sequential NAG test in conjunction with the NAPP and NAG pH tests. Changes in NAG pH
4.the
in Conclusions
sequential NAG test reflect the rock sulfur solubility, which provides information on the form
Thiscontained
of sulfur study applied
withinseveral simple
the rocks and testing methods to thepotential.
their acid-producing characterization
Therefore,of mine
changeswaste rocks
in NAG
and AMD prediction with a focus on the form of sulfur, the neutralization effects of carbonates, and
pH during the sequential NAG test are useful when estimating changes in water quality over time.
Athe AMD
more formation
precise over time.
classification ofChanges in pH associated
cover materials with low-potential
(non-source), AMD occurrence overrocks,
source time are
anddifficult
AMD
to estimate
source rocks based solely on
is achievable the the
using NAPP and NAG
sequential NAG pHtest
tests, which are currently
in combination with theused
NAPP to and
classify
NAG waste
pH
rocks. ABCC test results are useful for evaluating changes in pH only during short periods, such as
tests, which take into account the effects that the form of sulfur has on AMD.

Table 2. Changes in NAG pH during the sequential NAG test.

Sample/Stage 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
A 2.65 3.49 4.20 4.35 4.65 - -
B 2.28 2.81 3.34 3.81 4.12 4.22 4.31
C 2.01 2.64 2.94 3.38 3.71 4.00 4.07
D 2.14 2.77 2.79 2.88 3.28 3.77 3.95
E 1.66 1.87 1.81 2.01 2.30 2.83 3.21
F 2.41 2.84 3.05 3.66 4.02 4.22 4.12
G 2.81 3.39 3.86 4.21 4.53 - -
Minerals 2018, 8, 403 12 of 14

4. Conclusions
This study applied several simple testing methods to the characterization of mine waste rocks and
AMD prediction with a focus on the form of sulfur, the neutralization effects of carbonates, and the
AMD formation over time. Changes in pH associated with AMD occurrence over time are difficult
to estimate based solely on the NAPP and NAG pH tests, which are currently used to classify waste
rocks. ABCC test results are useful for evaluating changes in pH only during short periods, such
as in this study, which corresponds to approximately three months in the research area. The results
also indicated that the form of sulfur is crucial for evaluating AMD occurrence over time. Changes
in NAG pH during sequential NAG tests reflect sulfur solubility within the rocks, which provides
information on the form of sulfur that occurs in the rocks as well as their acid-producing potential.
Therefore, changes in NAG pH are useful when estimating changes in water quality over time. A more
precise classification of cover materials (non-source), low-potential source rocks, and AMD source
rocks is achievable using the sequential NAG test and sequential extraction with HCl, HF, and HNO3
in combination with simple, currently used tests (i.e., the ABA and NAG tests), which take into account
effects associated with the form of sulfur and how it affects AMD. In addition, further experimentation
with this method combination should be performed in other field sites to validate it, which will
contribute to establishing a more precise, simple, and inexpensive method that is feasible in field
laboratories at mining sites. This can also lead to a reduction in the cost and labor required to predict
AMD, its prevention, and treatment methods, as well as a reduction in the impacts that AMD has on
the environment, thus resulting in more sustainable mining practices.

Author Contributions: S.M. designed and performed the experiments and analyzed the data with H.I. On the
basis of the data, S.M. wrote the paper. H.S., T.S., and G.J.K. made helpful suggestions for data analysis and
supported parts of the experiments. G.J.K. kindly helped conduct a field investigation in Indonesian mines.
Funding: This work was partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP17H07401.
Acknowledgments: We are grateful to the mine and researchers at Kyushu University for supporting part of
the analysis.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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