Hard Rock Mine Reclamation and Water Remediation

Durango, Colorado Mine Site

According to a conservative estimate by the EPA and Bureau of Land Management, there are more than 100,000 abandoned hard rock mines across the U.S in need of site reclamation and water remediation. Valuable metals such as gold and copper are mined from the same rock formations that contain toxic sulfide-type ores. Mined and abandoned rock formations, old mine tailings, and containment ponds typically harbor a combination of water, naturally occurring chemicals, toxic heavy metals, and sulfides. Once exposed to air and water, sulfide ores transform to sulfuric acid and leach into surrounding waterways along with other contaminants – an occurrence known as acid mine drainage.

As water becomes increasingly scarce and populations continue to grow, contamination from mines into otherwise clean watersheds becomes more alarming and must be addressed. The 2015 Gold King Mine spill into the Animas River in Durango, Colorado—headquarters to GC Solutions Inc.—refocused public attention to the priority issue of mine water contamination. GC Solutions has tested the Amagel™ technology on contaminated mine water and determined Amagel™ effectively precipitates toxic heavy metals. Amagel™ efficiently combines the water treatment processes of flocculation and coagulation into a single step which requires only one reservoir (two is standard) and relies on gravity to activate precipitation without need for added filtration. Amagel™ has the potential to reduce both the physical space and energy demand associated with the EPA’s current protocols for mine water remediation—and with a process that costs less and is feasible in a variety of challenging environments.

How Amagel™ Changes the Game for Hard Rock Mine Reclamation:

  • Rapidly removes suspended solids, heavy metals, and contaminants
  • Effectively treats groundwater, surface water, and gray water
  • Complies with increasingly stringent environmental regulations
  • Lower material costs than competing water treatment technologies
  • Uses less energy and space than other water treatment methods
FLOWGEL-Treated Mine Water
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