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Paul Sherk, Master of Science Candidate in the Groundwater, Geochemistry and Remediation group has won first place is the University of Waterloo 2024 GRADflix competition for his video, Permeable reactive barriers: A strategy for acid mine drainage remediation.

Imagine an abandoned mine site, surrounded by dead trees and dotted with dark, red ponds with no signs of aquatic life. This is the result of mine waste left in the environment that gets weathered by water and air. With exposure to the elements over time, the waste produces toxic substances such as arsenic and lead.

Under the supervision of professors David Blowes and Carol Ptacek, and hydrogeochemist Jeff Bain, Aria Zhang assessed the effectiveness of a cover of layers of soil, sand, and gravel placed over mine waste near Timmins, Ontario, in 2008.

Researchers have identified naturally occurring bacteria at Giant Mine that could prove useful in permanently dealing with the site’s toxic legacy.

Giant Mine operated on the outskirts of Yellowknife from 1948 to 2004. The former gold mine now sits on 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide – a highly toxic dust stored in underground chambers.

Arsenic trioxide dissolves easily in water, but it’s possible to convert the substance into a mineral known as arsenic sulfide that is up to 10,000 times less soluble, potentially providing a safer means of long-term storage.

Arsenic has been leaching into the lake from tailings at the abandoned Long Lake Gold Mine, which operated intermittently until 1937 and produced approximately 200,000 metric tons of tailings, discharged directly to the environment without containment.

Now a team of researchers from the University of Waterloo has shown that a passive form of remediation that uses common waste materials can remove virtually all of the arsenic from samples of the lake 
water. Their results are published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

One size does not fit all when it comes to using biochar for soil remediation, according to researchers who used the #SXRMB beamline at the CLS.

Mercury is used in a variety of industries, including textile manufacturing and gold and silver mining. When released into the environment, this highly toxic element causes widespread contamination of soil. As mercury enters rivers, lakes and oceans...