Zinc Mine, Daniels Harbor, Newfoundland Zinc Mining
We visited a zinc mine to basically see and compare different forms and stages of reclaimation. Zinc is used for pennies and galvenization. The zinc ores in this area were located in limestone bedding. There was secondary percipitation through the limestone which deposited calcite but also deposited metals. This mine mainly mined sphalerite (ZnS). First the calcite and sphalerite were seperated with a density technique and then the sphalerite was smelted to get the pure zinc component.
There is a lot of damage done to areas that mining occurs in. The waste flour runs out to ponds called Taylings Pond. If the water from these waste ponds make it down into the groundwater, it can be very damaging.. That is why there have been attempts to reclaim some mining sites. In the zinc mine they redistributed topsoil and blended it in to try and make it look natural. They put some form of mulch down to try and get a few plants growing and then it becomes very cyclical. The plants allow more soil to gather and the more soil you have the more plants that grow, etc. The area has only been in the process of reclamation in the past 10 years and already has been making a loto f progress. The limestone has helped to buffer the sulfer and helped to restore the area back to its natural state.
Zinc Mine, Daniels Harbor, Newfoundland