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  • Bioremediation

  • Presentation Authors

    Caren Caldwell

    Leslie Thompson

  • Pintail Systems, Inc. was founded in 1987 by Leslie Thompson

    Primary focus was on cyanide detoxification in gold and silver heap leach pads using native bacteria cultures.

  • Bioremediation is not new. Traditionally, nutrients are added to the contamination site and everyone hopes for the best. This is very slow if it works at all.

    What Makes PSIs bioremediation process

    successful where others fail?

    WE OPTIMIZE THE PROCESS

  • PSIs Bio-Augmentation Process Traditional Bio-Stimulation

    Active Process Passive Process

    Use bacteria cultures isolated from the contaminated site.

    Assume that there are effective bacteria colonies at the site

    Isolated cultures are tested for treatment efficiency in the lab before application at the site. Nutrients are also optimized for culture growth.

    Nutrients are added to the site and the assumption is that those nutrients will stimulate the growth of effective bacteria cultures.

    Effective cultures are grown to high concentrations using optimized nutrient formulations and applied to the contaminated site.

    Added nutrients stimulate growth of both potentially effective bacteria colonies as well as ineffective colonies. That causes competition for nutrients and limits the growth of effective colonies.

    New cultures are added to the site on a regular basis improving treatment efficiency.

    Fast and highly efficient Slow if it works at all

  • 38.4 40.3 32.4 38.424

    38.4

    0.110.08

    0.01

    0.1

    1

    10

    100

    0.1 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.7

    MG

    /L T

    ota

    l C

    ya

    nid

    e

    Tons of Solution per Ton of Ore

    Nutrient Stimulation PSI's BioAugmentation

  • In microbial detoxification of heap leach pads, cultures can be applied directly to the heap in the same way cyanide was added during production.

    The cultures are set up in a staged culturing system located at the site

  • Staged culturing systeminside the Bug Ranch at the Yellow Pine Mine

    Cultures are monitored on a regular basis for culture health and effectiveness. Adjustmentsare made as necessary.

  • 05

    101520253035404550

    1

    29

    25

    50

    59

    71

    85

    94

    107

    114

    121

    128

    136

    146

    155

    WA

    D C

    ya

    nid

    e

    Time, Days

    Heap Bio-DetoxWAD Cyanide in Heap Effluent Solutions

    1.3 million ton heap detox at the Yellow Pine Mine. WAD cyanideLocated in Idaho with Alpine Conditions. Environmentally sensitive area.

    1.2 million ton heap detox at Cyprus Copperstone. WAD cyanide and total cyanide.Located in the Arizona desert.

  • Treatment Type

    Ionic Cyanide

    WAD Cyanide

    Ferro Cyanide

    Thiocyanate

    Alkaline Chlorination

    Yes Partial No Partial

    Peroxide Yes Yes Partial No

    Ion Exchange No Yes Yes Possible

    Natural Degradation

    Yes Partial No No

    PSI Bio-Processes

    Yes Yes Yes Yes

    Sulfur Dioxide

    Yes Yes Partial No

    Ref. Cyanide From Mineral ProcessingJ.L. Huiatt, ET AL. Editors

  • Volunteer revegetation on the Ortiz waste rock dump after bio-treatmentDesert climate

    Volunteer revegetation on the sides of the Yellow Pine Mine after bio-treatment.Alpine climate.

    Bugs the Ultimate Solution

    Bioremediation in Mining: Remediation

  • 0.622

    0.398

    0.105

    0.488

    0.005

    0.2470.046 0.054

    0

    0.2

    0.4

    0.6

    0.8

    Cadmium Chromium Selenium Silver

    MG

    /L

    Before Treatment

    After Treatment

    0.978

    2.07

    0.1860.005

    0

    0.5

    1

    1.5

    2

    2.5

    Iron Mercury

    MG

    /L

    9.15

    4.16

    0.334 0.0070

    5

    10

    Copper Zinc

    MG

    /L

    Reduction of metals in heap leachate solution in a 2.5 million ton heap before and afterBio-treatment.

  • 0.35

    0.12 0.18

    0.0003

    0.059 0.07

    0

    0.1

    0.2

    0.3

    0.4

    Mercury Arsenic Copper

    MG

    /L

    Before Treatment

    After Treatment

    0.94

    2.44

    0.70.38

    0.01 0.120

    0.5

    1

    1.5

    2

    2.5

    3

    Zinc Silver Selenium

    MG

    /L

    Reduction in metals in heap leachate solution from a 140,000 ton heap near Gabbs, Nevada

  • In analytical work done by Dr. Jeffrey Steiner at City College of New York, it was found that bacteria cultures catalyze the formation of minerals in Bio-treated heaps or process solutions. Mineral formation locks up leachable metals. Dr. Steiners work was done on Bio-treated ore from the Summitville Mine. This explains the reduction in leachable metal from heaps treated with PSIs Bio-Processes.

  • 23

    6.31.27 0.30

    10

    20

    30

    Nitrate Flouride

    MG

    /L

    100,000 ton heap located in South Dakota. Leachate solution before and after Bio-treatment

    420

    120

    2.5 0.520

    100

    200

    300

    400

    500

    Arsenic Copper

    MG

    /L

    17.9

    14.6

    3.740.11 0.050.01

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    Total Cyanide WAD Cyanide Mercury

    MG

    /L

    Before Treatment

    After Treatment

  • 1800 TON PILOT HEAP

    CYANIDE IN HEAP LEACHATE SOLUTIONS

    Total CN WAD CN

    time, days

    0

    7

    14

    21

    28

    35

    41

    53

    63

    74

    84

    95

    105

    116

    127

    137

    0.01

    0.1

    1

    10

    100

    1000

    1800 Ton Test HeapNitrates vs Time

    nitrate

    time, days

    0

    7

    14

    21

    28

    35

    41

    53

    63

    74

    84

    95

    105

    116

    127

    0

    20

    40

    60

    80

    100

    120

    140

    1800 Ton Test Heap

    Copper in Leachate Solutions

    copper

    time, days

    0

    7

    14

    21

    28

    35

    41

    53

    63

    74

    84

    95

    105

    116

    127

    137

    00.5

    11.5

    22.5

    33.5

    44.5

    5

  • The McCoy Cove Mine was used as an EPA/MWTPP test site to demonstrate the removal of cyanide and leachable metals from mine water using a filtration system with immobilized bacteria.

  • Pintail

  • 332

    179255

    882

    46.8 5.184.9

    15.40

    200

    400

    600

    800

    1000

    Arsenic Mercury Selenium Silver

    UG

    /L

    Untreated Influent

    Treated Effluent

    233

    25

    0

    100

    200

    300

    WAD Cyanide

    MG

    /L

  • Simultaneous Denitrification and Cyanide Detoxification of process solution in a bio-reactor

    246 254

    33

    0

    50

    100

    150

    200

    250

    300

    WAD Cyanide

    MG

    /L W

    AD

    Cy

    an

    ide

    Influent Preg Solution Untreated Preg Control

    Treated Preg Solution

    30.4 30.5

    1.63

    0

    5

    10

    15

    20

    25

    30

    35

    Nitrate

    MG

    /L N

    itra

    te

  • All of the data in this presentation is the result of using bacteria native to the contaminated site. By using native bacteria adapted to the conditions at the site, we have been able to conduct successful bioremediation projects located in a wide variety climates, from alpine to desert.

    We have also been able to remediate a wide range of contaminants with one treatment, saving time and money.