Hydrogeology and Hydrochemistry of the Midnite Mine, Northeastern Washington
Description:The Midnite Mine is an inactive, hard-rock uranium mine in Stevens County, WA. Oxidation of sulfide-containing minerals, primarily pyrite, in the ore body produces large quantities of acidic water. An interception system installed by the mining company limits the discharge of contaminated water from the mine. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have been actively involved in planning remediation of the disturbed areas. To assist in remediation, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) initiated research to determine water quality and to define ground water flow characteristics. USBM personnel designed a monitoring network, supervised installation of sampling wells, and collected and analyzed water samples. This Report of Investigations describes interpretation of data collected between December 1989 and April 1992. The computer program WATEQ4F was used to identify aqueous species distribution and to calculate potential solid phase controls of solubility. To assist in interpretation of changes in water quality between sampling locations and to develop models describing proposed flow paths, the computer program BALANCE was used. Using output from these programs and field observations, a description of the chemistry along proposed ground water flow paths at the mine is presented.
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