Spoil and coal samples were collected at the Fording Coal Limited minesite near Elkford, British Columbia. The samples were analysed for their physical (particle size distribution) and chemical (carbon, NO3-N, NO2-N, and NH4-N) characteristics. The high proportion of coarse material (>=2 mm in size) suggests spoil piles are highly permeable. The high inorganic nitrogen, (NO2+NO3+NH4)-N, content of the spoil was attributed to explosives used at the minesite to blast overburden. Nitrogen losses from loading wet holes with slurry explosives and 'other sources' (e.g., nitrogen oxides, spillage, etc.), collectively, were recognized to be the major contributors to spoil nitrogen. Waste coal was a minor source of nitrogen. Leaching of inorganic nitrogen due to explosives was modelled based on spoil nitrogen content and water flow characteristics of the spoil. The flow rates through spoil piles were determined from measurements of streamflow rates and area of watershed above the point of discharge measurement. High f
Nagpal, N.K.. 1982. Effect on Water Quality of Explosives Used in Surface Mining. Volume 3: Nitrogen Release from Coal and Mine Waste. BC Ministry of Environment
Keywords: effect, water quality, explosives
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