Acid mine drainage is commonly associated with land disturbances that encounter and expose iron sulphides to oxidising atmospheric conditions. The attendant acidic conditions solubilise a host of trace metals. Within this flow regime the potential exists to contaminate surface drinking water supplies with a variety of trace materials. Accordingly, in evaluating the applications for mines located in the headwaters of water sheds, the pre-mining prediction of the occurrence of acid mine drainage is of paramount importance. There is general agreement among investigators that coal organic sulphur is a nonparticipant in acid mine drainage generation; however, there is no scientific documentation to support this concensus. Using simulated weathering, kinetic, mass balance, petrographic analysis and a peroxide oxidation procedure, coal organic sulphur is shown to be a nonparticipant in acid mine drainage generation. Calculations for assessing the acid-generating potential of a sedimentary rock should not include organic sulphur content. ?? 1989 Sciences and Technology Letters.
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The non-participation of organic sulphur in acid mine drainage generation