The Berkeley Pit is a former open pit copper mine in Butte, Montana. Approximately 320 million tons of ore and over 700 million tons of waste rock were mined from Butte Hill leaving a hole a mile long by half a mile wide with an approximate depth of 1780 feet (540m) containing up to 187 mg/L copper. That is about 6,227 pounds. Additional metals and dangerous chemicals leaching from the rock, including copper are arsenic, cadmium, zinc and sulfuric acid.
The Berkeley Pit located in Butte, Montana, USA. The water level is 5,184 feet.
Since its closure on Earth Day 1982, it has risen to within 160 feet of the natural groundwater level.
The problem is the opportunity, how to harvest the metals and the water?
Crystal Clear Technologies, Inc. metal adsorption technology is capable of removing metallic contaminants from the environment and placing them into productive use, rather than creating another “waste stream” associated with acid mine drainage, metal bearing sludge or conventional metal removal technologies.
The NMX™ technology can achieve less than single digit µg/L removal levels, which makes this technology commercial for storm water NPDES discharge, drinking water and wastewater treatment.
At the Berkeley Pit, we were able to “layer” 8 layers producing a substrate with up to 16% copper, by weight, harvested from highly acidic mine drainage. The copper was recovered through smelting.