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Multivariate and Geostatistical Analyses of Groundwater Quality for Acid Rock Drainage at Waste Rock and Tailings Storage Site
 
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Institute for Groundwater Studies, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State Bloemfontein, 205 Nelson Mandela Dr, Park West, Bloemfontein, 9301, South Africa
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Patrick Adadzi   

Institute for Groundwater Studies, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State Bloemfontein, 205 Nelson Mandela Dr, Park West, Bloemfontein, 9301, South Africa
 
 
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ABSTRACT
A multi-disciplinary approach is indispensable for adequate acid rock drainage (ARD), mineral leaching impact, and groundwater management. Groundwater is a valuable resource, and it is critical to protect as well as mitigate the effects of pollution such as ARD in the mining environment. Mine waste storage facilities (waste rocks and tailings) are potential ARD sources capable of degrading groundwater reserves. This research investigated and reported the application of a case study of multivariate statistical and spatial variability of selected parameters associated with ARD in groundwater around WRD and TSF at mine sites. Water quality analysis data of seventy water samples from 10 boreholes located at the WRD and TSF mine were utilised in this study. The correlation matrix and principal components analysis was applied to the data set to determine the associated variability in groundwater in relation to ARD. Geostatistical analysis was used to produce contour maps to ARD principal components of the study site, using ordinary kriging of the best fit models. The application of multivariate statistical and geospatial analysis in groundwater quality assessment with coupled soil and groundwater modelling of flow and transport at waste rock dump and tailings storage sites provides an essential tool for exploratory data analysis, and spatial extent determination of the relationship between various data sets significant to acid rock drainage.