Reduction of nitrogen discharges in mining processes and mitigating its environmental impact – miNing II

Reclamation and environmental performance


Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet


Frauke Ecke



Purpose and goal
The overall expected result of miNing is the identification of biological treatment techniques that successfully remove reactive nitrogen from mine site drainage, so recipient concentrations are maintained at levels that are in agreement with national and international legislation.

Structure and implementation
miNing develops a series of treatment systems that can be used independently or in combination for the purpose of removing nitrogen from mine discharge waters. The systems will involve passive or semi-passive treatment methods that require only a minimal amount of energy to maintain in operation. These systems rely on the activity of efficient microbial communities that transform nitrogen compounds to harmless nitrogen gas (N2). The systems will be evaluated in pilot scale at LKAB’s site in Kiruna.

Expected results
miNing is expected to result in treatment methods for mining process water that can be implemented in full scale so that nitrogen concentrations in recipients are in agreement with national and international legislation. The treatment methods are expected to be generally applicable for mining in northern areas with cold climate. Since the tests are performed at the LKAB mine in Kiruna, miNing is expected to contribute to also solve the N-problem at that mining site.