UNIDO and ABE Initiative students visited the Matsuo Neutralization Plant in collaboration with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Hinode Sangyo Co., Ltd, on 18 January 2019.
The Matsuo Mine used to be the largest sulfur mine in Asia. Strong acid mine drainage was discharged to Aka River since around 1930’s and the pollution in the Aka River and the Kitakami River became a serious social problem even after the mine was closed in 1972.
UNIDO together with ABE Initiative students and Hinode Sangyo visited “Matsuo Neutralization Plant” which was built to neutralize the mine drainage released from the closed mine. The plant is owned by Iwate Prefectural Government and operated by JOGMEC. It processes 18t/minute of strong acid mine drainage which contains iron and arsenic (pH<2.0) at relatively reasonable cost by “Bacterial Oxidation and Calcium Carbonate Neutralization System”, and the neutralization operation runs for 24 x 7.
The tour started with a lecture of the Matsuo Mine’s history and outline of the neutralization plant, then continued to visits to the Control Room which is the heart of this automated plant, walking through 322 meters along the Permanent Drainage Tunnel that carries the drainage from the closed mine to the plant, and observation of the neutralization processes inside the plant. The African students gained knowledge of how the Japanese government deals with mine pollution and observed operation of waste water management on sitte, which offered valuable insight for sustainable natural resource development.
Date: Friday, 18 January 2019
Site: Matsuo Neutralization Plant
Organized by UNIDO ITPO Tokyo in collaboration with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Hinode Sangyo Co., Ltd