UNIDO visited the Matsuo Neutralization Plant in collaboration with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Hinode Sangyo Co., Ltd. with students from ABE Initiative and Innovative Asia scholarships. These students from Guinea, Ethiopia, and Thailand are currently participating in the internship program at Hinode Sangyo Co., Ltd..
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 students and Hinode Sangyo visited the 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 (pH<2.0) which contains iron and arsenic at relatively reasonable cost by “Bacterial Oxidation and Calcium Carbonate Neutralization System”, and the neutralization operation runs for twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
Upon the arrival at the Hachimantai Visitor Center, all participants received health checks to ensure the safety and the continuity of the plant. In response to the novel Coronavirus situation, the special study programme was arranged with extra attentions to infection control measures, such as limiting the number of passengers on the microbus and avoiding the confined space like a tunnel.
The tour started with a lecture on the Matsuo Mine’s history and an outline of the neutralization plant using the visitor board at the outside. Then the participants moved to the top of the mud storage dam and received further lectures including a Q and A session. The students gained knowledge of how the Japanese government deals with mine pollution and observed operation of waste water management on site, which offered valuable insight for sustainable natural resources development.
Students later shared their feedback; they learned the application of bacteria for the treatment of mining water pollution, the experience and success of Japan with environmental issues related to mining, and the technology applied in Matsuo neutralization plant will be shared with colleagues in their home country.
Date: Friday, 9 November, 2020
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
Click here to see the previous event from last year.
Click here to see the technology of Hinode Sangyo Co., Ltd. r egistered in UNIDO ITPO Tokyo’s Sustainable Technology Promotion Platform (STePP).