Feldspar Mines in the Kingston Area
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Mine closure and remediation are two important and much debated issues surrounding mining in Canada. Extensive research exists surrounding the closure and remediation of iron sulfide bearing mines and their contribution to acid mine drainage including possible environmental implications and methods of ensuring the tailings do not negatively interact with the soil, groundwater and surface water. There is little research concerning feldspar mines and the environmental impact of open abandoned pits. The area north of Kingston, Ontario is host to multiple feldspar mines that have been closed since the early 1900s and left open to the environment. This study, centered on the Burnham mine near Holleford, Ontario, classifies the origin of the pegmatite body that is host to the mine and suggests a relation to other igneous intrusions in the area including the large Lyndhurst Pluton to the west. Additionally, this study uses water samples and site observation from feldspar and iron sulfide mines in the area to compare the environmental impact of the two types of mines. Results suggest that the pegmatite body in which the Burnham mine sits is part of a larger network of igneous intrusions from the same granitic body deep in the lithosphere and has similar bulk composition to the Lyndhurst and Leo Lake plutons. Water analyses tentatively conclude that feldspar mines do not interact negatively with groundwater, surface water and soils and do not require extensive remediation to control acid mine drainage the same way iron sulfide mines do.