SABR Acid Mine Drainage Remediation 

To date the SABR process has delivered all-natural, minimal risk solutions in water and solids treatment in the form of ‘SABRSimplex’, ’SABRComplex’, SABRBODS’ and ‘SABRBioSolve’ systems for the pH and contaminates management of effluent streams. The ‘SABRBioStim’ and ‘SABRBioGrow’ systems provide multiple level remediation of disturbed ecology, reinvigoration of riverine, riparian, wetland and soil systems progressing soils and growing systems for Environmental Rehabilitation, Environmental Agriculture and Agriculture and Organic Polyculture Permaculture applications.

‘SABR Simplex and ’SABR Complex Systems have delivered all-natural, minimal risk solutions in:

Mining and minerals processing:

  •  Coal,
  •  Gold,
  •  Copper,
  •  Lead and Zinc,
  •  Platinum,
  •  Iron ore,
  •  Poly metals, and
  •  Rare Earths.


  •  Phosphate refining,
  •  Acid manufacture,
  •  Alumina refining,
  •  Coal fired power generation.

Tailings, (wet tailings and dry stockpile):

  •  Coal,
  •  Gold,
  •  Copper,
  •  Iron ore,
  •  Bauxite/Alumina, 
  •  Phosphogypsum, and 
  •  Fly ash.

SABR BioSolve Systems have delivered all-natural, minimal risk solutions in:

  •  Bauxite/Alumina Refining Effluent and Red Mud Stockpile and Residue, and
  •  Phosphogypsum Effluent and Waste Stockpile remediation.

SABR BioStim and SABR BioGrow Systems have delivered solutions in Tropical, Temperate, Hot Arid and Cold climes and environments including:

  •  Element saturated,
  •  Nutrient depleted,
  •  High Salinity,
  •  Sodic,
  •  Acidic,
  •  Alkaline,
  •  Coastal,
  •  Intertidal,
  •  Riverine, and
  •  Highlands.

The SABRBODS process, passive, local taxon structured water and soil treatment systems have thus-far successfully remediated all globally presented water challenges with the demonstrated ability to raise the pH from 0.5 to 8.7 pH (up to 9 pH) or reduce it from 14 pH to 6.1 pH balancing the realized effluent to neutral, stripping up to 99% of bioavailable metals and metalloid contaminants significantly reducing salinity by more than 95%.

The SABR BioCell approach to mineral and process affected waters has been advanced and demonstrated the following in separate applications in:

  1. Gold mine heavily metalliferous pit lake water 2.8 pH to 9 pH in 360hrs.
  2. Gold mine uranium reduction from above 30 µg/L to zero in 360 hrs.
  3. Polymetals mine radionuclide reduction from above 110 µg/L to zero in 24 hrs.
  4. Gold mine arsenical pit lake water 890 μg/L to 3 μg/L in 24hrs.
  5. Platinum mine metalliferous waste discharge water 4.3 pH to 6.9 pH in 24hrs
  6. Acid refinery heavily metalliferous waste discharge water 0.5 pH to 3.9 pH in 48hrs.
  7. Phosphogypsum heavily metalliferous water 1.5 pH to 6.1  pH in 48hrs.
  8. Coal mine heavily metalliferous pit water 1.9 pH to 6.4 pH in 60hrs.
  9. Coal fired power station water 9.8 pH to 5.3 pH in 60hrs and to 6.5 pH in a further 20hrs.
  10. Coal fired power station fly ash 9.8 pH to 5.3 pH in 60hrs and to 6.5 pH in a further 20hrs.
  11. Coal mine heavily metalliferous underground decant water 1.5 pH to 5.6 pH in 60hrs.
  12. Coal mine underground decant water 2.5 pH to 5.4 pH in 24hrs and to 7.4 pH in 260hrs.
  13. Copper mine effluent from 2.25 pH to 7.2 pH in 12 hours and 6.5 pH to 7.8 pH in 4 hours.
  14. Gold mine tailings storage heavily metalliferous water 4.3 pH to 5.5 pH in 24hrs.
  15. Gold mine waste dump heavily metalliferous water 1.5 pH to 6.5 pH in 24hrs.
  16. Iron ore mine heavily metalliferous pit water 2.46 pH to pH 7 pH in 24 hrs.
  17. Copper processing effluent from 3.76 pH to 7.4 pH in 23 hours.
  18. Copper processing effluent from 2.1 pH to 7.2 pH.
  19. Fly River PNG metalliferous water 6.02 pH to 7.4 pH in 12 hrs.
  20. Fly River riparian and agricultural metalliferous soil 5.51 pH to 7.65 pH in 12 hrs.
  21. Pyrite processing effluent from 5.5 pH to 7.8 pH in 12 hours.
  22. Bauxite & Alumina effluent and red mud tailings from 13.8 pH to below 7 pH in 50 hrs.
  23. Mine pit lake salinity 25 ppt reduced by 66% to 8.9ppt (2014) in 168 hrs.
  24. Gold mine poisoned wetland systems remediated to comprehensive growth in 700 hrs.
  25. Gold mine contaminated soils remediated from zero to comprehensive growth in 2,000 hrs.
  26. Seawater salinity 35 ppt reduced by 71% in 72hrs., (2015).
  27. Sustainable vegetation growth in highly contaminated tailings materials in 130 hrs.
  28. Crop biostimulation increasing growth by up to 300% and advancing germination by up to 30%.
  29. Acidic metaliferrous tailings drainage-degraded old growth vegetation rehabilitated in 400 hrs.
  30. Desalination of up to 99% in agricultural water and soils (2017).
  31. SABRBODS process laboratory project has delivered >95% desalination in raw seawater (2017) all effluent usable.
  32. Bionutrification of previously synthetic farm chemical saturated, saline soils to achieve stable commercial crop growth (2017).

*SABR pH improvements are accompanied by desirable metals, metalloids and other contaminants reductions (chemically, the two processes go hand in hand) as shown in the following real case data tables and graphs. (Results measured according the ANZECC & ARMCANZ 2000 Guidelines)

*Some data presented above does not reveal all levels of improvement; final treatment level abilities remaining undisclosed due to client requirements under NDA.

The SABR AMD solutions application assessments are conducted over 14-days, incorporating:

  •       Site and regional and potentials investigation,
  •       Design of substrates and minimal risk microbiological manifolds, and development of plans,
  •       Design of tailored SABR bioreactor application pilot and system.

 SABR-AMD and metal remediation open pit mine

 SABR-Metal reductions from Table 1

                                              Note the Sulfate line, this is not simply another sulFate reducing bacteria system.

SABR-Three reactor system running for 2 months

 SABR-Metal reduction over all three reactors from Table 2

 SABR Process Demonstrating it is More Than A Simple Sulfate Reducing Process.



As a useful, though not essential, addition for long term remediation projects, SABR can be implemented with an enhanced natural or artificial wetland for final polishing. Such systems work hand in hand with the SABR process to further lower contaminant levels, increasing dwell time to enable further testing of pre-release water stability should such be a requirement, and increase emergency containment in the unlikely case of a flooding event or inadvertent high flow rates.

As an added benefit an artificial SABR wetland system acts as a fully bio-diverse and natural species supportive wetland. In the case of  a SABR co-opted natural wetland, biodiversity and support for natural species is increased parallel to enhancement of wetland quality. 

A SABR co-opted wetland is a win-win for sustainable ecology, biodiversity and all benefits that flow from these key concepts. If a wetland polish is an appropriate part of a solution, ESS can also design and implement  specific SABR processes tailored to work with the wetland system already in place.