Among the various wastewater treatment technologies, the sorption process is considered better because of lower cost, simple design and easy operation. Sorption technique was employed to remove heavy metals from gold mining effluent using natural and plant materials.
An assessment of the effluent quality of a gold mining company in Ghana indicated that arsenic, copper and cyanide were the major pollutants in the process effluent. The research showed that coconut shell (CS) can be an important low-cost sorbent for copper removal from inorganic wastewater. However, arsenic removal was only possible with iron-oxide-coated sand (IOCS). The research showed that the down-flow fixed-bed treatment configuration is an ideal system for the simultaneous removal of copper and arsenic from low concentration gold mining effluent, in addition to other heavy metals present in very low concentrations.