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[en] The geochemical evolution of drainage from an 35 hectare orphan waste rock pile over a 15-year period was described. Spoil material at the site was generated during coal mining at 2 collieries between 1922 and 1970, and was comprised of grey and black shale, ash, coal, and coal dust. The heap was founded on an impermeable clay layer. Located in northern England, drainage from the rock heap was intercepted by a small compost wetland system installed in 1997. The waste rock heap was selectively capped in 1998. Water samples were collected and analyzed. Anion concentrations were determined using an ion chromatograph. The samples were filtered periodically. Acidity concentrations and flow rates were determined. Results of the study showed measurable improvements in water quality as a result of capping the heap. The study demonstrated that a combination of selective spoil capping and wetland treatment can serve as a low-cost solution to acid mine drainage at some abandoned mine sites. 9 refs., 1 tab., 1 fig.