Removal of Pb, Cu, Zn, and Cd during neutralization of acid rock drainage is examined using model simulations of field conditions and laboratory experiments involving mixing of natural drainage and surface waters or groundwaters. The simulations consider sorption onto hydrous Fe and Al oxides and particulate organic carbon, mineral precipitation, and organic and inorganic solution complexation of metals for two physical systems where newly formed oxides and particulate organic matter are either transported or retained along the chemical pathway. The calculations indicate that metal removal is a strong function of the physical system. Relative to direct discharge of ARD into streams, lower metal removals are observed where ARD enters streamwaters during the latter stages of neutralization by ambient groundwater after most of the Fe has precipitated and been retained in the soils. The mixing experiments, which represent the field simulations, also demonstrated the importance of dissolved metal to particle Fe ratios in controlling dissolved metal removal along the chemical pathway. Finally, model calculations indicate that hydrous Fe oxides and particulate organic carbon are more important than hydrous Al oxides in removing metals and that both inorganic and organic complexation must be considered when modeling metal removal from aquatic systems that are impacted by sulfide oxidation.