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Cycling of As, P, Pb and Sb during weathering of mine tailings: Implications for fluvial environments

Kossoff, D., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E., Alfredsson, Maria, Geraki, T. (2012) Cycling of As, P, Pb and Sb during weathering of mine tailings: Implications for fluvial environments. Mineralogical Magazine, 76 (5). pp. 1209-1228. ISSN 0026461X (ISSN). (doi:10.1180/minmag.2012.076.5.14) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1180/minmag.2012.076.5.14

Abstract

The weathering and oxidation of mine tailings has the potential to contaminate water and soil with toxic elements. To understand the mechanisms, extent and products of the long-term weathering of complex Bolivian tailings from the Cerro Rico de Potosí, and their effects on As, Pb, P and Sb cycling, three-year long laboratory column experiments were carried out to model 20 years of dry-and wet-season conditions in the Pilcomayo basin. Chemical analysis of the leachate and column solids, optical mineralogy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, electron probe microanalysis, microscale X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy, Bureau Commun de Référence sequential extraction and water-soluble chemical extractions, and speciation modelling have shown that the weathering of As-bearing pyrite and arsenopyrite, resulted in a loss of 13-29% of the original mass of As. By contrast, Pb and Sb showed much lower mass losses (0.1-1.1% and 0.6-1.9%, respectively) due to the formation of insoluble Pb-and Sb(V)-rich phases, which were stable at the low pH (~2) conditions that prevailed by the end of the experiment. The experiment also demonstrated a link between the cycling of As, Sb, and the oxidation of Fe(II)-bearing sphalerite, which acted as a nucleation point for an Fe-As-Sb-O phase. Phosphorus was relatively immobile in the tailings columns (up to 0.3% mass loss) but was more mobile in the soil-bearing columns (up to 10% mass loss), due to the formation of soluble P-bearing minerals or mobilization by organic matter. These results demonstrate the influence of mine tailings on the mobility of P from soils and on the potential contamination of ecosystems with As, and strongly suggest that these materials should be isolated from fluvial environments. © 2012 Mineralogical Society.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1180/minmag.2012.076.5.14
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - Mineral. Mag. [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - School of Physical Sciences, Ingram Building, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NH, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Diamond Light Source, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: antimony, arsenic, As, Bolivia, column leaching, floodplain, lead, mine tailings, P, Pb, phosphorous, Potosí, Sb, soil, XANES, Bolivia, Column leaching, Flood plains, Mine tailings, phosphorous, XANES, Arsenic, Chemical speciation, Crystallography, Electron probe microanalysis, Experiments, Leaching, Lead, Mineralogy, Minerals, Phosphorus, Rhenium, Scanning electron microscopy, Soils, Tailings, Water pollution, Weathering, X ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy, X ray diffraction, Zinc sulfide, Antimony, antimony, arsenic, chemical analysis, floodplain, leachate, lead, mine waste, oxidation, pH, phosphorus, soil column, speciation (chemistry), sphalerite, tailings, weathering, XANES spectroscopy, Bolivia, Potosi [Bolivia]
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology > QE515 Geochemistry
Q Science > QE Geology > QE516.4 Environmental geochemistry
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Physical Sciences > Functional Materials Group
Depositing User: Giles Tarver
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2015 08:05 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 14:58 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/49977 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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