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Major and trace metal mobility during weathering of mine tailings: Implications for floodplain soils

Kossoff, D., Hudson-Edwards, K.A., Dubbin, W.E., Alfredsson, Maria (2012) Major and trace metal mobility during weathering of mine tailings: Implications for floodplain soils. Applied Geochemistry, 27 (3). pp. 562-576. ISSN 08832927 (ISSN). (doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.11.012) (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) (KAR id:49978)

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Mine tailings discharged to river systems have the potential to release significant quantities of major and trace metals to waters and soils when weathered. To provide data on the mechanisms and magnitudes of short- and long-term tailings weathering and its influence on floodplain environments, three calendar year-long column leaching experiments that incorporated tailings from Potosí, Bolivia, and soil from unaffected downstream floodplains, were carried out. These experiments were designed to model 20 cycles of wet and dry season conditions. Two duplicate columns modeled sub-aerial tailings weathering alone, a third modeled the effects of long-term floodplain tailings contamination and a fourth modeled that of a tailings dam spill on a previously contaminated floodplain. As far as was practical local climatic conditions were modeled. Chemical analysis of the leachate and column solids, optical mineralogy, XRD, SEM, EPMA, BCR and water-soluble chemical extractions and speciation modeling were carried out to determine the processes responsible for the leaching of Al, Ca, Cu, K, Na, Mg, Mn, Sn, Sr and Ti. Over the 20 cycles, the pH declined to a floor of ca. 2 in all columns. Calcium, Cu, Mg, Mn and Na showed significant cumulative losses of up to 100%, 60%, 30%, 95% and 40%, respectively, compared to those of Al, K, Sr, Sn and Ti, which were up to 3%, 1.5%, 5%, 1% and 0.05%, respectively. The high losses are attributed to the dissolution of relatively soluble minerals such as biotite, and oxidation of chalcopyrite and Cu-sulfosalts, while low losses are attributed to the presence of sparingly soluble minerals such as svanbergite, cassiterite and rutile. These results strongly suggest that the release of tailings to floodplains should be limited or prohibited, and that all tailings should be removed from floodplains following dam spills. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2011.11.012
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - Appl. Geochem. [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet St., London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Mineralogy, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, Ingram Building, Canterbury CT2 7NH, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Chemical extractions, Climatic conditions, Column leaching experiments, Flood plains, Floodplain soils, Leachates, Low loss, Mine tailings, River systems, Speciation modeling, Svanbergite, Tailings dam, Trace metal, Wet and dry seasons, XRD, Banks (bodies of water), Copper compounds, Crystallography, Experiments, Leaching, Manganese, Manganese removal (water treatment), Mica, Mineralogy, Oxide minerals, Sodium, Soils, Solvent extraction, Tailings, Tin, Weathering, Rivers, chemical weathering, climate conditions, floodplain, leaching, mine waste, mineral, mobility, numerical model, oxidation, pH, pollutant removal, river pollution, river system, scanning electron microscopy, soil pollution, speciation (chemistry), tailings, trace element, weathering, X-ray diffraction, Bolivia
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology > QE515 Geochemistry
Q Science > QE Geology > QE516.4 Environmental geochemistry
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Giles Tarver
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2015 08:05 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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