Mechanisms of Immobilization and Leaching Characteristics of Arsenic in the Waste Rocks and Tailings of the Abandoned Mine Areas

폐광산 지역 폐광석 및 광미에서 비소의 고정 메커니즘과 용출특성

  • Kang Min-Mu (Department of Geological and Environmental Hazards, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Lee Pyeong-Koo (Department of Geological and Environmental Hazards, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources)
  • 강민주 (한국지질자원연구원 지질환경재해연구부) ;
  • 이평구 (한국지질자원연구원 지질환경재해연구부)
  • Published : 2005.12.01

Abstract

EPMA determined that Fe(Mn)-(oxy)hydroxides and well-crystallized Fe-(oxy)hydroxides and could contain a small amount of As $(0.3-11.0\;wt.\%\;and\;2.1-7.4\;wt.\%\;respectively)$. Amorphous crystalline Fe-(oxy) hydroxide assemblages were identified as the richest in As with $28-36\;wt.\%$. On the ternary $As_2O_5-SO_3-Fe_2O_3$ diagram, these materials were interpreted here as 'scorodite-like'. Dissolved As was attenuated by the adsorption on Fe-(oxy) hydroxides and Fe(Mn)-(oxy) hydroxides and/or the formation of an amorphous Fe-As phase (maybe scorodite: $FeAsO_4\cdot2H_2O$). Leaching tests were performed in order to find out leaching characteristics of As and Fe under acidic conditions. At the initial pHs 3 and 5, As contents dissolved from tailings of the cheongyang mine significantly increased after 7 days due to the oxidation of As-bearing secondary minerals (up to ca. $2.4\%$ of total), while As of Seobo mine-tailing samples was rarely released (ca. $0.0-0.1\%$ of total). Dissolution experiments at an initial pH 1 liberated a higher amount of As (ca. $1.1-4.2\%$ of total for Seobo tailings, $1.5-14.4\%$ of total for Cheongyang tailings). In addition, good correlation between As and Fe in leached solutions with tailings was observed. The kinetic problems could be the important factor which leads to increasing concentrations of As in the runoff water. Release of As from Cheongyang tailings can potentially pose adverse impact to surface and groundwater qualities in the surrounding environment, while precipitation of secondary minerals and the adsorption of As are efficient mechanisms for decreasing the mobilities of As in the surface environment of Seobo mine area.

Keywords

Arsenic;oxidation;secondary mineral;EPMA;leaching;kinetics

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