Seasonal Variations of Water Quality within the Waste Impoundments of Geopung Mine

거풍 폐광산 폐기물 적치장 지하수 및 침출수 수질의 시기별 변화

  • Ahn, Joo-Sung (Geologic Environment Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Yim, Gil-Jae (Geologic Environment Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Cheong, Young-Wook (Geologic Environment Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources)
  • 안주성 (한국지질자원연구원 지구환영연구본부) ;
  • 임길재 (한국지질자원연구원 지구환영연구본부) ;
  • 정영욱 (한국지질자원연구원 지구환영연구본부)
  • Published : 2009.06.28

Abstract

In this study, water quality variation in borehole groundwaters and surface leachate waters were investigated on a seasonal sampling and remote monitoring basis within the waste impoundments at the Geopung mine site where previous rehabilitation measures were unsuccessful to prevent acidic drainage. All groundwaters were typical acidic drainage with acidic pH (3.3${\sim}$4.6) and high TDS (338${\sim}$3330 mg/L) values during the dry season, but increases in metal contents (TDS 414${\sim}$4890 mg/L) and decrease of pH (2.7${\sim}$3.6) were observed during the rainy season. Surface leachate waters showed a similar pattern in water quality variation. Surface runoff waters during rain events had acidic pH (3.0${\sim}$3.4) through direct reactions with waste rocks. Good correlations were found between major and trace elements measured in water samples, but no significant seasonal variation in chemical compositions was shown except relative changes in contents. It can be suggested that dissolution of soluble secondary salts caused by flushing of weathered waste rocks and tailings directly influenced the water quality within the waste impoundments. Increases in acid and metal concentrations and their loadings from mine wastes are anticipated in the rainy season. More appropriate cover systems on waste rocks and tailings necessitate consideration of more extreme conditions in the study mine.

Keywords

acid mine drainage;seasonal variation;mine waste;secondary salts

References

  1. Cheong, Y.W., Yim, G.J., Ji, S.W., Park, H.Y., Min, D.S. and Park, I.W. (2008) Impact of the rain on the geochemical and hydrogical characteristics within a mine waste impoundment at the Geopung mine, Korea. Journal of the Korean Society for Geosystem Engineering, v.45, p.495-504
  2. Gomes, M.E.P. and Favas, P.J.C. (2006) Mineralogical controls on mine drainage of the abandoned Ervedosa tin mine in north-eastern Portugal. Applied Geochemistry, v.21, p.1322-1334 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2006.06.007
  3. Jambor, J.L., Nordstrom, D.K. and Alpers, C.N. (2000). Metal-sulfate salts from sulfide mineral oxidation. In: Alpers, C.N., Jambor, J.L. and Nordstrom, D.K. (Eds.), Sulfate Minerals-Crystallography, Geochemistry, and Environmental Significance, Rev. Mineral. Geochem., v.40, p.303-350
  4. Keith, D.C., Runnells, D.D., Esposito, K.J., Chermak, J.A., Levy, D.B., Hannula, S.R., Watts, M. and Hall, L. (2001) Geochemical models of the impact of acidic groundwater and evaporative salts on Boulder Creek at Iron Mountain, California. Applied Geochemistry, v.16, p.947-961 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0883-2927(00)00080-9
  5. Nordstrom, D.K. (2007) Effects of seasonal and climatic change on water quality from acid rock drainage in the western United States. In: Cidu, R. and Frau, F. (Eds), IMWA Symposium 2007: Water in Mining Environments, 27th-31st May 2007, Cagliari, Italy
  6. Valente, T.M. and Gomes, C.L (2009) Occurrence, properties and pollution potential of environmental minerals in acid mine drainage. Science of the Total Environment, v.407, p.1135-1152 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.09.050
  7. Smuda J., Dold, B., Frise, K., Morgenstern, P. and Glaesser, W. (2007) Mineralogical and geochemical study of element mobility at the sulfide-rich Excelsior waste rock dump from the polymetallic Zn-Pb-(Ag-Bi-Cu) deposit, Cerro de Pasco, Peru. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v.92, p.97-110 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gexplo.2006.08.001
  8. Jerz J.K. and Rimstidt, J.D. (2003) Efflorescent iron sulfate minerals: paragenesis, relative stability, and environmental impact. American Mineralogist, v.88, p.1919-1932 https://doi.org/10.2138/am-2003-11-1235
  9. Hammarstrom, J.M., Seal II, R.R., Meier, A.L. and Kornfeld, J.M. (2005) Secondary sulfate minerals associated with acid drainage in the eastern US: recycling of metals and acidity in surficial environments. Chemical Geology, v.215, p.407-431 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2004.06.053
  10. Webster, R. and Oliver M. (2001) Geostatistics for environmental scientists. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, 271p
  11. Jurjovec, J., Ptacek, C.J. and Blowes, D.W. (2002) Acid neutralization mechanism and metal release in mine tailings: A laboratory column experiment. Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta, v.66, p.1511-1523 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7037(01)00874-2
  12. Yim, G.J., Ahn, J.S., Cheong, Y.W., Min, D.S. and Baek, H.J. (2009) An evaluation of the infiltration control of a soil cover overlying tailings impoundment. Journal of the Korean Society for Geosystem Engineering, v.46, In print
  13. Kinniburgh, D.G., Jackson, M.L. and Syers, J.K. (1976) Adsorption of alkaline earth, transition and heavy metal cations by hydrous oxide gels of iron and aluminum. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., v.40, p.796-800 https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1976.03615995004000050047x
  14. MIRECO (2008) Detailed survey report on Geopung mine tailings protection project. Mine Reclamation Corporation Technological Report 2008-8, 87p