Mechanisms Controlling Metal Release in Mill Tailings

Jurjovec, Jasna ; Ptacek, Carol J. ; Blowes, David W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
At the Kidd Creek site, natrojarosite residue, derived from the zinc refinery circuit, is mixed with mill tailings before final disposal in the tailings impoundment. Column experiments were conducted with fresh unoxidized mill tailings and a mixture of tailings containing the natrojarosite residue. Acidic water, simulating mine drainage water, was pumped through the columns. The effluent water geochemistry was interpreted with the assistance of MINTEQA2. The experimental results suggest that the effluent water pH was buffered by a series of acid neutralization reactions. The release of metals, including Cu, Pb and Zn, was affected by pore water pH, Eh and mineralogy of the tailings material.
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