Estimation of pre-mining conditions for trace metal mobility in mineralized areas: An overview

Alpers, Charles N. ; Nordstorm, D. Kirk
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
A variety of approaches have been used in the recent literature for the estimation of pre-mining (or natural background) metal concentrations in areas affected by mining. The following is a list of some of these approaches: (1) historical and anecdotal data, (2) remote analogues (other similarly mineralized areas), (3) proximal analogues (nearby mineralized areas), (4) sediment sampling (streambeds, lakes, estuaries, floodplain deposits, and soil profiles), (5) stable isotopes (hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and carbon), (6) geochemical modeling (forward, equilibrium-based), (7) geochemical modeling (forward, kinetic- and transport-based, and inverse), (8) statistical analyses, (9) mass balance on oxygen flux, (10) mass balance with age determination of weathered material. Examples of each approach are described, and the strengths and limitations of each approach are discussed.
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