Discriminating Between Background and Mine-Impacted Waters

Davis, Andy ; Tisdale, Amy ; Byrns, Cindi
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
The Robinson district, Ely, Nevada is a hydrogeologically complex system with several distinguishable geologic blocks, each with a distinct background groundwater chemistry. To discriminate between background and mine-impacted groundwater, background wells, monitoring wells, pit lakes, waste rock seeps, and surface water samples were analyzed for a suite of major cations and anions, together with trace and precious metals, rare earth elements, 2H-deuterium and 18O/16O. The data allowed identification of groundwater flow paths, verification of hydrochemical source areas and characterization of natural attenuation mechanisms (e.g., mixing, dilution and mineral precipitation) that control the concentration and migration of metals at the site.
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