A Simple Field Leach Test for Rapid Screening and Qualitative Characterization of Mine Waste Dump Material on Abandoned Mine Lands
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2000
An important tool for use in the geochemical assessment of abandoned mine-waste piles is a leach procedure that can easily be done in the field and used for on-site screening of historic mine-waste material. We have developed a simple field leach test that is an effective indicator of waste pile geochemistry and can be used in order to establish the relative geochemical fingerprint for a given pile. This simple procedure also provides indication of the potential chemical composition of run-off from the weathered surface of these piles. As part of developing the technique, a comparative study was carried out on eight mine-waste composite samples from different deposit types. Splits of all eight composites were leached using the field leach test procedure and a modified version of EPA Method 1312 (SPLP). We found that the field leach test consistently provides relative indication of leachate geochemical trends comparable to leachate data derived from the more regulated, time consuming and laborious EPA Method 13 12 (SPLP).