A Comparison of the Chemistry and Mineralogy of Selected Tailings: Physical and Dissolution Characteristics

Summers, Cathy A. ; Doepker, Richard D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
Part 1: Physical Characteristics The physical and mineralogical characteristics of samples from five sources in the Western United States were determined using size analyses, microscopic studies, and point counts. These results were combined with leachability assays and the chemistry of leachates obtained during slurry tests to predict sample dissolution characteristics during column leaching tests. Part 2: Dissolution Characteristics Two columns of each sample were leached over a period of 3 years with synthetic rain. Residence times were between 2 and 11 weeks. The samples were subjected to daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations and wet-dry and freeze-thaw cycles. During the latter part of this study, a biocide leachant (sodium benzoate) was substituted for synthetic rain to assess the degree of dissolution caused by biological oxidation. It was found that the presence or absence of barite or carbonate minerals can be used to predict the leaching behavior of the column material.
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