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The formation of unsaturated zones within cemented paste backfill mixtures: Effects on the release of copper, nickel, and zinc
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5010-4815
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7585-4017
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7291-8585
2018 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Flooding of cemented paste backfill (CPB) filled mine workings is, commonly, a slow process and could lead to the formation of unsaturated zones within the CPB-fillings. This facilitates the oxidation of sulfide minerals, and thereby increases the risk of trace-metal leaching. Pyrrhotitic tailings from a gold mine (CT), containing elevated concentrations of Ni, Cu and Zn, were mixed with cement and/or fly ash (1-3 wt. %) to form CT-CPB-mixtures. Pyrrhotite oxidation progressed more extensively during unsaturated conditions, where acidity resulted in dissolution of the Ni, Cu, and Zn associated with amorphous Fe-precipitates and/or cementitious phases. The establishment of acidic, unsaturated conditions in CT-CBP:s with low fractions (1 wt. %) of binders increased the Cu-release (to be higher than that from CT), owing to the dissolution of Cu-associated amorphous Fe-precipitates. In CT-CPB:s with relatively high proportions of binder, acidity from pyrrhotite oxidation was buffered to a greater extent. At this stage, Zn-leaching increased due the occurrence of fly ash-specific Zn-species soluble in alkaline conditions. Irrespective of binder proportion and water saturation level, the Ni- and Zn-release were lower, compared to that in CT. Fractions of Ni, Zn, and Cu associated with acid-soluble phases or amorphous Fe-precipitates, susceptible to remobilization under acidic conditions, increased in tandem with binder fractions. Pyrrhotite oxidation occurred irrespective of the water saturation level in the CPB-mixtures. That in turn, poses an environmental risk, whereas a substantial proportion of Ni, Cu and Zn were associated with acid-soluble phases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keyword [en]
Tailings management, cement, trace metal leaching
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Geochemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68435DOI: 10.1007/s11356-018-2222-9PubMedID: 29756187OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-68435DiVA, id: diva2:1199394
Available from: 2018-04-20 Created: 2018-04-20 Last updated: 2018-05-21
In thesis
1. Cementation of cyanidation tailings – effects on the release of As, Cu, Ni and Zn
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cementation of cyanidation tailings – effects on the release of As, Cu, Ni and Zn
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2018. p. 35
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Applied Geochemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68436 (URN)978-91-7790-124-2 (ISBN)978-91-7790-125-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-15, E246, Luleå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-04-23 Created: 2018-04-20 Last updated: 2018-05-22Bibliographically approved

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