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  • 1.
    Alakangas, Lena
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Salifu, Musah
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Rasmussen, Thorkild Maack
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Heino, Neea
    Geological Survey of Finland, Finland.
    Hyvönen, Eija
    Geological Survey of Finland, Finland.
    Karlsson, Teemu
    Geological Survey of Finland, Finland.
    Panttila, Hannu
    Geological Survey of Finland, Finland.
    Pietilä, Raija
    Geological Survey of Finland, Finland.
    Tornivaara, Anna
    Geological Survey of Finland, Finland.
    Turunen, Kaisa
    Geological Survey of Finland, Finland.
    Lu, Jinmei
    UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway.
    Fu, Shuai
    UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway.
    Bui, Minh Tuan
    UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway.
    Heiderscheidt, Elisangela
    University of Oulu, Finland.
    Postila, Heini
    University of Oulu, Finland.
    Leiviskä, Tiina
    University of Oulu, Finland.
    Ronkanen, Anna-kaisa
    University of Oulu, Finland.
    Kujala, Katharina
    University of Oulu, Finland.
    Khan, Uzair
    University of Oulu, Finland.
    Gogoi, Harshita
    University of Oulu, Finland.
    Min-North: Development, Evaluation and Optimization of Measures to Reduce the  Environmental Impact of Mining Activities in Northern Regions2019Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Min-North (Development, Evaluation and Optimization of Measures to Reduce the Environment Impact of Mining Activities in Northern Regions) project was a trans-national cooperative project, with participants from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), University of Oulu (UO), UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and SMEs from Sweden, Finland and Norway. The project was funded by Interreg Nord and Norrbottens länsstyrelse. The participants have expertise in mine waste management, mine water treatment and geophysics. The overall aim of the project was to enhance the development of environmental protection technologies. An associated goal was to deepen cross-border cooperation by creating a larger critical mass of researchers in mine waste management and local SMEs in the Northern regions with greater capacities to disseminate and implement new methods, products and services. The project ran for 36 months from the 1st of January 2016 to the end of December 2018.

     

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  • 2.
    Salifu, Musah
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Stable and radiogenic isotopes as tracers for geochemical processes in mineralogically-complex mine waste environments: Insights from 13C, 2H, 18O, 34S and 87Sr/86Sr.2020Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Salifu, Musah
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Aiglsperger, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Hällström, Lina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Martinsson, Olof
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Billström, Kjell
    Department of Geological Sciences, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Frescativagen 40, Box 50007, 104 05, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Ingri, Johan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Dold, Bernhard
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Alakangas, Lena
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotopes: A tracer for geochemical processes in mineralogically-complex mine wastes2018In: Applied Geochemistry, ISSN 0883-2927, E-ISSN 1872-9134, Vol. 99, p. 42-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Interpretation of geochemical data based primarily on elemental concentrations often lead to ambiguous results due to multiple potential sources including mineral weathering, atmospheric input, biological cycling, mineral precipitation and exchange processes. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio is however not fractionated by these processes. In this study, Sr isotope (87Sr/86Sr) ratios have been coupled with chemical data of Sr and Rb-bearing minerals, tailings and leachates (water-soluble) to gain insight into the geochemical processes occurring within the Yxsjöberg Cu-W mine tailings, Sweden. The tailings have been exposed to oxidizing conditions resulting in three geochemical zones namely (i) oxidized, (ii) transition and (iii) unoxidized zones. Leachates from the oxidized zone are acidic (pH = 3.6–4.5) and contain elevated concentrations of metals (e.g. Fe, Cu and Zn) and SO4. The low pH has also led to subsequent weathering of most silicates, releasing Al, Ca, Mg and Na into solution. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio in the tailings ranges from 0.84787 to 1.26640 in the oxidized zone, 0.92660–1.06788 in the transition zone, whilst the unoxidized zone has values between 0.76452 and 1.05169. For the leachates, the 87Sr/86Sr ratio ranges from 2.44479 to 5.87552 in the oxidized zone, 1.37404–1.68844 in the transition zone and 1.03697–2.16340 in the unoxidized zone. Mixing (between mineral weathering and atmospheric sources) was identified as the major process regulating the Sr composition of the tailings and leachates. The highly radiogenic signatures of the leachates in the oxidized zone suggests weathering of biotite, K-feldspar and muscovite. Despite the very radiogenic signatures in the oxidized zone, increments in Ca/K ratios, Be, Ce, Tl, Al, Fe and SO4 concentrations in the water-soluble phase were recorded in its lower parts which suggests the dissolution of amphibole, pyroxene, plagioclase, fluorite, gypsum, Al and Fe –(oxy) hydroxides as well as cation exchange by clay minerals. Presence of clay minerals has led to the partial retainment of radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr resulting in increased 87Sr/86Sr in the solid tailings material at these depths. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the water-soluble phase in the transition zone is similar to that of helvine and could indicate its dissolution. In the upper part of the oxidized zone, the 87Sr/86Sr ratios and trends of Be, Ca, SO4, Tl and Zn in the water-soluble phase suggest the dissolution of gypsum which precipitated from a leachate with the isotopic signature of helvine. In the lower part of the unoxidized zone, elevated concentrations of W were recorded suggesting scheelite weathering. But the 87Sr/86Sr ratios are higher than that expected from dissolution of scheelite and indicates additional processes. Possible sources include biotite weathering and groundwater. This study reveals that when interpreting geochemical processes in mine waste environments, 87Sr/86Sr should be considered in addition to chemical constituents, as this isotopic tracer offers better insights into discriminating between different solute sources.

  • 4.
    Salifu, Musah
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Aiglsperger, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Mörth, Carl-Magnus
    Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Alakangas, Lena
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Stable sulphur and oxygen isotopes as indicators of sulphide oxidation reaction pathways and historical environmental conditions in a Cu–W–F skarn tailings piles, south-central Sweden2019In: Applied Geochemistry, ISSN 0883-2927, E-ISSN 1872-9134, Vol. 110, article id 104426Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Improved remediation strategies or predictive modelling of acid mine drainage (AMD) sites, require detailed understanding of the sulphide oxidation reaction pathways, as well as pollutant-source characterisation. In this study, ore minerals, solids and water-soluble fractions of an oxidising Cu–W–F skarn tailings in Yxsjöberg, Sweden, were chemically and isotopically (δ34S and δ18O) characterised to reveal sulphate (SO42−) sources, sulphide oxidation reaction pathways and historical environmental conditions in the tailings. δ34S was additionally used to trace the weathering of danalite [(Fe,Mn,Zn)4Be3(SiO4)3S], a rare and unstable sulphur-bearing silicate mineral containing high concentrations of beryllium (Be) and zinc (Zn). Eighteen subsamples from a drill core of the tailings were subjected to batch leaching tests to obtain water-soluble fractions, which reflected both existing pore-waters and easily-soluble secondary minerals. The tailings were categorised into three geochemical zones: (i) oxidised zone (OZ), (ii) transition zone (TZ) and (iii) unoxidised zone (UZ), based on prevailing pH, elemental concentrations and colour. The upper OZ (UOZ) showed a sharp depletion of sulphur (S) and relatively higher δ18OSO4 values (−3.0 to +0.1‰) whereas the underlying lower OZ (LOZ) showed S accumulation and lower δ18OSO4 values (−4.6 to −4.2‰). The higher δ18OSO4 suggested the role of atmospheric oxygen, O2 (as oxidant), contribution of evaporated rainwaters and/or evaporation in the upper zones of the tailings. The lower δ18OSO4 values were indicative of ferric iron (Fe3+) as oxidant and the possible incorporation of 16O into SO42− during its formation, most probably from snow melt or depleted rainwater. The δ34SSO4 values in the OZ (+2.3 to +2.4‰) suggested SO42− from pyrrhotite oxidation in the UOZ which has been subsequently mobilised to the LOZ. Low δ34S fractionation (+0.2 to +1.9‰) between SO42− in the OZ and pyrrhotite, as well as the low δ18OSO4 values in the LOZ suggested the complete oxidation of pyrrhotite by Fe3+, signalling that previously, a low pH (<3) prevailed in the tailings. Mineralogical observations confirmed that pyrrhotite was completely oxidised in the UOZ, with the formation of hydrous ferric oxides (HFOs) coatings. The observed current high δ18OSO4 and pH (3.9–4.5) values in the UOZ were attributed to decreased oxidation rate and silicate buffering, limiting the availability of aqueous Fe3+ and subsequent formation of HFOs. The δ34SSO4 signatures of the water-soluble SO42− in the TZ and UUZ suggested the dissolution of gypsum which precipitated from a leachate from the weathering of danalite in the UOZ. In the middle UZ, the δ34SSO4 (−0.8 to +0.6‰) and δ18OSO4 (−1.8 to −1.0‰) signatures corresponded to SO42− from a mixture of pyrite, pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite oxidation by O2 at the LOZ (i.e. oxidation front). Negative δ34S fractionation values (−3.0 to −1.6‰) between these minerals and the water-soluble SO42− were attributed to the potential formation of intermediate S species, due to the partial oxidation of the sulphides. Consequently, the S accumulation in the LOZ could be due to the likely formation of the intermediate S species and secondary pyrite identified in this zone. The lower UZ coincided with the groundwater table and registered consistent negative δ34SSO4 (−2.6 to −1.8‰) and δ18OSO4 (−7.6 to −4.4‰) values. These signatures were hypothesised to be controlled by SO42− from the mineralisation of organic S in peat underneath the tailings and/or H2S oxidation, with possible contribution from sulphide oxidation in the tailings. This study highlights the usefulness of δ34S and δ18O as tracers of geochemical processes and environmental conditions that have existed in the tailings.

  • 5.
    Salifu, Musah
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Hällström, Lina
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Aiglsperger, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    Mörth, Carl-Magnus
    Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Alakangas, Lena
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
    A simple model for evaluating isotopic (18O, 2H and 87Sr/86Sr) mixing calculations of mine: Impacted surface waters2020In: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, ISSN 0169-7722, E-ISSN 1873-6009, Vol. 232, article id 103640Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study was aimed at identifying and quantifying mixing proportions in surface waters downstream of historical Cu-W-F skarn mine tailings at Yxsjöberg, Sweden, using 18O, 2H, and 87Sr/86Sr isotopes. In addition, a simple mathematical model was developed to evaluate the consistency of the mixing calculations. Hydrochemical and isotopic data from 2 groundwater wells, 6 surface water and 2 rainwater sampling sites, spanning 6 sampling campaigns between May and October were used. Three mixed surface waters downstream of the tailings were identified, namely: C7, C11 and C14. C7 was directly influenced by groundwater from the tailings whereas C11 was also subsequently influenced by C7. C14 on the other hand, had contributions from C11. Sequential mixing calculations indicated that the contribution of the groundwater to C7 ranges from 1 to 17%. The subsequent contribution of C7 to C11 varied from 49 to 91% whereas C14 had contributions of C11 ranging between 16 and 56%. A strong agreement between the model data (MD) and measured raw data (RD) for C11 and C14 indicated the accuracy of the mixing calculations. Variations between the MD and RD at C7, however, was mainly due to sorption and reductive processes underneath the tailings, which tend to attenuate the amount of dissolved ions reaching the surface waters, resulting in a low ionic contribution of the tailings groundwater to the surface water. The low ionic contribution of the groundwater to C7 suggested that although the tailings impoundment is of environmental concern, its impact on the downstream surface waters is small. The results of this study suggest that mixing calculations in surface waters involving a closed system such as groundwater (as an end-member) must be treated with caution. It is recommended that the interpretation of such mixing results must be coupled with detailed knowledge of the potential hydrogeochemical processes along its flow paths.

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