Inderscience Publishers

Mineralogical constraints on the mobility of arsenic in tailings from Zimapan, Hidalgo, Mexico

0
Arsenic mobility was studied in tailings from Zimapan, a mining zone of Mexico. Primary mineral phases are quartz, calcite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite and arsenopyrite. Secondary minerals in oxidised tailings include gypsum, K-jarosite, lepidocrocite, goethite, beudantite and kaolinite. The highest levels of As (up to 3.95 ± 2.29 weight %), Zn (up to 3.26 ± 2.21 weight %) and Pb (up to 0.93 ± 0.83 weight %) were measured in unoxidised tailings located at the edge of the town. Concentrations in water leachates from oxidised tailings were: As (0.41–48.68 mg/L), Zn (1.5–400 mg/L), Pb (<1.0–1.8 mg/L) and Fe (1.9–897.5 mg/L). Mineralogy, pH, and heterogeneity of tailings, explain these concentration ranges. Arsenopyrite oxidation releases arsenic that is then partly incorporated in secondary minerals like beudantite and K-jarosite. Arsenic is also immobilised by sorption onto positively charged surfaces of hydrous ferric oxides.

Keywords: arsenic mobility, mining, mineralogy, metals, oxidised tailings, Mexico, water leachates, secondary minerals, arsenopyrite oxidation, arsenic concentrations, sorption, chemistry, environmental pollution

Customer comments

No comments were found for Mineralogical constraints on the mobility of arsenic in tailings from Zimapan, Hidalgo, Mexico. Be the first to comment!