A detailed characterization of the site is crucial to designing an efficient method of managing the risks associated with tailings from abandoned mines. Therefore, samples collected from various depths within tailings in Guryong mine, Korea, were analyzed for their chemical, physical and mineralogical characteristics. All samples of the Guryong tailings had acid-generating potential. However, in the oxidation zone, the net acid generation (NAG) was low (30 kg H2SO4 t-1) although the acid neutralization potential (ANP) was less than zero. The ANP values in the unoxidation zone were higher (> -56.0 kg CaCO3 t-1) than in the other zones. As a result, the amount of alkali ions that are needed to neutralize the acid needs to be considered. In this experiment G3, G4 and G6 drill cores containing fine tailings particles near the unoxidation zone were observed to contain calcite (CaCO3) with acid-neutralizing capacity. A low pH (2-4) in the oxidation zone of the tailings changed to a neutral pH in the unoxidation zone of the tailings. These results suggest that the acid-neutralizing capacity of the tailings was controlled by particle and mineral composition of tailings.
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Acknowledgments This research was conducted as a part of the Core Environmental Technology Development Project for Next Generation (Eco-Technopia 21) of the Korean Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (KIEST) under contract 04003–0008.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Water Science and Technology
- Soil Science