The tailings got here from the Joutel gold mine, closed since 1994 in northern Quebec. Utilizing the SGM beamline on the CLS and different applied sciences, the staff analyzed weathered samples taken slightly below the floor of the tails and recent samples from beneath the water desk. Important variations between them have been outlined.
The deeper samples have been protected by a hardpan layer and never uncovered to air or water. They have been impartial and posed little environmental threat.
The shallow pattern was acid-generating and leached dangerous quantities of metals into the groundwater.
The authors concluded that it takes years of weathering to create secondary minerals that develop in tailings. The outcomes additionally level to the inadequacy of the laboratory checks accomplished 20 years in the past to find out the dangers of leaving tailings in place after mine closure.
“This story is gorgeous as a result of we had conclusions and interpretations from 20 years in the past, and our new conclusions problem them by bringing new insights,” mentioned co-author Mostafa Benzaazou of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Temiscamingue (UQAT). “This mine web site, we all know it very deeply now as a result of we had entry to excessive stage services and analysis instruments. We perceive even the advanced speciation and destiny of the weather. So, we perceive the sphere behaviour of this mine web site and the micro-scale behaviour of its tailings.”
The research was led by Dr. Abdellatif Elghali whereas he was a doctoral scholar at RIME UQAT-Polytechnique in Montreal. Learn the total report here.
(This text first appeared within the Canadian Mining Journal)