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TitleMobilization and attenuation of antimony at an inactive gold mine
AuthorBeauchemin, SORCID logo; Kwong, Y T J; Parsons, M BORCID logo; Desbarats, AORCID logo; Percival, J BORCID logo; Pratt, A
SourceProceedings, 10th International Conference on Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements : Frontiers in Trace Elements Research and Education; 2009.
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20080426
Meeting10th International Conference on the Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements (ICOBTE); Chihuahua; MX; July 13-16, 2009
Subjectsgeochemistry; mines; gold; arsenic geochemistry; antimony geochemistry; mineralization; drainage; leaching; sediments; stibnite; arsenopyrite; geochemical analyses
ProgramEnvironment and Health
Released2009 01 01
AbstractGold deposits often contain various sulfide minerals such as arsenopyrite (FeAsS) and less commonly stibnite (Sb2S3). With mining, the exposed sulfides become vulnerable to oxidation which can lead to metal leaching. Although arsenic (As) contamination associated with gold mining has been extensively documented, little is known about antimony (Sb) leaching. This study investigates the occurrence and intensity of Sb mobilization in sediments collected along the flow path of an alkaline drainage from an inactive mine. The gold mineralization is considered mesothermal in origin. Stibnite is the main Sb-bearing mineral in the host rock whereas As occurs in associated arsenopyrite. X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy provided evidence of Sb oxidation in the sediments collected inside the adit. Elevated dissolved Sb was measured in the pore water of these sediments, presumably due to weathering of exposed Sb-bearing minerals. From the portal to a wetland located 120 m downstream, pore water Sb concentrations dropped from 160 ?g L-1 to < 5 ?g L-1. Settling in a pond upstream of the wetland and the dilution within the wetlands are two significant factors for attenuating the transport of Sb in the drainage system.

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