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Prediction of Metal Mobility from Sulfidic Waste Rocks Using Micro-Analytical Tools, Spray, Tasmania


Fox, N and Parbhakar-Fox, A and Lottermoser, B, Prediction of Metal Mobility from Sulfidic Waste Rocks Using Micro-Analytical Tools, Spray, Tasmania, Environmental Indicators in Metal Mining, Springer International Publishing, B Lottermoser (ed), Switzerland, pp. 263-277. ISBN 978-3-319-42729-4 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

DOI: doi:10.1007/978-3-319-42731-7_15


The Zeehan Pb-Zn field in western Tasmania (Australia) contains over one hundred abandoned and historical mine sites. Combined with a temperate rainforest climate and abundant waste rock material, many sites are affected by acid rock drainage (ARD). The Spray mine, located southwest of the town of Zeehan, was one of the field’s largest historical producers of Pb and Ag. Abandoned in the early 1900s, the site contains numerous adits and waste rock piles which contribute to ARD in the region. The aim of this study was to predict the likely ARD surface water quality, using the major and trace element chemistry of sulfide minerals present within waste materials on site. Major ore sulfides are galena and sphalerite with associated Sb-rich sulfosalt minerals including boulangerite and geocrocite. These minerals contain minor concentrations of Ag, Bi, Cd , In and Sn. Minor arsenopyrite and abundant pyrite (average 7500 ppm As) represent the main repository for As. Siderite is a major gangue mineral, containing slightly elevated In, Pb, Sb and Zn (250–50 ppm). Metals and metalloids (Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Cu, In, Pb, Zn) contained within sulfides and siderite may be mobilized upon mineral dissolution into ARD waters. Consequently, micro-analytical analyses of sulfides and associated gangue minerals can assist in the prediction of aqueous metal and metalloid mobility from sulfidic waste rock piles.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:mine waste management, sufide oxidation, acid mine drainage, mineralogy, critical metals
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Geology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use
UTAS Author:Fox, N (Dr Nathan Fox)
UTAS Author:Parbhakar-Fox, A (Dr Anita Parbhakar-Fox)
UTAS Author:Lottermoser, B (Professor Bernd Lottermoser)
ID Code:112027
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:CODES ARC
Deposited On:2016-10-21
Last Modified:2018-04-23

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