A preliminary investigation and evaluation of the thallium environmental impacts of the unmined Xiangquan thallium-only deposit in Hexian, China
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Zhou, T and Fan, Y and Yuan, F and Cooke, DR and Zhang, X and Li, LJ, A preliminary investigation and evaluation of the thallium environmental impacts of the unmined Xiangquan thallium-only deposit in Hexian, China, Environmental Geology, 54, (1) pp. 131-145. ISSN 0943-0105 (2008) [Refereed Article]
The Xiangquan Thallium-only deposit in Hexian, east China is a newly found near-surface and unmined shallow-seated thallium deposit. The 250t Tl deposit is hosted in Lower Ordovician Lunshan Group as lenticular and confined by northeast F1, F2 faults. The metallic minerals are dominated by pyrite, more than 95% Tl occurs in pyrite as tiny individual grains or as ''invisible thallium". Tl and other trace elements pollution in ecosystems such as soils, surface and ground waters and water sediments, plants and crops, and animal and human beings in Xiangquan near the Tl ore deposit have been investigated and evaluated. Results show that Tl as well as As and Sb in ecosystems in Xiangquan around the deposit have enriched, they came from Tl-pyrite in the ore bodies and in the parent rocks of weathered soils on top of the ore bodies and went into the nearby ecosystems through weathering, leaching and dissolving. In 2 km 2 around the Xiaolongwang Mountain where the Tl ore deposit seated, soils, vegetables, crops have been polluted or heavily polluted by Tl, As and Sb. Farmlands near the ore body are not fit to grow vegetables and crops. Thermal Spring water in Xiangquan town and pond water close to the Tl deposit are not potable. Tl also enriches in human hair and urinate of villagers who live close to the Tl deposit. Even through the Tl-only deposit has put clear environmental impacts on the local environment and ecosystems around it, no serious consequences of Tl pollution have so far taken place due to unmining of the Tl deposit as well as the screen effect of the silicficious breccia cap on top of it. All this work adds new knowledge to understand Tl behavior in unmined Tl deposit, and also benefit to the local environmental protection and the future mineral resources exploration. © 2007 Springer-Verlag.
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