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Lead Mobilization and Speciation in Mining Waste: Experiments and Modeling

Abstract : Mining produces significant amounts of solid mineral waste. Mine waste storage facilities are often challenging to manage and may cause environmental problems. Mining waste is often linked to contaminated mine drainage, including acidic waters with more or less elevated concentrations of trace metals such as lead. This work presents a study on the mobilization of lead from waste from two typical mining sites: Zeida and Mibladen, two now-closed former Pb–Zn mines in the Moulouya region of Morocco. Our research investigates the mobilization potential of Pb from the waste of these mines. The study involved acid–base neutralization capacity tests (ANC–BNC) combined with geochemical modeling. Experimental data allowed for the quantification of the buffering capacity of the samples and the mobilization rates of lead as a function of pH. The geochemical model was fitted to experimental results with thermodynamic considerations. The geochemical model allowed for the identification of the mineral phases involved in providing the buffering capacity of carbonated mining waste (Mibladen) and the meager buffering capacity of the silicate mining waste (Zeida). These cases are representative of contaminated neutral drainage (CND) and acid mine drainage (AMD), respectively. The results highlight the consistency between the ANC–BNC experimental data and the associated modeling in terms of geochemical behavior, validating the approach and identifying the main mechanisms involved. The modeling approach identifies the dissolution of the main solid phases, which impact the pH and the speciation of lead as a function of the pH. This innovative approach, combining ANC–BNC experiments and geochemical modeling, allowed for the accurate identification of mineral phases and surface complexation phenomena, which control the release of lead and its speciation in drainage solutions, as well as within solid phases, as a function of pH.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 6, 2021 - 1:38:30 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 26, 2021 - 12:06:03 PM

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Clémentine Drapeau, Rabei Argane, Cécile Delolme, Denise Blanc, Mostafa Benzaazoua, et al.. Lead Mobilization and Speciation in Mining Waste: Experiments and Modeling. Minerals, MDPI, 2021, 11 (6), pp.606. ⟨10.3390/min11060606⟩. ⟨hal-03279256⟩

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