Solid-Phase Distribution and Leaching Behaviour of Nickel and Uranium in a Uranium Waste-Rock Piles
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The potential risk of surface and groundwater contamination by the heavy metals and radionuclides leached from uranium waste-rock piles (UWRP) is a major environmental concern in the uranium-mining district of Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the nickel and uranium leaching behaviour in the UWRP lithological materials. In addition to the chemical characterization, these selected UWRP geomedia samples were also subjected to the sequential extraction procedure, availability test to quantify leaching potential and cumulative leaching test (CLT). Sequential extractions results demonstrated substantial observed differences in the Ni and U distribution patterns among various operationally defined geochemical fractions. A large fraction of total Ni concentration was associated with non-labile residual fraction while U was mainly present in the labile fractions. The observed labile Ni and U concentrations also remained relatively high in the gneissic basement materials and underlying organic-rich lake sediment. In case of basement materials, both Ni and U concentrations in solution with the first CLT fraction exceeds their maximum permissible levels in both surface and groundwater. Leaching test results confirmed that Ni and U leachability depends on their total content distribution in various solid phase fractions, and several geochemical processes are controlling the solubility of Ni and U geochemical phases in the UWRP. Our experimental data suggest the potential for a long-term risk to surface and groundwater contamination from these UWRP.
- Birkham, T. K., Hendry, M. J., Mendoza, C. A., Wassenaar, L. I., & Landine, P. (2003). Characterizing geochemical reactions in unsaturated mine waste-rock piles using gaseous O2, CO2, 12CO2 and 13CO2. Environmental Science and Technology, 37, 496–501. CrossRef
- Cameco. (1998). Key Lake Operation preliminary geochemistry report: 1996–1997 waste rock drilling and investigation project. Saskatoon: Cameco Corp. Engineering and Projects Department.
- Campos, M. B., de Azevedo, H., Nascimento, M. R. L., Roque, C. V., & Rodgher, S. (2011). Environmental assessment of water from a uranium mine (Caldas, Minas Gerais State, Brazil) in a decommissioning operation. Environmental Earth Sciences, 62(2011), 857–863. CrossRef
- Chakrabarty Patra, A., Somesh, C. G., Mohapatra, S., Sahoo, S. K., Tripathi, R. M., & Puranik, V. D. (2011). Long-term leaching of uranium from different waste matrices. Journal of Environmental Management, 92, 919–925. CrossRef
- Crespo, M. T., Perez Del Villar, L., Jimenz, A., Pelayo, M., Quejido, A., & Sanchez, M. (1996). Uranium isotopic distribution of granatic fracture fillings by sequential extraction procedure. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 47, 927–931. CrossRef
- Ecke, H., & Åberg, A. (2006). Quantification of the effects of environmental leaching factors on emissions from bottom ash in road construction. Science of the Total Environment, 362, 42–49. CrossRef
- Fällman, A. M. (1997). Performance and design of availability test for measurement of potentially available amount from waste materials. Environmental Science and Technology, 31, 735–744. CrossRef
- Farnandes, H. M., & Franklin, F. M. (2001). Assessment of acid rock drainage pollutants release in the uranium mining site of Poços de Caldas—Brazil. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 54, 5–25. CrossRef
- Gambrell, R. P. (1994). Trace and toxic metals in wetland. Journal of Environmental Quality, 23, 883–891. CrossRef
- Jerden, J. L., Sinha, A. K., & Zelazny, L. (2003). Natural immobilization of uranium by phosphate mineralization in an oxidizing saprolite-soil profile: chemical weathering of the Coles Hill uranium deposit, Virginia. Chemical Geology, 199, 129–157. CrossRef
- Kinniburgh, D. G., Jackson, M. L., & Syres, J. K. (1976). Adsorption of alkaline earth, transition and heavy metal cations by hydrous oxide gels of iron and aluminum. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 40, 796–799. CrossRef
- Lacala, J., da Silvaa, M. P., Garćia, R., Sevilla, T. M., Procopioa, J. R., & Hernández, L. (2003). Study of fractionation and potential mobility of metal in sludge from pyrite mining and affected river sediments: changes in mobility over time and use of artificial ageing as a tool in environmental impact assessment. Environmental Pollution, 124, 291–305. CrossRef
- Margui, E., Salvadó, V., Queralt, I., & Hidalgo, M. (2004). Comparison of three-stage sequential extraction and toxicity characteristic leaching tests to evaluate metal mobility in mining wastes. Analytica Chimica Acta, 524, 151–159. CrossRef
- Martin, R., Sanchez, D. M., & Gutierrez, A. M. (1998). Sequential extraction of U, Th, Ce, La and some heavy metals in sediments from Ortigas river, Spain. Talanta, 46, 1115–1121. CrossRef
- NEN 7341 (1995a). Leaching characteristics of solid earthy and stony building and waste materials. Leaching tests. Determination of availability of inorganic compounds for leaching, 1st edn, February 1995, Delft, 10 pp.
- NEN 7349 (1995b). Leaching characteristics of solid earthy and stony building and waste materials. Leaching tests. Determination of the leaching of inorganic components from granular materials with the cascade test, 1st edn, February 1995, Delft, 10 pp.
- Noller, B. N., Watters, R. A., & Woods, P. H. (1997). The role of biogeochemical processes in minimising uranium dispersion from a mine site. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 58, 37–50. CrossRef
- Plante, B., Benzaazoua, M., Bussière, B., Biesinger, M. C., & Pratt, A. R. (2010). Study of Ni sorption onto Tio mine waste rock surfaces. Applied Geochemistry, 25, 1830–1844. CrossRef
- Quevauviller, P., Rauret, G., Muntau, H., Ure, A. M., Rubio, R., López-Sánchez, J. F., Fiedler, H. D., & Griepink, B. (1994). Evaluation of a sequential extraction procedure for the determination of extractable trace metal contents in sediments. Fresenius’ Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 349, 808–814. CrossRef
- Quevauviller, P., Lachica, M., Barahona, B., Rauret, G., Ure, A. M., Gomez, A., & Muntau, H. (1996). Inter laboratory comparison of EDTA and DTPA procedures prior to certification of extractable trace elements in calcareous soils. Science of the Total Environment, 178, 127–132. CrossRef
- Ramos, L., Hernandez, L. M., & Gonzalez, M. J. (1994). Sequential extraction of copper, lead, cadmium, and zinc in soils from or near Donana national park. Journal of Environmental Quality, 17, 42–47.
- Raous, S., Becquer, T., Garnier, J., Martins, É. D. S., Echevarria, G., & Sterckeman, T. (2010). Mobility of metals in nickel mine spoil materials. Applied Geochemistry, 25, 1746–1755. CrossRef
- Ritchie, A. I. M. (1994). The waste rock environment. In J.L. Jambor & D.W. Blowes (Eds.), Short course handbook on environmental geochemistry of sulfide mine-wastes (Vol. 22, pp. 201–245). Québec: Mineralogical Association of Canada.
- Singh, S. P., Tack, F. M. G., & Verloo, M. G. (1998). Heavy metal fractionation and extractability in dredged sediment derived surface soils. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 102, 313–328. CrossRef
- Singh, S. P., Ma, L. Q., Tack, F. M. G., & Verloo, M. G. (2000). Trace metal leachability in land disposed dredged sediment. Journal of Environmental Quality, 29, 1124–1132. CrossRef
- Sowder, A. G., Bertch, P. M., & Morris, P. J. (2003). Partitioning and availability of uranium and nickel in contaminated riparian sediments. Journal of Environmental Quality, 32, 885–898.
- Tack, F. M. G., & Verloo, M. G. (1995). Chemical speciation and fractionation in soils and sediments. Journal of Environmental and Analytical Chemistry, 59, 225–238. CrossRef
- Tossavainen, M., & Forssberg, E. (1999). The potential leachability from natural and road construction materials. Science of the Total Environment, 239, 31–47. CrossRef
- Ure, A. M. (1990). Methods of analysis for heavy metals in soils. In B. J. Alloway (Ed.), Heavy metals in soils (pp. 40–73). Glasgow: Blackie.
- US Environment Protection Agency (2000). Current drinking water standards. http://www.epa.gov/safewater/mcl.html; updated July 24th 2000.
- Utermann, J., Düwel, O., Gäbler, H. E., Hindel R. (1999). Substrate- and element specific relation of real total versus aqua regia soluble contents of heavy metals in soils. In: W. W. Wenzel, et al. (ed.) Proc. 5th Int. Conf. Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements, Vienna, Austria (pp. 406–407). 11 Jul-15 Jul. 1999.
- Van der Sloot, H. A., & Van Zomeren, A. (2012). Characterisation leaching tests and associated geochemical speciation modeling to assess long term release behavior from extractive wastes. Mine Water and the Environment, 31, 92–103. CrossRef
- Van der Slot, H. A., Comans, R. N. J., & Hjlmer, O. (1996). Similarities in the leaching behaviour of trace contaminants from waste, stabilized waste, construction materials and soils. Science of the Total Environment, 178, 111–126. CrossRef
- Wennrich, R., Daus, B., Müller, K., Hans_Joachim, S., Brüggeman, L., & Morgenstern, P. (2012). Behavior of metalloids and metals from highly polluted soil samples when mobilized by water—evaluation of static versus dynamic leaching. Environmental Pollution, 165, 59–66. CrossRef
- Solid-Phase Distribution and Leaching Behaviour of Nickel and Uranium in a Uranium Waste-Rock Piles
Water, Air, & Soil Pollution
- Online Date
- November 2012
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Uranium waste-rock pile
- Availability test
- Cascade leaching test
- Sequential extraction procedure
- Industry Sectors