Secondary arsenic minerals and arsenic mobility in a historical waste rock pile at Kaňk near Kutná Hora, Czech Republic
The arsenic mineralization in historical waste rock pile at Kaňk site near Kutná Hora developed over a period of about 500 years. The objective of this study was to determine principal secondary arsenic mineral phases and their environmental stability. The only common primary As-bearing mineral – arsenopyrite - occurs in the mineral assemblage of Kutná Hora base-metal deposit together with quartz, pyrite, sphalerite, and pyrrhotite. Most of arsenic is bound in supergene minerals (scorodite, jarosite-beudantite, bukovskýite, pitticite), which are relatively stable under oxidizing conditions prevailing in the pile. The Kaňk site is a type locality for bukovskýite, kaňkite, zýkaite, and parascorodite. In long-term perspective, the most stable minerals from viewpoint of As-binding appear to be scorodite and beudantite. A higher mobility was observed for As incorporated into jarosite and poorly crystalline to amorphous phases (FeIII -oxyhydroxides, pitticite). This study has not confirmed significant mobility of arsenic within the pile and water infiltrating in recharge periods of the year (late winter-early spring) should not mobilize arsenic at a significant rate. However, monitoring of the stability of secondary As-phases and dissolved arsenic in the environment around the pile is required to avoid future migration of arsenic out of the pile.
KeywordsArsenic Pyrite Gypsum Mineral Assemblage Galena
This research was supported by the Moravian Museum under the grant of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic as part of its long-term conceptual development programme for research institutions (ref. MK000094862). The authors also acknowledge the support by the Operational Program Research and Development for Innovations – European Regional Development Fund (CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0058) of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. They also thank Prof. A. Beran and two anonymous reviewers for comments, which helped to improve the manuscript.
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