Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Assessing anthropogenic levels, speciation, and potential mobility of rare earth elements (REEs) in ex-tin mining area

  • 413 Accesses

  • 5 Citations

Abstract

A study was carried out to determine the level of rare earth elements (REEs) in water and sediment samples from ex-mining lakes and River in Kinta Valley, Perak, Malaysia. Surface water and sediments from an ex-mining lake and Kinta River water samples were analyzed for REEs by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The total concentration of REEs in the ex-mining lake water samples and sediments were found to be 3685 mg/l and 14159 mg/kg, respectively, while the total concentration of REEs in Kinta River water sample was found to be 1224 mg/l. REEs in mining lake water were found to be within 2.42 mg/l (Tb) to 46.50 mg/l (Ce), while for the Kinta River, it was 1.33 mg/l (Ho) to 29.95 mg/l (Ce). Sediment samples were also found with REEs from 9.81 mg/kg (Ho) to 765.84 mg/kg (Ce). Ce showed the highest average concentrations for mining lake (3.88 to 49.08 mg/l) and Kinta River (4.44 to 33.15 mg/l) water samples, while the concentration of La was the highest (11.59 to 771.61 mg/kg) in the mining lake sediment. Lu was shown to have the highest enrichment of REEs in ex-mining lake sediments (107.3). Multivariate statistical analyses such as factor analysis and principal component analysis indicated that REEs were associated and controlled by mixed origin, with similar contributions from anthropogenic and geogenic sources. The speciation study of REEs in ex-tin mining sediments using a modified five-stage sequential extraction procedure indicated that yttrium (Y), gadolinium (Gd), and lanthanum (La) were obtained at higher percentages from the adsorbed/exchanged/carbonate fraction. The average potential mobility of the REEs was arranged in a descending order: Yb > Gd > Y = Dy > Pr > Er > Tm > Eu > Nd > Tb > Sc > Lu > Ce > La, implying that under favorable conditions, these REEs could be released and subsequently pollute the environment.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Scheme 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. Abrahim GMS, Parker RJ (2008) Assessment of heavy metals enrichment factors and the degree of contamination in marine sediments from Tamaki Estuary Auckland, New Zealand. Environmental Monitoring Assessment 136:227–238

  2. Abu-Kukati Y (2001) Heavy metal distribution and speciation in sediments from Ziglab Dam—Jordan. Journal of Geological Engineering 25:33–40

  3. Ahmad AK, Sarah A, Al-Mahaqeri (2015) Human health risk assessment of heavy metals in fish species collected from catchments of former tin mining. International Journal of Research Studies in Science Journal of Engineering and Technology 2:9–21

  4. Akif AF, Rida AA, Omar AK, Saleh T (2014) Geohazard evaluation of Bukit Merah/Malaysia using geospatial information technique. Journal of Civil and Environmental Research 6:44–59

  5. Ashraf MA, Maah MJ, Yusoff I, Wajid A, Mahmood K (2011) Sand mining effects, causes and concerns: a case study from Bestari Jaya Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia. Sci Res Essays 6:1216–1231

  6. Ashraf AM, Maah JM, Yusoff I, Ghararibreza M (2015) Speciation of heavy metals in the surface waters of a former tin mining catchment. Chemical speciation and Bioavailibility 24:1–12

  7. Azyana Y, Nik NNAR (2012) Water quality status of kinta river tributaries based on land use activities. International Conference on Environment, Energy and Biotechnology IPCBEE vol 33

  8. Bozau E, Leblanc M, Seidel JL, Stark HJ (2004) Light rare earth elements enrichment in an acidic mine lake (Lusatia, Germany). Appl Geochem 19:261–227

  9. Cakmak S, Dales R, Kauri LM, Mahmud M, Van Ryswyk K, Vanos J, Liu L, Kumarathasan P, Thomson E, Vincent R, Weichenthal S (2014) Metal composition of fine particulate air pollution and acute changes in cardiorespiratory physiology. Journal of Environmental Pollution 189:208–214

  10. Charrier JG, Mc Fall AS, Richards-Henderson NK, Anastasio C (2014) Hydrogen peroxide formation in a surrogate lung fluid by transition metals and quinones present in particulate matter. Environmental Science Technology 48:7010–7017

  11. Chen Z, Zhu X (2008) Accumulation of rare earth elements in bone and its toxicity and potential hazard to health. Journal of Ecological Rural Environment 24:88–91

  12. Cramer JJ, Nesbitt HW (1983) Mass balance regulations and trace-element mobility during continental weathering of various igneous rocks. Sciences Geologiques Memoir 73:63–73

  13. Davranche M, Gruau G, Dia A, Marsac R, Pedrot M, Pourret O (2014) Biogeochemical factors affecting rare earth element distribution in shallow wetland groundwater. Aquat Geochem 21:197–215

  14. Fagbote EO, Oipekunlan EO (2010) Speciation of heavy metals in sediment of Agbabu bitumen deposit area, Nigeria. J Appl Sci Environ Manag 14:47–51

  15. Fomba KW, Müller K, van Pinxteren D, Herrmann H (2013) Aerosol size-resolved trace metal composition in remote northern tropical atlantic marine environment: case study Cape Verde islands. Atmos Chem Phys 13(9):4801–4814

  16. Franklin RL, Favaro DT, Damatto SR (2016) Trace metal and rare earth elements in a sediment profile from the Rio Grande Reservoir, Sao Paulo, Brazil: determination of anthropogenic contamination, dating, and sedimentation rates. Journal of Radioanal Nuclear Chemistry 307:99–110

  17. Gao H (2009) General comments on rare earth and scarce resources in Baiyunebo. Science Technology Baotou Steel 35:1–6

  18. George WA, Christian K (2001) Mineralogical and chemical composition and distribution of rare earth elements in clay-rich sediments from central Uganda. Geochem J 35:13–28

  19. Geosciences Australia, Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources (2012) Commonwealth of Australia Canberra. Commonwealth of Australia

  20. Gomez -Aracena J, Riemersma RA, Gutierrez-Bedmar M, Bode P, Kark FJD, Garcia-Rodrıguez A, Gorgojo L, Veer P, Fernandez-Crehuet J, Kok F, Martin-Moreno JM (2006) Toenail cerium levels and risk of a first acute myocardial infection: the EURAMIC and heavy metals study. Chemosphere 64:112–120

  21. Gupta CK, Krishnamurthy N (2004) Extractive metallurgy of rare earths. CRC Press, Washington DC

  22. Hall GEM, Vaive JE, Beer R, Hoashi M (1996) Selective leaches revisited, with emphasis on the amorphous Fe oxyhydroxide phase extraction. J Geochem Explor 56(1):59–78

  23. Harris E, Sinha B, van Pinxteren D, Tilgner A, Fomba KW, Schneider J, Roth A, Gnauk T, Fahlbusch B, Mertes S, Lee T, Collett J, Foley S, Borrmann S, Hoppe P, Herrmann H (2013) Enhanced role of transition metal ion catalysis during in-cloud oxidation of SO2. Science 340:727–730

  24. Hatje V, Bruland KW, Flegal AR (2016) Increases in anthropogenic gadolinium anomalies and rare earth element concentrations in San Francisco Bay over a 20 year record. Environ Sci Technol 50:4159–4168

  25. Haung J, Haung R, Jiao JJ, Chen K (2007) Speciation and mobility of heavy metals in mud, in coastal reclamation areas in Chenzhen, China. Environment Geology 53:221–228

  26. Haxel GB, Hedrick JB, Orris GJ (2014) Rare earth elements critical resources for high technology, USGS Fact Sheet 087-02

  27. Hollriegl V, González-Estecha M, Trasobares EM, Giussani A, Oeh U, Herraiz MA, Michalke B (2010) Measurement of cerium in human breast milk and blood samples. Journal of Trace Element Medicine Biology 24:193–199

  28. Interim National Water Quality Standards for Malaysia (2006)

  29. Ismail B, Redzuwan Y, Chua RS, Shafiee W (2001) Radiological impacts of the amang processing industry on neighbouring residents. Applied Radiation Isotopes 54:393–397

  30. Jefferson K, Torrecilha L, Carvalho P, Gouvea FM, Paulo SC, Silva D (2015) Rare earths elements behaviour in Peruibe Black Mud. International Nuclear Atlantic Conference. October 4–9 ISBN: 978-85-99141-06-9

  31. Johannesson KH, Tang J, Danielsc JM, Bounds WJ, Burdige DJ (2004) Rare earth element concentrations and speciation in organic-rich blackwaters of the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia, USA. Chem Geol 209:271–294

  32. Justin P, Gwenette C (2011) Investigating rare earth element mine development in EPA Region 8 and potential environmental impacts. EPA Document-908R11003

  33. Kulaksız S, Bau M (2007) Contrasting behaviour of anthropogenic gadolinium and natural rare earth elements in estuaries and the gadolinium input into the North Sea. Earth Planet Sci Lett 260:361–371

  34. Li T, Wang Y, Li WJ, Chen MJ, Wang T, Wang WX (2015) Concentrations and solubility of trace elements in fine particles at a mountain site, southern China: regional sources and cloud processing. Atmosphere Chemical Physics 15:8987–9002

  35. Liang T, Li K, Wang L (2014) State of rare earth elements in different environmental components in mining areas of China. Environ Monit Assess 186(3):1499–1513

  36. Lim WY, Aris AZ, Zakaria MP (2012) Spatial variability of metals in surface water and sediment in the langat river and geochemical factors that influence their water-sediment interactions. Sci World J 2012:652150. doi:10.1100/2012/652150

  37. Linnen RL, Samson IM, Williams-Jones AE, Chakhmouradian AR (2014) Geochemistry of the rare-earth element, Nb, Ta, Hf, and Zr deposits. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-095975-7.01124-4

  38. Liu X, Sun L, Li D, Wang Y (2011) Rare earth elements in the ornithogenic sediments from the Maritime Antarctic: a potential new palaeoecology proxy. Geochem J 45:15–26

  39. Long KR, Van Gosen BS, Foley NK, Cordier D (2010) The principal rare earth elements deposits of the United States—a summary of domestic deposits and a global perspective. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report p- 2010–5220

  40. Lu GC, Gao ZH, Meng YX, Chen Q, Ren SY, Tang XK, et al. (1995) Hygienic investigation of different rare earth (RE) mining areas in China: RE levels of farmer’s natural living environment and head hair. Chinese Journal of Environmental Science 4:78–82

  41. Manno E, Varrica D, Dongarra G (2006) Metal distribution in road dust samples collected in an urban area close to a petrochemical plant at Gela, Sicily. Atmos Environ 40:5929–5941

  42. Martins VA, Dias JA, Laut LM, Sobrinho F, Santos JF, Rodrigues MA, Frontalini F, Miranda P, Terroso D, Fernández-Fernández S, Bernardes C, Figueira R, Sousa S, Amaral P, Mahiques M, Bernabeu A, Rey D, Rubio B, Rocha F (2013) Speciation of rare earth elements in surface sediments of Lagoon of Aveiro (N Portugal). J Coast Res 65:64–69

  43. Melfos V, Voudouris P (2012) Geological mineralogical and geochemical aspects for critical and rare metals in Greece. Minerals 2:300–317

  44. Muhammad AA, Mohd JM, Ismail Y, Mohamadreza G (2012) Speciation of heavy metals in the surface waters of a former tin mining catchment. Chem Speciat Bioavailab 24:1–12

  45. Nicolas T, Thomas JA, Timothy L, Armelle R (2006) Trace metals as paleoredox and paleoproductivity proxies: an update. Chem Geol 232:12–32

  46. Odat S’a (2011) Application of Geoaccumulation index and enrichment factors on the assessment of heavy metal pollution along Irbid/Zarqa Highway—Jordan. J Appl Sci 15:1318–1321

  47. Ogata T, Terakado Y (2006) Rare earth element abundances in some seawaters and related river waters from the Osaka Bay area, Japan: significance of anthropogenic Gd. Geochem J 40:463–474

  48. Ong MC, Fok FM, Sultan K, Joseph B (2016) Distribution of heavy metals and rare earth elements in the surface sediments of Penang River Estuary, Malaysia. Open Journal of Marine Science 6:79–92

  49. Prasoon KS, Poornima V, Ashwani KT, Shonam S, Parveen P (2015) Review of various contamination index approaches to evaluate groundwater quality with geographic information system (GIS). International journal of Chemical technology Research 7:1920–1929

  50. Protano G, Riccobono F (2002) High contents of rare earth elements (REEs) in stream waters of a Cu–Pb–Zn mining area. Environ Pollut 117:499–514

  51. Rahmanian N, Siti HBA, Homayoonfard M, Ali NJ, Rehan M, Sadef Y, Nizami AS (2015) Analysis of physiochemical parameters to evaluate the drinking water quality in the state of Perak. Malaysia Journal of Chemistry p:1–10

  52. Ramirez M, Massolo S, Fraiche R, Correa JA (2005) Metal speciation and environmental impact on sandy beaches due to El Salvador Coppermine, Chile. Journal of Marine Pollution Bulletin 50:62–71

  53. Rim KT, Koo KH, Park JS (2016) Toxicological evaluations of rare earths and their health impacts to workers: a literature review. Safety Health Work 4:12–26

  54. Stephanie SW, Karen HJ (2011) Controls on the geochemistry of rare earth elements in sediments and groundwaters of the Aquia aquifer. Maryland USA Chemical Geology 285:32–49

  55. Sultan K, Shazili NA (2009) Rare earth elements in tropical surface water, soil and sediments of the Terengganu River Basin. J Rare Earths 27:1073–1078

  56. Tao L, Kexin L, Lingqing W (2014) State of rare earth elements in different environmental components in mining areas of China. Journal of Environmental Monitoring Assessment 186:1499–1513

  57. USEPA (2012) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development Washington DC

  58. Wei B, Li Y, Li H, Yu J, Ye B, Liang T (2013) Rare earth elements in human hair from a mining area of China. Journal of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 96:118–123

  59. WHO (2005) Tin and inorganic tin compounds. World Health Organization, Geneva

  60. Wu L, Zhou YP, Zhong HJ (2003) A case-control study on the risk factors of leukemia in mining areas of rare-earth in South Jiangxi. Chinese Journal of Epidemiology 24:879–882

  61. Yasuhiro K, Koichiro F, Kentaro N, Yutaro T, Kenichi K, Junichiro O, Ryuichi T, Takuya N, Hikaru I (2011) Deep-sea mud in the Pacific Ocean as a potential resource for rare-earth elements. Nature Geosciences 4:535–539

  62. Yu L, Dai Y, et al. (2007) Effects of rare earth elements on telomerase activity and apoptosis of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Biological Trace Element Resources 116:53–59

  63. Zaini H, Ahmad S, Noor HM, Seh DR (2008) Surface radiation dose and radionuclide measurement in ex-tin mining area KG, Gajah, Perak. The Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences 12:419–431

  64. Zdzislaw MM, Agnieszka G (2015) The characteristics, occurrence, and geochemical behavior of rare earth elements in the environment: a review. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 45:429–471

  65. Zhao F, Cong Z, Sun H, Ren D (2007) The geochemistry of rare earth elements (REE) in acid mine drainage from the Sitai coal mine, Shanxi Province, North China. Int J Coal Geol 70:184–192

  66. Zhou GH, Sun BB, Liu ZY, Wei HL, Zeng DM, Zhang BM (2012) Geochemical feature of rare earth elements in major rivers of eastern China. Geosciences 26:1028–1042

Download references

Acknowledgments

The work reported in this paper was carried out in High Impact Research Laboratory and UMCiL, Department of Chemistry, and some of the facilities were utilized from Geohydrology Laboratory, Department of Geology, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was supported through UM Research Grant RG257-13AFR and IPPP grant PG133-2014B.

Author information

Correspondence to Ahmad Farid Abu Bakar.

Additional information

Capsule Abstract

Elevated Ce and La in waters. The highest enrichment of Lu in mining lake sediments. Average potential mobility of REEs in decreasing order: Yb > Gd > Y = Dy > Pr > Er > Tm > Eu > Nd > Tb > Sc > Lu > Ce > La

An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9087-1.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Khan, A.M., Yusoff, I., Bakar, N.K.A. et al. Assessing anthropogenic levels, speciation, and potential mobility of rare earth elements (REEs) in ex-tin mining area. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 25039–25055 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7641-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Rare earth elements
  • Ex-tin mining area
  • Chemical speciation