Advertisement

Using an integrated method for the determination of environmental TCLP arsenic for sulphide-rich mine tailing remediation in Ghana, West Africa

  • Gordon FoliEmail author
  • Simon K. Y. Gawu
Original Article

Abstract

Toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) is a versatile short-term leaching protocol used to estimate the release of toxic metals from waste prior to disposal to a repository. This paper uses the integrated TCLP leachate data from tailings, tailings dam monitoring borehole data, and acidity ratio (AR) range of sulphide-rich ores to simulate the environmental TCLP As in tailings at the AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi mine in Ghana. The aim was to incorporate long-term leaching characteristics of tailings to minimise the risk of TCLP As test failure. The mean As concentration and pH value are 2.26 mg/l and 5.7 in TCLP leachate, 0.35 mg/l and 6.7 in monitoring boreholes, and < 0.01 mg/l and 5.7 in control boreholes, respectively. The evaluation of the TCLP As data using a one-sample t test performed at 80% confidence interval has the upper confidence limit (UCL) of 2.41 mg/l; this value which constitutes the short-term characterised environmental TCLP As is below the USEPA criterion of 5 mg/l and, therefore, qualifies the waste as safe for disposal. Alternatively, TCLP leachate, borehole and AR data were integrated to simulate the long-term environmental TCLP As of 2.40 mg/l and pH value of 5.7, and As concentration and pH value of 0.01 mg/l and 6.7 in monitoring boreholes, respectively. Such laboratory simulations of TCLP As leaching aimed at achieving 0.01 mg/l in field monitoring data would provide a more robust predictive value for environmental management decision making due to long-term considerations.

Keywords

Acid–base accounting Model definition Arsenic waste Tailings repository Mine drainage 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the staff and management of Environmental Services Department of AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi mine for their immense assistance during the laboratory work.

References

  1. Antwi-Agyei P, Horgah JN, Foli G (2009) Trace element contamination of soils around gold mines tailing dams at Obuasi, Ghana. Afr J Environ Sci Technol 13(11):353–359Google Scholar
  2. Asta MP, Pérez-López R, Román-Ross G, Illera V, Cama J, Cotte M, Tucoulou R (2013) Analysis of the iron coatings formed during marcasite and arsenopyrite oxidation at neutral-alkaline conditions. Geol Acta 11:465–481Google Scholar
  3. Baba A (2000) Leaching characteristics of wastes from Kemerkoy (Mugla-Turkey) power plant. Glob Nest Int J 2(1):51–57Google Scholar
  4. Bluteau M-C, Demopoulos GP (2007) The incongruent dissolution of scorodite: solubility, kinetics and mechanism. Hydrometallurgy 87:163–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boateng E, Dowuona GNN, Nude PM, Foli G, Gyekye P, Hashim M (2012) Geochemical assessment of the impact of mine tailings reclamation on the quality of soils at AngloGold concession, Obuasi, Ghana. Res J Environ Earth Sci 4(4):466–474Google Scholar
  6. Bowell RJ (1994) Sorption of arsenic by iron oxides and oxyhydroxides in soils. Appl Geochem 9:279–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DEP (2004) Department of Environmental Protection: use of MNA for groundwater remediation: contaminated sites management series; Appendix C. www.environ.wa.gov.au. Accessed 20 Jan 2014
  8. DeSisto SL, Jamieson HE, Parsons MB (2017) Arsenic mobility in weathered gold mine tailings under a low-organic soil cover. Environ Earth Sci 76:773.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-017-7041-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dickson KB, Benneh G (1995) A new geography of Ghana, 3rd edn. Longman, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
  10. EPA (1994) Acid mine drainage prediction. Technical document. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste Special Waste Branch, EPA530-R-94-036, NTIS PB94 201829, p 48Google Scholar
  11. EPA (2007) Monitored natural attenuation of inorganic contaminants in groundwater. In: Ford RG, Wilkin RT, Puls RW (eds) Assessment for non-radionuclides including arsenic cadmium chromium copper lead nickel nitrate perchlorate and selenium, vol 2. USEPA Office of Research and Development National Risk Management Research Laboratory Ada, Oklahoma, p 74820Google Scholar
  12. Eppinger RG, Briggs PH, Rosenkrans D, Ballestrazze V (1999) Environmental geochemical studies of selected mineral deposits in Wrangell-St. Elias Alaska National Park and Preserve, Alaska. http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1619, pp 1–41. Accessed 21 July 2016
  13. Ferguson KD, Morin KA (1991) The prediction of acid rock drainage–lessons from the database. In 2nd International conference on the abatement of acidic drainage; conference proceedings, vol 1–4, Montreal, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  14. Filippi M, Dousova B, Machovic V (2007) Mineralogical speciation of arsenic in soil above the Mokrsko-west gold deposit, Czech Republic. Geoderma 139:154–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Filippou D, Demopoulos GP (1997) Arsenic immobilization by controlled scorodite precipitation. JOM 49:52–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Foli G (2017) Arsenic remediation in mine drainage at the AngloGold-Ashanti Obuasi Mine in Ghana. A Ph.D. Thesis presented to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, p 157Google Scholar
  17. Foli G, Gawu SKY (2017) Modified acid–base accounting model validation and pH buffer trend characterisation in mine drainage at the AngloGold-Ashanti Obuasi mine in Ghana. West Afr Environ Earth Sci 76(19):663.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-017-7005-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Foli G, Apeah OB, Amedjoe CG (2011) Pre-mining water quality prediction from non-weathered sulphide ores along the Ashanti metallogenic belt in Ghana using acid-base accounting procedure. Am J Sci Ind Res 2(5):827–833Google Scholar
  19. Foli G, Nude PM, Amedjoe CG, Kyei L (2012) Arsenic leaching in mill tailings at the AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine, Ghana: management of contamination in the related water environment. West Afr J Appl Ecol 20(1):11–23Google Scholar
  20. Foli G, Gawu SKY, Nude PM (2015) Arsenic contamination and secondary mineral evaluation in mine drainage using integrated acid–base accounting and toxicity characterisation leaching procedure: the case of Obuasi mine, Ghana. Environ Earth Sci 73:8471–8486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. GMET (2016) Ghana Meteorological Agency. www.meteo.gov.gh. Accessed 14 Feb 2018
  22. Joseph WL, Brady KBC, Perry EF (1994) Variation in computing acid–base accounting in the U.S. Abstract In: International land reclamation and mine drainage conference and third international conference on the abatement of acidic drainage. US. Bureau of Mines Special Publication SP 06B-94, p 417Google Scholar
  23. Jurjovec J, Ptacek CJ, Blowes DW (2002) Acid neutralisation mechanisms and metal release in mine tailings: a laboratory column experiment. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 66:1511–1523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Karamalidis AK, Voudrias EA (2009) Leaching and immobilization behavior of Zn and Cr from cement-based stabilization/solidification of ash produced from incineration of refinery oily sludge. Environ Eng Sci 26(1):81–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kaye A (2005) The effects of mine drainage water from Carrock Mine on the water quality and benthic macro-invertebrate communities of Grainsgill Beck: a preliminary study. Earth Environ 1:120–154Google Scholar
  26. Kosson DS, van der Sloot HA, Sanchez F, Garrabrants AC (2002) An integrated framework for evaluating leaching in waste management and utilization of secondary materials. Environ Eng Sci 19(3):159–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Krause E, Ettel VA (1988) Solubility and stability of scorodite, FeAsO4·2H2O: new data and further discussion. Am Miner 73:850–854Google Scholar
  28. Krause E, Ettel VA (1989) Solubilities and stabilities of ferric arsenate compounds. Hydrometallurgy 22:311–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kuipers JR, Maest AS, Mac-Hardy KA, Lawson G (2006) Comparison of predicted and actual water quality at hard rock mines: the reliability of predictions in environmental impact statements. Kuipers & Associates, Butte, p 228Google Scholar
  30. Lapakko K (1990) Solid phase characterisation in conjunction with dissolution experiments for prediction of drainage quality. In: Proceedings of the western regional symposium on mining and mineral processing waste. Metallurgy, and Exploration Inc., Littleton, COGoogle Scholar
  31. Li XD, Poon CS, Sun H, Lo IMC, Kirk DW (2001) J Hazard Mater 82:215–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maest AS, Kuipers JR, Travers CL, Atkins DA (2005) Predicting water quality at hardrock mines: methods and models, uncertainties, and state-of-the-art, pp 42–50. http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/academy/courses/acid/supporting. Accessed 2 Oct 2015
  33. Mukiibi M, Wilner H (2009) USEPA’s TCLP test fails to predict the leaching risk of water treatment arsenic residuals (Spotlight). https://www.google.com.gh/search?q=azh2o.com/pdf/Mukiibi_Dec09. Accessed 28 Aug 2013
  34. Norris CH (2005) Water quality impacts from remediating acid mine drainage with alkaline addition. http://www.catf.us/resources/publications/files/Norris_Arsenic_Report.pdf. Accessed 25 Aug 2010
  35. Oberthur T, Hirdes W, Hohndorf A, Schmidt Mumm A, Vetter U, Weiser T, Davis DW, Blenkinsop TG, Amanor JA, Loh G (1995) A review of gold mineralisation in the Ashanti Belt of Ghana and its relation to the crustal evolution of the terrane. Commun Geol Surv Namib 10:121–127Google Scholar
  36. Ruddock EC (1967) Residual soils of the Kumasi District in Ghana. Geotechnique 17:359–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Salzsauler KA, Sidenko NV, Sherriff BL (2005) Arsenic mobility in alteration products of sulfide-rich, arsenopyrite-bearing mine wastes, Snow Lake, Manitoba, Canada. Appl Geochem 20:2303–2314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Skousen J, Simmons J, McDonald LM, Ziemkiewicz P (2002) Acid–base accounting to predict post-mining drainage quality on surface mines. J Environ Qual 31:2034–2044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Smedley PL (1996) Arsenic in rural groundwater in Ghana. J Afr Earth Sci 22:459–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Smedley PL, Edmunds WM, Pelig-Ba KB (1996) Mobility of arsenic in groundwater in the Obuasi area of Ghana. In: Appleton JD, Fuge R, McCall GJH (eds) Environmental geochemistry and health, geological society special publication, vol 113. Geological Society, London, pp 163–181Google Scholar
  41. TCLP Method 1311 (1992) Toxicity characteristic leaching procedure, p 38. http://www.ehso.com. Accessed 3 Jan 2012
  42. USEPA (1989) Statistical analysis of groundwater monitoring data at RCRA facilities, EPA Office of Solid Waste, Washington, DC. p 888. https://www.google.com.gh/url?. Accessed 2 Oct 2015
  43. Wang S, Mulligan CN (2006) Occurrence of As contamination in Canada: sources, behaviour and distribution. Sci Total Environ 366:701–721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. WHO (2011) Guidelines for drinking-water quality, 4th edn. Guideline values for naturally occurring chemicals that are of health significance in drinking-water. ISBN 978 92 4 154815 1 (NLM classification: WA 675). https://www.unicef.org/cholera/.../01_WHO_Guidelines_for_drinking_water_quality.pd...p.178/564. Accessed 16 Apr 2018
  45. Yao Y, Robb LJ (2000) Gold mineralization in Paleoproterozoic granitoids at Obuasi, Ashanti region, Ghana: ore geology, geochemistry and fluid characteristics. S Afr J Geol 103:255–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geological EngineeringKwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)KumasiGhana

Personalised recommendations