Fugitive Dust and Human Exposure to Heavy Metals Around the Red Dog Mine

Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 206)


The Red Dog Mine is a high-grade open pit lead–zinc mine located in the northwestern Brooks Range, about 130 km north of Kotzebue, Alaska (Kral 1992) (Fig. 1). The mine began operation in 1989 and exploration has revealed deposits such as the Aqqaluk Deposit that would allow mining to continue until 2031 (Liles 2006; USEPA 2007). The mine is operated at a rate of 5.4 kt/d (6,000 short tons/d). The mined ore is processed through crushing and grinding circuits, followed by froth flotation separation to produce zinc and lead concentrates in the mineralogical forms of sphalerite (zinc sulfide) and galena (lead sulfide), respectively. Because the sphalerite and galena are fine-grained, the ore is finely ground for effective separations in the flotation circuit. As a result, both the zinc and lead concentrates are very fine in particle size, with 80% of the final concentrates passing 30 and 20 μm screens, respectively. The flotation concentrates are dewatered using pressure filters, and the resultant dehydrated concentrates contain 7.5–8.0% moisture. The annual production of zinc and lead concentrates are 508 and 109 kt, respectively (Kral 1992). Dewatered zinc and lead concentrates produced at the Red Dog Mine site are hauled a distance of 84 km by truck along an unpaved road to the DeLong Mountain Regional Transportation System port on the Chukchi Sea, where it is then shipped to international markets (Liles 2006).


Lead Exposure Blood Lead Level Haul Road Household Dust Fugitive Dust 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Christopher H. Conaway for his helpful review of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.Mineral Industry Research LaboratoryInstitute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  3. 3.Department of Resources EngineeringNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainan CityTaiwan

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