ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0057.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: biosorption; copper; algae; tailings; mine waste
Online: 8 January 2020 (03:06:34 CET)
Mining is one of the main economic activities of several developing countries as Chile. Due to the progressive fall of the ore grades and the increasingly refractory composition of minerals, concentrating plants have increased that has led to an increase in the generation of tailings. Tailings, especially those obtained in the past, have remaining copper and other valuable species in quantities that can potentially be recovered, such as gold, silver, vanadium and rare earth elements. This transforms this abundant waste into a potential source of precious or strategic metals for secondary mining. One of the techniques of solid-liquid separation that allows the processing of solutions with low concentrations of metals corresponds to the adsorption, and more recently the biosorption, which is based on the use of biological matrices that do not constitute an environmental liability after application. Biosorption occurs as a consequence of the wide variety of active functional groups present in the different types of biomass. Bacterial, fungal, plant and algal biomasses have been described as biosorbents, mainly for the treatment of diluted and simple solutions. This work aims to recover copper from leached tailings using biomass of the red algae Gracilaria chilensis as a biosorbent. The tailing samples were taken from an abandoned deposit in the north of Chile and after an acid leaching copper was biosorbed, for which the kinetics of adsorption and the equilibrium isotherms were studied, applying the Freundlich and Langmuir models. Operational parameters such as adsorbent dose, pH and initial metal concentration were studied.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0043.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: DPSIR model; green mine; principal component analysis
Online: 8 June 2017 (16:29:56 CEST)
Strategic researches on green mine construction are of great theoretical and practical significance to the sustainable development of China's mining industry as well as the great-leap-forward development strategies of China. Strategies of green mine construction in China are methods summarized to solve all potential problems from mine production to ecological restoration. At present, strategies of green mine construction in China are not fully evaluated and studied yet. Therefore, on the basis of green mine construction related literatures carried out by researchers in China and abroad, this study took the green mine of Yongcheng City in China as the research object to evaluate the current situation of green mine construction in Yongcheng City and put forward corresponding countermeasures. First of all, driving force-pressure-state-impact-response (DPSIR) model was introduced for the construction of evaluation index system; construction principles and selection methods of indexes and the index system based on driving force, pressure, state, impact and response were constructed. Secondly, principal component analysis (PCA) was adopted to calculate and evaluate data of green mine of Yongcheng City in recent years, and construction state of green mine in Yongcheng City was analyzed concretely according to the evaluation results. Empirical results showed that, the evaluation system constructed in this study was feasible, which could be applied to evaluate construction of green mine effectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0045.v1
Online: 5 May 2017 (05:29:10 CEST)
Dump design and scheduling are critical elements to effective mine planning, especially if several of them are required in large-scale open pit mines. Infrastructure capital and transportation costs are considerable from an early stage in the mining project, and through the life-of-mine as these dumps gradually become immense structures. Delivered mining rates, as well as certain spatial and physical constraints, provide a set of parameters of mathematical and economic relationship that creates opportunities for modelling and thus facilitates the measuring and optimization of ultimate dump design by using programming and empirical techniques while achieving economic objectives. This paper presents a methodology to model and optimize the design of a mine dump by minimizing the total haulage costs. The proposed methodology consists on: (i) Formulation of a dump model based on a system of equations relying on multiple relevant parameters; (ii) Solves by minimizing the total cost using linear programming and determines a ‘preliminary’ dump design; (iii) Through a series of iterations, modifies the ‘preliminary’ footprint by projecting it to the topography and creates the ultimate dump design. Finally, an example application for a waste rock dump illustrates this methodology.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0070.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: microbial sulphide oxidation, corrosion, mine waste and water remediation, biofilm development, inhibition of Acid mine and rock draiange
Online: 8 February 2018 (15:35:56 CET)
Abstract: Measures to counteract AMD generation need to start at the mineral surface, inhibiting mineral-oxidizing, acidophilic microbes. Laboratory and long-term field tests with pyrite-containing mining wastes, where Carbonaceous Phosphate Mining Waste (CPMW) was added, resulted in low acidity, and near neutral drainage. The effect was reproducible, nd confirmed by several independent research groups. This was shown to involve an organic coating, likely a biofilm. The biofilm formation was confirmed when CPMW was added to lignite coal waste with an initial pH of 1. Forty five days after the addition, the coal waste was dominated by heterotrophic microorganisms in biofilms. A review of the scientific literature supports that CPMW has physical and chemical characteristics which are capable of inducing a strong inhibitory effect on sulphide oxidation by forming an organic coating over the mineral surface. CPMW characteristics appear to provide the cornerstone of a new technology for the reduction of sulphide oxidation in mine wastes. An hypothesis for testing this technology is presented which could result in an economical and sustainable approach to mine waste and water management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0385.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geology Keywords: apatite; rare earth elements; hydrothermal fluids; Ptarmigan Mine
Online: 15 March 2021 (13:40:19 CET)
The Ptarmigan and Tom mesothermal gold deposits are located 10 km to the northeast of the city of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in northern Canada. Both gold deposits comprise a series of en echelon veins that are hosted within upper greenschist to lower amphibolite facies ~2630 Ma (peak) rocks. Supracrustal units across the craton are intruded by the ca. 2610–2605-Ma granodiorite, tonalite, monzodiorite, quartz diorite, and affiliated rocks of the Concession Suite. Hydrothermal apatite is a common accessory mineral in both mineralized and non-mineralized quartz veins in the metasedimentary host rocks that constitute the Ptarmigan and Tom deposits. This study characterizes and compares turbidite-hosted hydrothermal apatite from the Ptarmigan and Tom deposits, non-mineralized veins adjacent to the ore body, and magmatic apatite from proximal LCT-pegmatites. Using electron probe microanalyses (EPMA), laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), micro-XRF, and cathodoluminescence (CL), the major, minor, and trace element abundances have been quantified and mapped. In addition to utilizing this data to determine if the chemistry of apatite can be used to constrain the source of hydrothermal fluids, the apparent age of the apatite is also evaluated utilizing in situ U-Pb dating. The distribution and abundance of major, minor, and trace elements from in situ recovered apatite were studied to characterize the nature of mineralizing ﬂuids. Most apatite from mineralized and non-mineralized veins show different Mn, Sr, and Pb contents, as well as chondrite-normalized rare-earth element (REE) and Y abundance patterns. REEs display five unique chondrite-normalized patterns: (1) negative sloped pattern with slight negative Eu anomaly, (2) a flat pattern with a positive Eu anomaly, (3) a positive slope with a negative Eu anomaly, (iv) light rare earth element (LREE) depleted pattern with positive Eu anomaly, and (v) bell-shaped pattern with a negative Eu anomaly. The REE patterns reflect both the source of the auriferous hydrothermal fluids and, perhaps, co-precipitating mineral phases. Apatite from the Ptarmigan vein occurs with both: (1) a flat pattern with a positive Eu anomaly and (2) bell-shaped pattern with a negative Eu anomaly. The bell-shaped and flat patterns typify orogenic gold deposits. Vein-hosted apatite commonly displays compositional zoning with a characteristic yellow cathodoluminescence (CL) emission spectra with darker cores and brighter rims. The cores have lower REE, whereas the rims are notably higher in REE. It is thought that the darker cores in CL images reflect a transition from an early low REE hydrothermal fluid to one enriched in REE. The hydrothermal apatite age of 2585 ± 15 Ma is consistent with the intrusions of the 2605 and 2590 Ma two-mica granites of the Prosperous Suite and associated LCT pegmatites.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0001.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: arsenic; leaching; sediment; heavy metal; reservoir; abandoned mine
Online: 1 October 2019 (02:38:34 CEST)
Heavy metals, including arsenic from abandoned mines, are easily transported with sediment and deposited in water bodies such as reservoirs and lakes, creating critical water quality issues when they are released. Understanding the leaching of heavy metals is necessary for developing efficient water quality improvement plans. This study investigated how arsenic leaches from different soil types and responds to hydrologic conditions to identify areas susceptible to arsenic contamination. In this study, batch- and column-leaching tests and sequential extraction procedures were used to examine arsenic leaching processes in detail. The results showed that most arsenic-loaded sediments accumulated in the vicinity of a reservoir inlet, and arsenic in reservoir beds have a higher leaching potential than those from agricultural land and river beds. Arsenic deposited at the bottom of reservoirs had higher mobility than that in the other soils, and arsenic leaching was closely associated with the acidity of water. In addition, arsenic leaching was found to be responsive to seasons (wet or dry) as its mobilization is controlled by organic compounds that vary over time. The results suggested that temporal variations in the hydrochemical composition of reservoir water should be considered when defining a management plan for reservoir water quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0068.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: mining coal mine; multi-loop magnetisation; array radiation
Online: 9 June 2019 (03:31:14 CEST)
Existing methods for detecting magnetic leakage signals from damaged wire ropes require axial saturation magnetisation, and the accuracy of the detection equipment depends on the saturation degree of magnetisation. Moreover, the expected magnetisation effect is usually difficult to achieve owing to the special characteristics of the rope structure, diameter, and operating environment of the wire rope. Consequently, in addition to other issues, the detection accuracy and versatility of the equipment are low. In this study, a method based on spatial multidimensional orthogonal array loop magnetisation for detecting mine wire rope defects is proposed. Firstly, a new sensor excitation structure model is developed. Then a method of radiant magnetic flux of permanent magnet array is analysed, and the influence law of the number of permanent radiant magnetic blocks on the magnetisation effect is studied. In addition, a method of wire rope detection based on the principle of clustering is investigated, according to which the influence law of the shape, structure, and size of the polyurethane device on the effect of magnetisation is discussed. Finally, through laboratory experiments, the test model and proposed method are verified. The results show that the magnetisation effect is better and more cost-effective when the number of permanent magnet radiation magnetic block is n=8, and the proposed detection method can effectively distinguish damaged wire rope joints. Furthermore, the proposed equipment achieved signal-to-noise ratio of the signals, improving the reliability of damage detection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0030.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Other Keywords: Coal mine; Underground reservoir; Reservoir capacity; Theoretical model
Online: 3 September 2018 (11:55:39 CEST)
The coal mine underground reservoir is an appropriate solution between coal mining and groundwater resource protection and utilization. By calculating the storage capacity of a groundwater reservoir, the storage coefficient has been proved to be always an empirical value. Based on the mathematical derivation of the vertical fracture area ratio and the horizontal fracture area rate of the collapse zone and the fissure zone in the goaf area of the coal seam, the mathematical models of tem are derived, and the model for calculating the water storage coefficient is derived. The water storage coefficient derived from the theoretical model had more basis and more advanced than the traditional empirical value. By using this method, the practical calculation of No.1 underground reservoir of the DaLliuta Coalmine in Shenhua Shendong, has got a perfect matching with the actual groundwater storage capacity.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0117.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: sulfur; reclamation; acid mine drainage; salinity; soil contamination
Online: 7 June 2018 (11:21:57 CEST)
Sulfur contamination of topsoil, spatial distribution of contamination and surface water chemistry were investigated on an area of over 200 ha of a new forest ecosystem. Common birch and Scots pine growth reaction, vitality and nutrients supply, as well as wood small-reed (Calamagrostis epigejos (L.) Roth) chemical composition were assayed. The chemistry dynamics of soil leaching and the sulfur load leached from the sulfur contaminated soil-substrates were analyzed. The remediation effect of the birch and pine litter was assayed in an experiment under controlled conditions. It was found that reclamation was effective in a majority of the post-mining site, however hot-spots with sulfur contamination reaching even 45,000 mg kg-1, pH <2.0, and EC 6,500 µS cm-1 were reported. Surface waters typically displayed elevated concentrations of sulfate ions (average 935.13 mg L-1), calcium ions (up to 434 mg L-1) and high EC (average 1.795 µS cm-1), which was connected both with sulfur contamination and sludge lime used in neutralization. Wood small-reed was found to be species adapting well to the conditions of elevated soil salinity and sulfur concentration. We noted that an addition of organic matter had a significant impact on the chemistry of soil solutions but did not indicate in short term experiment a remediation effect by increased sulfur leaching.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0120.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Mine Tailings; Industrial Waste; Geopolymer; Durability; Microstructure; Thermal; Leaching
Online: 5 August 2022 (09:45:36 CEST)
The mining sector generates a substantial quantity of stone waste and tailings, which constitutes an environmental risk. The most prevalent method for disposing of this industrial waste is dumping, which contributes to soil deterioration and water contamination while acquiring precious land. It can be recycled using a number of processes, such as the promising geopolymerization technique, which transforms waste into value. This study reviews current developments in the manufacturing of mine tailings-based geopolymer composites from industrial waste as a possible sustainable building material. This paper also gives in-depth studies on the characteristics and behaviors of mine tailings composites used in geopolymer manufacturing, including durability, microstructure, thermal and leaching properties. This review also identifies knowledge gaps that must be filled in order to advance mine tailings composites for geopolymers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0236.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Other Keywords: trace metals; mine drainage remediation; zinc; red media; biochar
Online: 11 July 2020 (09:36:40 CEST)
The river Teign in Devon has come under scrutiny for failing to meet Environmental Quality Standards for ecotoxic metals due to past mining operations. A disused mine known as Bridford Barytes mine, has been found to contribute a significant source of Zn, Cd and Pb to the river. Recently, studies have been focused on the remediation of such mine sites using low-cost treatment methods to help reduce metal loads to the river downstream. Red mud is a waste product from the aluminium industry, the utilization of this resource has proven an attractive low-cost treatment method for adsorbing toxic metals. Adsorption kinetics and capacity experiments reveal metal removal efficiencies of up to 70% within the first 2 hours when red mud is applied in pelletized form. Biochar is another effective adsorbent with the potential to remove >90% Zn using agricultural feedstock. Compliance of the Teign has been investigated by analysing dissolved metal concentrations and bioavailable fractions of Zn to assess if levels are of environmental concern. By applying a Real-World Application Model, this study reveals that compressed pellets and agricultural biochar offer an effective, low-cost option to reducing metal concentrations and thus improving the quality of the river Teign.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0055.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: employee satisfaction; mine; OHSAS18001; FAHP; 2-tuple linguistic information
Online: 9 December 2016 (10:22:28 CET)
In order to comprehensively evaluate the employee satisfaction of mine occupational health and safety management system, an analytic method based on fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and 2- tuple linguistic model was established. Firstly, based on the establishment of 5 first- grade indicators and 20 second- grade ones, the weight of each indicator is calculated and validated by method of FAHP and root mean square model. Secondly, a path based on the time-ordered Weighted Averaging Operator (T-OWA) model is constructed. Finally, the model is validated by empirical analysis. The results demonstrate that the employee satisfaction of the mine occupational health and safety management system is of the “general” rank. The method including the comprehensive evaluation of employee satisfaction and the quantitative analysis of language evaluation information ensures the authenticity of the language evaluation information.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0263.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: acid mine drainage; contaminated areas; environmental; heavy metals; public health
Online: 26 June 2019 (07:41:12 CEST)
The mining industry is known for the intense environmental impacts it triggers, especially when it is developed in an open environment. Pit lakes are formed in depleted deposits and may be promising opportunities for use by society as well as troubling environmental liabilities. While these artificial basins are increasing numerically in many parts of the world, they are still little known researchers in the Environmental Sciences, which makes their environmental management challenging. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the environmental quality of sediments from three deactivated open-pit gold mines, located in the Mara Rosa, Brazil, through chemical, ecotoxicological and genotoxicology analyses. For this purpose, we collected samples in the dry season boom, and subsequently, we analysed metals. In sequence, acute ecotoxicological and a genotoxicology test (comet assay) were developed with Danio rerio fishes, in concentrations of 3.12%; 6.25%; 12.5%; 25%; 50% and 100%, in addition to the control group. The results indicated that the three lakes are environmentally compromised, especially Lago Azul, whose waters and sediments are undergoing an intense process of geological conditioning. Our results did not verify the ecotoxicity of the sediments of any of the lakes, only behavioural alterations in the test organisms exposed to the concentrations of 25%, 50% and 100% of the samples obtained in the Lago Azul. About the sediments, DNA damage at Danio rerio was detected in the three investigated environments, although fishes kept in the water sampled at Lago Azul presented the most extension of DNA damages.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0082.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: mine waste; lead; zinc; cadmium; microbial role; sulfur-reducing bacteria
Online: 4 August 2018 (11:07:24 CEST)
Milling and mining metal ores are major sources of heavy metal contamination. The Spring River and its tributaries in southeast Kansas are contaminated with Pb, Zn, and Cd as a result of 120 years of mining activities. Trace metal transformations and cycling in mine waste materials greatly influence their mobility and toxicity and affect plant productivity and human health. It has been hypothesized that under reduced conditions in sulfate-rich environments, these metals can be transformed into their sulfide forms, thus limiting mobility and toxicity. We studied biogeochemical transformations of Pb, Zn and Cd in flooded subsurface mine waste materials, natural or treated with organic carbon (OC) and/or sulfur (S), by combining advanced microbiological and X-ray spectroscopic techniques to determine the effects of treatments on the microbial community structure and identify the dominant functional genes involved in the biogeochemical transformations, especially metal sulfide formation over time. Samples collected from medium-, and long-term submerged columns were used for microarray analysis via functional gene array (GeoChip 4.2). The total number of detected gene abundance decreased under long-term submergence, but major functional genes abundance was enhanced with OC plus S treatment. The microbial community exhibited a substantial change in structure in response to OC and S addition. Sulfur-reducing bacteria genes dsrA/B were identified as key players in metal sulfide formation via dissimilatory sulfate reduction. Uniqueness of this study is that microbial analyses presented here in details are in agreements with molecular-scale synchrotron-based X-ray data supporting that OC-plus-S treatment would be a promising strategy for reducing metal toxicity in mine waste materials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0146.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: acid mine drainage; bioremediation technology; sulfate reducing bacteria; coal mining
Online: 17 March 2017 (22:27:05 CET)
Sulfate, the main dissolved contaminant in acid mine drainage (AMD), is ubiquitous in watersheds affected by coal and metal mining operations worldwide. Engineered passive bioremediation systems (PBS) are low-cost technologies that remediate sulfate contamination by promoting (1) precipitation of sulfate-bearing compounds, such as schwertmannite and gypsum; and (2) microbially-mediated sulfate reduction (BSR) to sulfide with subsequent precipitation of sulfide minerals. In this study, chemical and sulfur isotopic data are used to infer multiple pathways for sulfate sequestration in the Tab-Simco PBS. By simultaneously monitoring sulfate concentrations and δ34SSO4 values at four sampling points across the PBS, we (1) identified that the organic layer within the bioreactor was the primary site of BSR processes contributing to sulfate sequestration; (2) observed seasonal variations of BSR processes; (3) estimated that initially the BSR processes contributed up to 30% to sulfate sequestration in the Tab-Simco bioreactor; and (4) determined that BSR contribution to sulfate sequestration continuously declined over the PBS operational lifetime. Together, our results highlight the utility of combining geochemical and microbial fingerprinting techniques to decipher complementary processes involved in sulfur cycling in a PBS as well as the value of adding the sulfur isotope approach as an essential tool to help understand, predict, prevent and mitigate sulfate contamination in AMD-impacted systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0497.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: road dusts; active mine; metal(loids); oral bioaccessibility; human health risk
Online: 21 May 2021 (07:44:30 CEST)
Aiming the characterization of road dusts on the surrounding villages of an active mine and to assess metal(loids) bioaccessible fractions, a dust samples survey was undertaken. To achieve these objectives, pseudototal element concentration, mineralogical composition, Enrichment factor and in vitro extraction UBM assay for both gastric (G) and gastrointestinal (GI) phases, were determined. Results obtained revealed that arsenic represents the higher risk to humans, with mean pseudototal values higher than the maximum reference value range. Enrichment factor points to As significant to very high enrichment in all villages. Particles enriched in As, Ca, Fe, Cu, Al, Ti were identified by SEM-EDS in weathered agglomerates, linked to mine wastes and long-distance transport, both by wind and/or traffic. Arsenic bioaccessibility fraction (%BAF) presents low values in the studied samples, possibly due to low Fe complexes solubility with adsorbed As, limiting arsenic release and reducing its bioaccessibility. Concentrations of Cd bioaccessible G and GI phases are within the reference values range, while for Cu are above and for Pb are lower, than reference value range. Results show that the pseudototal fraction risk is overestimated when comparing to BAF (bioaccessible fraction), nevertheless, total G and GI risk are above the carcinogenic target risk (1.00E-06) in most samples. Carcinogenic risk of the bioaccessible contaminants shows that As is the element that represents higher risk for developing cancer over a lifetime, being ingestion the main risk route.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: mine lake; pit lake; closure; planning; repurposing; end use; water quality
Online: 21 December 2019 (12:21:14 CET)
Pit lakes can represent significant liabilities at mine closure. However, pit lakes also present opportunities to provide significant regional benefit and address residual closure risks of both their own and overall project closure, and even offset the environmental costs of mining by creating new end uses. Unfortunately, many pit lakes have continued to be abandoned without repurposing for an end use. We reviewed published pit lake repurposing case studies of abandoned mine pit lakes. We found beneficial end use type and outcome varied dependent upon climate and commodity; but equally important social and political dynamics that manifest as mining company commitments or regulatory requirements. Many end uses have been realized: passive and active recreation, nature conservation, fishery and aquaculture, drinking and industrial water storage, greenhouse carbon fixation, flood protection and waterway remediation, disposal of mine and other waste, mine water treatment and containment, and education and research. Common attributes and reasons that led to successful repurposing of abandoned pit lakes as beneficial end uses are discussed. Recommendations are given for all stages of mine closure planning to prevent pit lake abandonment and to achieve successful pit lake closure with beneficial end uses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0118.v1
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: copper mine tailings; mechanical activation; thermal activation; alkaline roasting; alkali leaching
Online: 25 September 2017 (08:41:24 CEST)
Copper mine tailings are the residual products after the purification of precious copper from copper ores, and their storage can create numerous environmental problems. Many researchers have used copper mine tailings for preparation of geopolymer. This paper studies the enhancement of the cementitious activity of copper mine tailings in geopolymer system. First, copper mine tailings are activated through a mechanical grinding activation. Afterward, the mechanically activated copper mine tailings are further processed through thermal activation and alkaline roasting activating. The cementitious activity index of copper mine tailings is characterized through the degree of concentration of alkali leaching silicon and aluminum. It was observed that the Si and Al alkali leaching concentration of mechanical activated tailings was increased by 26.03% and 93.33%, respectively. The concentration of Si and Al was increased by 54.19% and 119.92%, respectively. For alkaline roasting activating, roasting time, temperature and (C/N ratio) were evaluated through the orthogonal test, and the best condition was activation for 120 min at 600℃ with C/N ratio is 5:1. In this study, the SEM, XRD and IR analysis show that mechanically activation, thermal activation and alkaline roasting activating can improve the cementitious activity index of copper mine tailings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0091.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geology Keywords: mine tailings; ethics; legislations; corporate social responsibility; policy research; South Africa
Online: 27 August 2017 (10:38:56 CEST)
It is well recognised that the mining industry in South Africa is highly rated for its substantial contribution to the country’s economic growth, including employment and infrastructural development. It is also known that mining and ore processing activities potentially pose a severe threat to public health and environmental well-being, in the way operations are carried out, mine wastes are disposed of (in dumps), local communities are relocated, mine management and the mining community in general, perceive established environmental standards and etiquette. This paper examines ethical practices and norms in the South African mining industry, with particular reference to the management of tailings dams. We analyse the modes of articulation of the country’s regulatory instruments for tailings management, and review the corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach of leading mining companies. Despite decades of research and resulting recommendations on tailings management, it is concluded that current legislations are largely ineffective, level of adherence by mine management and the mining community, low, and mechanisms for compliance monitoring, weak. New perspectives on legislative issues for unsolved problems in tailings handling are put forward, and directions for future research, indicated.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Natural radioactivity; risk assessment; 210Pb and 210Po; radiological impact; polluted mine site.
Online: 25 August 2021 (14:55:03 CEST)
Since the exploitation of mineral resources results in the release of radionuclides, and consuming radionuclides affects public health in the short and long term. A case study of the environmental radiation impact from coal mining and germanium processing was carried out in southwest China. The coal mines contain germanium and uranium and have been exploited for more than 40 years. The farmlands around the site of coal mining and germanium processing have been contaminated by the solid waste and mine water in some extend since then. Samples of crops have been collected from contaminated farmlands in research area. The research area covers a radius of 5 km, in which there are 2 coal mines located. 210Pb and 210Po have been analyzed as the key radionuclides during monitoring program. The average activity concentrations of 210Pb and 210Po in the crops were 1.38 and 1.32 Bq/kg in cereals, 4.07 and 2.19 Bq/kg in leafy vegetables and 1.63 and 1.32 Bq/kg in root vegetables. The annual effective doses due to the ingestion of 210Pb and 210Po in consumed crops have been estimated for adult residents living in research area. The average annual effective dose was 0.336mSv/a, while the minimum was 0.171 mSv/a and the maximum was 0.948 mSv/a. The results show that crops grown on contaminated farmland contained an enhanced level of radioactivity concentration. Ingestion doses of local residents in research area were significantly higher than the China average level of 0.112 mSv/a, and the world average level of 0.042 mSv/a through 210Pb and 210Po in crops intake respectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0190.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: acid mine drainage; arsenate; arsenite; chromate; hemp cellulose; cellulose nanofibres; TEMPO-oxidation
Online: 9 October 2020 (09:02:44 CEST)
Mining-induced water contamination remains a significant concern in many regions of the world due to the high concentrations of toxic ions often associated with it. In this study, cellulose-supported ferrihydrite composites (CNF-Fe) were prepared by seeding of ferrihydrite nanoparticles on cellulose nanofibres (CNFs) and employed for the removal of As(III), As(V) and Cr(VI) from contaminated water. The adsorbent was characterized by electron microscopy, gas adsorption, point of zero charge (pHPZC), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), as well as infrared and Raman spectroscopy. Compared to parent CNFs, CNF-Fe adsorbents had lower crystallinity and a higher surface area: 218.76 m2 g-1. Further, with a pHPZC of 6.3, CNF-Fe was positively charged at low pH and suitable for adsorption of anions at acidic conditions characteristic of acid mine drainage. In single-ions solutions, the removal efficiency of CNF-Fe was in the order Cr(VI)>As(V)>As(III) (i.e. 0.15, 0.12 and 0.11 mg g-1 respectively). Adsorption kinetics followed the pseudo second-order model and isotherms were best fitted by the Freundlich, Dubinin-Radushkevich, and Temkin models. However, when CNF-Fe was applied to AMD-contaminated water (pH 2.7), Cr(VI) uptake decreased to ~39% which was likely due to competition from sulphate and selenium ions. Nevertheless, the adsorbent displayed regeneration capabilities with ~98% As and ~45% Cr desorbed after 24 hours of treatment. Together, these results suggest that cellulose supported ferrihydrite composites can be applied in treatment of mine drainage-contaminated water in conjunction with pre-treatments that limit SO42- and selenium concentrations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0019.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: biochar; phytoextraction; corn; uptake; mine soils; heavy metals; root biomass; shoot biomass
Online: 5 May 2019 (12:11:59 CEST)
Mining activities could produce a large volume of spoils, waste rocks, and tailings, which are usually deposited at the surface and become sources of metal pollution. Phytostabilization of the mine spoils could limit the spread of these heavy metals. Phytostabilization can be enhanced by using soil amendments like manure-based biochar capable of immobilizing metal(loid)s when combined with plant species that are tolerant of high levels of contaminants while simultaneously improving properties of mine soils. However, the use of manure-based biochar and other organic amendments for mine spoil remediation are still unclear. In this greenhouse study, we evaluated the interactive effect of biochar application and compost on shoots biomass yield (SBY), roots biomass yield (RBY), uptake, and bioconcentration factor (BCF) of Zn and Cd in corn (Zea mays L.) grown in mine soil. Biochar sources (BS) consisted of beef cattle manure (BCM); poultry litter (PL); and lodge pole pine (LPP) were applied at 0, 2.5, and 5.0% (w/w) in combination with different rates (0, 2.5, and 5.0%, w/w) of cattle manure compost (CMC), respectively. Shoots and roots uptake of Cd and Zn were significantly affected by BS, CMC, and the interaction of BS and CMC. Corn plants that received 2.5% PL and 2.5% BCM had the greatest Cd and Zn shoot uptake, respectively. Corn plants with 5% BCM had the greatest Cd and Zn root uptake. When averaged across BS, the greatest BCF for Cd in the shoot of 92.3 was from the application BCM and the least BCF was from the application of PL (72.8). Our results suggest that incorporation of biochar enhanced phytostabilization of Cd and Zn with concentrations of water-soluble Cd and Zn lowest in soils amended with both manure-based biochars while improving biomass productivity of corn. Overall, phytostabilization technique and biochar application have the potential to be combined in the remediation of heavy metals polluted soils.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0402.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: project scheduling; underground mine; random breakdown simulation; wolf colony algorithm; multi-objective optimization
Online: 26 January 2022 (14:02:22 CET)
Due to production space and operating environment requirements, mine production equipment often breaks down, which seriously affects the mine’s production schedule. To ensure the smooth completion of the haulage operation plan under abnormal conditions, a model of the haulage equipment rescheduling plan based on the random simulation of equipment breakdowns is established in this paper. The model aims to accomplish both the maximum completion rate of the original mining plan and the minimum fluctuation of the ore grade during the rescheduling period. This model is optimized by improving the wolf colony algorithm and changing the location update formula of the individuals in the wolf colony. Then, the optimal model solution can be used to optimize the rescheduling of the haulage plan by considering equipment breakdowns. The application of the proposed method in an underground mine revealed that the completion rate of the mine’s daily mining plan reached 83.40% without increasing the number of the equipment, while and the ore quality was stable. Moreover, the improved optimization algorithm converged fast and was characterized by high robustness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0536.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: open-pit coal mine; dewatering; groundwater level; vadose zone; moisture movement; capillary water
Online: 24 February 2021 (09:55:58 CET)
Long-term dewatering of groundwater is a necessary operation for mining safety in open-pit coal mines, while extensive dewatering might cause ecological problems due to dramatical changes of moisture movement in the soil, especially in ecological-fragile areas. This paper presents a quantitative methodology to evaluate the impact of the coal mining operation on moisture movement in the vadose zone by taking the Baorixile open-pit coal mine as an example. A long-term in-situ experiments（from 2004 to 2018), laboratory analysis and numerical modelling were conducted to analyse the mechanisms and relationship among the dropping groundwater level, the vadose-zone moistures, and the ecological responses in the grassland area. The experiment data and modelling results suggest that groundwater level dropping during open-pit mining operation has limited influence on the vadose zone, exhibiting a variation of capillary water zone within a depth of 3 m while the vadose zone and soil water zone were at least 16 m deep. The critical evaporation depth of ground water is 8 m. The long-term influence radius of groundwater dewatering is about 2.72 km during the Baorixile mining operation, and the groundwater level change mainly influences the lower part of the intermediate vadose zone and the capillary water zone below 16 m, with little influence on the moisture contents in the soil water zone where the roots of shallow vegetation grow. The results from this study provide useful insight for sustainable development of coal mining in ecological-fragile areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0104.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: GEOBIA; canga ecosystem; Carajás National Forest; mine land revegetation; satellite images; environmental assessment
Online: 8 August 2019 (12:00:50 CEST)
Remote sensing technologies may play a fundamental role in the environmental assessment of open-cast mining and the accurate quantification of mine land rehabilitation efforts. Here, we developed a systematic geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) approach to map the amount of revegetated area and to quantify the land-use changes in open-cast mines in the Carajás region situated in the eastern Amazon. Based on high-resolution satellite images from 2011 to 2015 from different sensors (GeoEye, WorldView-3 and Ikonos), we quantified forests, cangas (natural metalliferous savanna ecosystems), mine land, revegetated areas and water bodies. Based on the GEOBIA approach, threshold values were established to discriminate land cover classes using spectral bands, and the NDVI and NDWI indices and LiDAR digital ground and slope models. The overall accuracy was higher than 90%, and the Kappa indices varied between 0.82 and 0.88. During the observation period, the mining complex expanded; for that, canga and forest vegetation was converted to mine land. At the same time, the amount of revegetated area increased. Thus, we conclude that our approach is capable of providing consistent information regarding land cover changes in mines, with a special focus on the amount of revegetation necessary to fulfill environmental liabilities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0048.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: mine wind speed; Laser doppler velocimetry; Kalman filter; expectation maximization algorithm; online monitoring.
Online: 4 March 2019 (15:45:24 CET)
The underground complicated testing environment and the fan operation instability cause large random errors and outliers of the wind speed signals. The outliers and large random errors result in distortion of mine wind speed monitoring, which possesses safety hazards in mine ventilation system. Application of Kalman filter in velocity monitoring can improve the accuracy of velocity measurement and eliminate the outliers. Adaptive Kalman Filter was built by automatically adjusting process noise covariance and measurement noise covariance depending on the differences between measured and expected speed signals. We analyzed the fluctuation of airflow flow using data of wind speed flow and distribution characteristics of the tunnel obtained by the Laser Doppler Velocimetry system (LDV) studies. A state-space model was built based on the tunnel airflow fluctuations and wind speed signal distribution. The adaptive Kalman Filter was calculated according to the actual measurement data and the Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm. The adaptive Kalman filter was used to shield fluid pulsation while preserving system-induced fluctuations. Using the Kalman filter to treat offline wind speed signal acquired by LDV, the reliability of Kalman filter wind speed state model and the characteristics of adaptive Kalman Filter were investigated. Results showed that the adaptive Kalman filter effectively eliminated the outliers and reduced the root-mean-squares error (RMSE), and the adaptive Kalman filter had better performance than the traditional Kalman filter in eliminating outliers and reducing RMSE. Field experiments in online wind speed monitoring were conducted using the optimized adaptive Kalman Filter. Results showed that adaptive Kalman filter treatment could monitor the wind speed with smaller RMSE compared with LVD monitor. The study data demonstrated that the adaptive Kalman filter is reliable and suitable for online signal processing of mine wind speed monitor.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0034.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Multi-objective optimization; metal mine; production technical indicators; NSGA-II; artificial neural networks
Online: 3 July 2018 (10:23:12 CEST)
The selection of the best mine production technical indicators is crucial to increasing a mine’s economic benefit and saving resources for sustainability. Therefore, this research proposes a ‘multi-objective optimization model’ based on a ‘fast and elitist Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm’ (NSGA-II) and ‘Artificial Neural Networks’ (ANN) for the optimization of production technical indicators in the entire geology, mining and beneficiation metal mine production processes. The multi-objective optimization model has decision variables including ‘cut-off grade,’ ‘industrial grade’ and ‘loss rate,’ with objectives being ‘economic benefit (profit)’ and ‘resource benefit (metal volume).’ First, the relationship between the technical indicators of mine production is studied. The REG model, MATLAB’s own ksdensity function and the BP neural network are used to calculate the ore weight, the probability density of grade distribution, the dilution rate, the concentration ratio and the concentrate grade, and to further calculate geological reserves, profit and metal volume. Then, the NSGA-II is applied to maximize profit and metal volume simultaneously. Finally, the model is applied to the Huogeqi copper mine. The optimization result is a set of multiple optimal solutions called Pareto optimal solutions. Compared with the plan data, the profit and metal volume of partial optimization results increased by 2.89% and 2.64% simultaneously. These Pareto optimal solutions can help decision makers in bettering the actual process of metal mine production.
Subject: Engineering, General Engineering Keywords: mine rock drainage; sulfide oxidation; neutralization by silicates; secondary iron minerals; toxic element scavenging
Online: 15 October 2021 (12:22:41 CEST)
Mine waste rock and drainage pose lasting environmental, social, and economic threats to the mining industry, regulatory agencies, and society as a whole. Mine drainage can be alkaline, neutral, moderately or extremely acidic and contains significant levels of sulfate, dissolved iron, and frequently a variety of heavy metals and metalloids, such as cadmium, lead, arsenic, and selenium. In acid neutralization by carbonate and silicate minerals, a range of secondary minerals can form and possibly scavenge these potentially harmful elements. Apart from the extensively-studied microbial-facilitated sulfide oxidation, the diverse microbial communities present in mine rock and drainage may also participate in the formation, dissolution, and transformation of secondary minerals influencing the mobilization of these metals and metalloids. This article reviews major microbial-mediated geochemical processes occurring in mine rock piles that affect drainage chemistry, with a focus on the role of microorganisms in the formation, dissolution and transformation of secondary minerals. Understanding this is crucial for developing biologically-based measures to deal with contaminant release at the source, i.e., source control.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0580.v2
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: geopolymer; laterite; alkali-activated; alumino-silicates; I-optimal; response surface methodology; optimization; mine waste.
Online: 17 December 2020 (11:43:45 CET)
Geopolymer cement has been popularly studied nowadays compared to ordinary Portland cement because it demonstrated superior environmental advantages due to its lower carbon emissions and waste material utilization. This paper focuses on the formulation of geopolymer cement from nickel-laterite mine waste (NMW) and coal fly ash (CFA) as geopolymer precursors, and sodium hydroxide (SH) and sodium silicate (SS) as alkali activators. Different mix formulations of raw materials are synthesized to produce a geopolymer based from an I-optimal design and obtained different compressive strengths. A mixed formulation of 50% NMW and 50% CFA, SH-to-SS ratio of 0.5, and an activator-to-precursor ratio of 0.429 yielded the highest 28-day unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of 22.10 ± 5.40 MPa. Furthermore, using an optimized formulation of 50.12% NMW, SH-to-SS ratio of 0.516, and an activator-to-precursor ratio of 0.428, a UCS value of 36.30 ± 3.60 MPa was obtained. The result implies that the synthesized geopolymer material can be potentially used for concrete structures and pavers, pedestrian pavers, light traffic pavers, and plain concrete.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0205.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: heavy metals; abandoned mine; soil pollution; potential ecological risk; multivariate analysis; health index; soil; sediments
Online: 15 March 2022 (10:58:46 CET)
A recent survey that determined heavy metal concentrations in an abandoned Hg mine in Palawan, Philippines, found the occurrence of Hg with As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Tl, V, and Zn. While the Hg originated from the mine waste calcines as supported by previous studies, the critical knowledge about the origin of the other heavy metals remains to be unknown. Our study investigated the sources of heavy metal pollution surrounding the abandoned Hg mine; and assessed the soil and sediment quality, ecological risks, and health risks associated with these toxic metals. Multivariate analyses, such as hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), principal component analysis (PCA), and Pearson correlation analysis, were used to identify the heavy metal sources from the results of a previous paper. Our results showed that Fe, Ni, Cr, Co, and Mn are associated with the ultramafic geology of the study, whereas As, Ba, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, Tl, V, and Zn are likely due to historical mining and processing of cinnabar from 1953-1976. The mine waste calcines were used as construction material for the wharf and as land filler for the adjacent communities. The modified contamination factor (mCdeg) showed that the coast of Honda Bay is highly contaminated, while the inland areas, including the rivers, are very- to ultra-highly contaminated. There is a considerable ecological risk associated with the heavy metals, wherein Ni, Hg, Cr, and Mn contribute an average of 46.3 %, 26.3 %, 11.2 %, and 9.3 % to the potential ecological risk index (RI), respectively. The overall mean hazard index (HI) for both adults (1.4) and children (12.1) exceeded 1, implying the probability of non-carcinogenic adverse effects. The mean total cancer risk over a lifetime (LCR) for both adults (1.19×10-3) and children (2.89×10-3) exceeded the tolerable threshold of 10-4, suggesting a potentially high risk for developing cancer mainly by Ni, Co, and Cr exposure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0019.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Mining; Mine reclamation; Land cover change; Vegetation health; NDVI Post-mining; SMA; Random forest classification; Remote Sensing
Online: 2 November 2017 (15:01:03 CET)
Mining for resources extraction may lead to several geological and associated environmental changes due to ground movements, collision with mining cavities and deformation of aquifers. Geological changes may continue in a reclaimed mine area, and the deformed aquifers may entail a breakdown of substrates and an increase in ground water tables, which may cause surface area inundation. Consequently, a reclaimed mine area may experience surface area collapse, i.e. subsidence, and degradation of vegetation health. Thus, monitoring short-term landscape dynamics in a reclaimed mine area may provide important information on the long-term geological and environmental impacts of mining activities. We studied landscape dynamics in Kirchheller Heide, Germany, which experienced extensive soil movement due to longwall mining without stowing, using Landsat imageries between 2013 and 2016. A Random Forest image classification technique was applied to analyse land-use and land-cover dynamics and the growth of wetland areas was assessed using a Spectral Mixture Analysis (SMA). We also analyzed the changes in vegetation health using a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). We observed a 19.9% growth of wetland area within the four years with 87.2% of growth in the coverage of two major waterbodies in the reclaimed mine area. NDVI values indicate that 66.5% of the vegetation of the study area was degraded due to changes in ground water tables and surface flooding. Our results inform environmental management and mining reclamation authorities about the subsidence spots and priority mitigation areas from land surface and vegetation degradation in Kirchheller Heide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201707.0050.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control & Systems Engineering Keywords: ventilation process prediction; safety of mine ventilation system; sensitivity of the main air flows in ventilation subnetworks
Online: 18 July 2017 (12:27:46 CEST)
This paper presents a methodology for determining the sensitivity of the main air flow directions in ventilation subnetworks to changes of aerodynamic resistance and of air density in mine workings. Formulae for determination of the sensitivity of the main subnetwork air flows by establishing the degree of dependency of the air volume stream in a given working on the variations in resistance or air density of other workings of the network have been developed. They have been implemented in the VentGraph mine ventilation network simulator. This software, widely used in Polish collieries provides an extended possibility to predict the process of ventilation, air distribution and, in the case of underground fire, also the spread of combustion gasses. The new method facilitates assessment by mine ventilation services of the stability of ventilation systems in exploitation areas and determine of the sensitivity of the main subnetwork air flow directions to changes of aerodynamic resistance and air density. Recently in some Polish collieries new longwalls are developed in seams located deeper then the bottom of the intake shaft. Such solution is called “exploitation below the level of access” or “sublevel”. The new approach may be applied to such developments to assess the potential of changes of direction and air flow rates. In addition, interpretation of the developed sensitivity indicator is presented. While analyzing air distributions for sublevel exploitation, application of current numerical models for calculations of the distribution results in tangible benefits, such as the evaluation of the safety or risk levels for such exploitation. Application of the VentGraph computer program, and particularly the module POŻAR (fire) with the newly developed options, enables an additional approach to the sensitivity indicator in evaluating air flow safety levels for the risks present during exploitation below the level of the intake shaft. The analyses performed and examples presented enabled useful conclusions in mining practice to be drawn.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0716.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: hard rock mine; cemented rock fill (CRF); backfilling step scenario; major principal stress; stress concentration factor (SCF); displacement
Online: 31 May 2021 (08:43:52 CEST)
Cemented rock fill (CRF) is commonly used in cut-and-fill stoping operation in underground mining. This allows for the maximum recovery of ore. Backfilling can improve stope stability in underground workings, and then improve ground stability of the whole mine site. Backfilling step scenarios vary from site to site. This paper presents the investigation of five different backfilling step scenarios and their impacts on the stability of stopes at four different mining levels. A comprehensive comparison of displacements, major principal stress and stress concentration factor (SCF) was conducted. The results show that different backfilling step scenarios have little influence on the final displacement for displacement in the stopes. Among the five backfilling scenarios, the major principal stress and stress concentration factor (SCF) have almost the same final results. The backfilling scenario SCN-1 is the optimum option among these five backfilling scenarios. It can immediately prevent the increase of the displacement and reduce the sidewall stress concentration, thereby preventing possible failures. Using the same strength of CRF can achieve same effects among the four mining levels. Applying backfilling CRF of the same strength at different mining depths is acceptable and feasible to improve the stability of the stopes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0708.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Cellulose cationisation; Chromium(VI); acid mine drainage; hemp cellulose; glycidyltrimethylammonium chloride; 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride; quaternary ammonium salts
Online: 29 September 2020 (12:44:08 CEST)
Cationised hemp cellulose was prepared by etherification with two quaternary ammonium salts: 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (CHPTAC) and glycidyltrimethylammonium chloride (GTMAC) and examined for (i) the efficiency of Cr(VI) removal under acid mine-drainage (AMD) conditions, and (ii) antibacterial activity. Adsorbents were characterised by electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), CP-MAS 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, elemental composition and surface charge. FTIR and solid state 13C NMR confirmed the introduction of quaternary ammonium moieties on cellulose. 13C NMR also showed that cationisation decreased the degree of crystallisation and lateral dimensions of cellulose fibrils. Nevertheless, 47 % - 72% of Cr(VI) ions were removed from solutions at pH 4, by 0.1 g of CHPTAC and GTMAC-cationised cellulose, respectively. Adsorption kinetics followed the pseudo-second order model and isotherms were best described by the Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevich models. When GTMAC-modified cellulose was applied to AMD contaminated water (pH 2.7), however, Cr(VI) uptake removal decreased to 22% likely due to competition from Al and Fe ions. Nevertheless, cationised materials displayed considerable antibacterial effects, reducing the viability of Escherichia coli by up to 45 % after just 3 hours of exposure. Together, these results suggest that cationised cellulose can be applied in the treatment of Cr(VI)-contaminated mine water particularly if pre-treatments to reduce Fe and Al concentrations are applied.