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Minería y Geología

versión On-line ISSN 1993-8012


CORDERO, Cintia Gabriela; MARCHEVSKY, Natalia Judith; CHIACCHIARINI, Patricia Alejandra  y  GIAVENO, María Alejandra. Physical, chemical and mineralogical characterization of old tailings, in search of alternatives for its reuse. Min. Geol. [online]. 2022, vol.38, n.1, pp.70-82.  Epub 31-Mar-2022. ISSN 1993-8012.

Tailings from old mining operations constitute environmental pollution risks; however, these wastes can be useful for recovering minerals and metals of economic interest or use them for different purposes today. The objective of this study is to characterize tailings stored in old tailings dam from Andacollo (Neuquén province, Argentina) from the physical, chemical and mineralogical point of view in order to explore the alternatives for its reuse. Conductivity, porosity, real and apparent density, elemental composition (ICP-MS), pH, and Eh, were determined in study samples and XRD analysis were performed. Results showed a low probability of acid drainage generation, and metallic contents present in the tailings are too low to propose the economic recovery of these elements. Arsenic (As) was the only element in concentrations above the permissible limits, so that a possible agricultural, residential or industrial reuse of these techno soils would require a process for removing or reducing the content of this metalloid. Bulk density and porosity values found, would be favorable for vegetation growth considering a restoration plan.

Palabras clave : tailings; mining wastes; Andacollo mining district; tailings reuse; environmental risk.

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