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Geochemical controls on the environmental mobility of Sb and As at mesothermal antimony and gold deposits

Title data

Craw, Dave ; Wilson, Nathaniel ; Ashley, P. M.:
Geochemical controls on the environmental mobility of Sb and As at mesothermal antimony and gold deposits.
In: Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy B : Applied Earth Science. Vol. 113 (2004) Issue 1 . - pp. 3-10.
ISSN 0371-7453
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1179/037174504225004538

Abstract in another language

Antimony and arsenic are commonly mobilised into the environment from mesothermal mineral deposits. Both these metalloids are potentially toxic in the environment when dissolved in water at low levels (<0·01 mg/l). Mobility of antimony, in comparison to that of arsenic, is documented at mine sites in four different mesothermal systems in low grade Palaeozoic-Mesozoic metamorphic terranes of New Zealand (Globe Hill, Reefton; Macraes, Otago; and Endeavour Inlet, Marlborough) and Australia (Hillgrove, New South Wales). Dissolved antimony can reach ~50 mg/kg in mine waters where evaporative concentration occurs in oxidised near-neutral pH mine waters in contact with stibnite. Such waters are chemically saturated with respect to antimony oxides, and antimony oxide precipitation occurs locally. Most mine waters have lower dissolved Sb concentrations, especially where high rainfall causes dilution. However, high rainfall areas have widespread diffuse mobilisation of both Sb and As to give elevated background levels (0⋅1–0⋅01 mg/kg) in downstream waters. Dissolved Sb is decreased by adsorption of Sb to hydrated iron oxide (HFO) precipitates in streams. Bulk distribution coefficient, Kd, for this Sb adsorption ranges up to at least 105, and is similar to that of As adsorption in the same settings. Attenuation of dissolved Sb by HFO results in an order of magnitude decrease in Sb concentrations on a scale of metres. In the absence of HFO, dissolved Sb can be transported in streams for many kilometres. Elevated dissolved Sb concentrations can arise distant (tens of kilometres) from a mine site because of dissolution of antimony-bearing minerals physically transported downstream. Hence, without HFO attenuation, environmentally toxic levels of Sb can be readily leached from mine sites and distributed widely.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER88570
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Environmental Geochemistry Group
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 07:28
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2016 06:33
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/20626