STABILIZATION OF ARSENIC IN THE MINING AND METALLURGICAL INDUSTRIES – A REVIEW

World Mining Congress
Arsenic, which is a toxic and carcinogenic element, causes serious environmental problems throughout the world. It is also known as a major contaminant in the non-ferrous mining and extractive metallurgical industries, thus its disposal is one of the most important environmental issues for the mining and metallurgical industries. In order to ensure a safe disposal environment for the final wastes, stabilization of arsenic has been studied extensively with various approaches. Solidification/stabilization (S/S) represents one of the most effective methods to reduce the availability of arsenic in soil and waste by transforming toxic or potentially hazardous phases into less hazardous ones. Cement based S/S processes could reduce the solubility of arsenic in solid waste, using inorganic binders such as cement, lime, and pozzolanic materials. A new tailings management technique, called cemented paste backfill (CPB), has become widely employed for improving mining techniques and for tailing storage purpose and this technique could also enhance arsenic stabilization, by fixing the contaminants in the binder matrix. Disposal of arsenic in the form of scorodite (FeAsO4•2H2O) has been widely accepted as currently the most suitable method for stabilization and the safest known storage material.
Keywords: Arsenic; pH; Process; Processes; Wastes; Waste; leaching; Cement; Stabilization;
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