GEOCHEMICAL BEHAVIOR OF MINE TAILINGS AT THE ABANDONED MINES OF THE UPPER-MOULOUYA LEAD DISTRICT (MOROCCO)

World Mining Congress
In this work we assessed the geochemical behavior of concentrator tailings deposited at the abandoned mines of Zeida and Mibladen (Upper Moulouya, Morocco), using physico-chemical analyses, mineralogical characterization, acid base accounting and weathering cell tests. The aim of the study was to evaluate mine drainage quality and to assess metal mobility from these concentrator tailings. Chemical analyses show that the Upper-Moulouya abandoned tailings contain relatively high quantities of lead (0.261 to 0.594 % wt). Mineralogical analyses reveal the abundance of neutralizing minerals (calcite, dolomite, ankerite, and aluminosilicates) which influence mine drainage and metal mobility in mine tailings. Leachate analyses from weathering cell tests show alkaline conditions, small conductivity values, and low solubility of Pb-mineral phases. According to these results, abandoned mine tailings in the Upper-Moulouya district have very low potential for generation of contaminated mine drainage and for leaching of heavy metals. However, the inhalation of tailings exposed to winds generate dust problem facing the local population and may cause health consequences.
Keywords: tailings; Tests; test; metals; minerals; mineral; minerals; weathering; Mine tailings;
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