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Sample records for abandoned uranium mining

  1. Navajo Nation: Cleaning Up Abandoned Uranium Mines

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This site provides information about the progress of EPA's cleanup of abandoned uranium mines on Navajo and Hopi lands and in other areas of Arizona and New Mexico, including health impacts, major enforcement and removal milestones, and community actions.

  2. Community Involvement Plan: Western Abandoned Uranium Mine Region

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Factsheets related to the Western Abandoned Uranium Mine Region, generally located along the Little Colorado River and Highway 89, and are in the Cameron, Coalmine Canyon, Bodaway/Gap, and Leupp Chapters.

  3. Impact of uranium mines closure and abandonment on groundwater quality.

    PubMed

    Rapantova, Nada; Licbinska, Monika; Babka, Ondrej; Grmela, Arnost; Pospisil, Pavel

    2013-11-01

    The aim of the study is to assess the evolving mine water quality of closed uranium mines (abandoned between 1958 and 1992) in the Czech Republic. This paper focuses on the changes in mine water quality over time and spatial variability. In 2010, systematic monitoring of mine water quality was performed at all available locations of previous uranium exploitation. Gravity flow discharges (mine adits, uncontrolled discharges) or shafts (in dynamic state or stagnating) were sampled. Since the quality of mine water results from multiple conditions-geology, type of sample, sampling depth, time since mine flooding, an assessment of mine water quality evolution was done taking into account all these conditions. Multivariate analyses were applied in order to identify the groups of samples based on their similarity. Evaluation of hydrogeochemical equilibrium and evolution of mine waters was done using the Geochemist's Workbench and PHREEQC software. The sampling proved that uranium concentrations in mine waters did not predominantly exceed 0.45 mg/L. In case of discharges from old adits abandoned more than 40 years ago, uranium concentrations were below the MCL of US Environmental Protection Agency for uranium in drinking water (0.03 mg/L). Higher concentrations, up to 1.23 mg/L of U, were found only at active dewatered mines. Activity concentration of 226Ra varied from 0.03 up to 1.85 Bq/L except for two sites with increased background values due to rock formation (granites). Radium has a typically increasing trend after mine abandonment with a large variability. Concerning metals in mine water, Al, Co and Ni exceeded legislative limits on two sites with low pH waters. The mine water quality changes with a focus on uranium mobility were described from recently dewatered mines to shafts with water level maintained in order to prevent outflows to surface water and finally to stagnating shafts and discharges of mine water from old adits. The results were in good agreement

  4. Working with Communities on Cleaning Up Abandoned Uranium Mines

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This site provides information about the EPA's work to inform and include communities in the cleanup of abandoned mines, including health impacts, major enforcement and removal milestones, and community actions.

  5. Eastern Agency Navajo Abandoned Uranium Mine Open House

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Learn about the Contaminated Structures Program in the greater Eastern Agency with representatives from EPA, DOE, and Navajo Abandoned Mine Lands Program with updates on activities at NE Church Rock, Kerr-McGee/Quivira, and United Nuclear Co. Mill site.

  6. TECHNICAL REPORT ON TECHNOLOGICALLY ENHANCED NATURALLY OCCURRING RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS FROM URANIUM MINING, VOLUME II: INVESTIGATION OF POTENTIAL HEALTH, GEOGRAPHIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES OF ABANDONED URANIUM MINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Volume II investigates the potential radiogenic risks from abandoned uranium mines and evaluates which may pose the greatest hazards to members of the public and to the environment. The intent of this report is to identify who may be most likely to be exposed to wastes at small a...

  7. Behaviour and mobility of U and Ra in sediments near an abandoned uranium mine, Cornwall, UK.

    PubMed

    Siddeeg, Saifeldin M; Bryan, Nicholas D; Livens, Francis R

    2015-01-01

    Sediment samples were collected from the vicinity of the abandoned South Terras uranium mine in south-west UK and analysed for uranium and (226)Ra to explore their geochemical dispersion. The radioactivity concentrations in the sediment samples were measured using alpha spectrometry for uranium, and gamma spectrometry for radium. Sequential chemical extraction was applied to selected sediments in order to investigate the speciation of the radionuclides and their association with stable elements. The activity ratio of the uranium isotopes was used to explore the mobility of uranium, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) were used to characterise the sediments. The radiochemical results identified two locations with enhanced radioactivity, so two samples from these locations were further investigated. The geochemical distribution of the radionuclides in these two samples varies within the five operationally-defined fractions. In one sample, the majority of the uranium was released from the 'carbonate' fraction, followed by the organic fractions. Similarly, in the second sample, the uranium was mainly resealed from the carbonate fraction, although a considerable percentage associated with the resistant fraction. The fractionation trend of radium noticed to show some similarities to that of barium, as expected from the similarity in their chemistries. Geochemical distributions of the stable elements, such as Mn, Ti and As, were different in the enhanced radioactivity samples. The activity ratio of (234)U/(238)U shows different trends in the two sediments, signifying the impact of organic matter and/or the exchange between water and sediment. SEM and EMPA analysis identified uranium-bearing phases in association with potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and arsenic.

  8. Spatial distribution of environmental risk associated to a uranium abandoned mine (Central Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antunes, I. M.; Ribeiro, A. F.

    2012-04-01

    The abandoned uranium mine of Canto do Lagar is located at Arcozelo da Serra, central Portugal. The mine was exploited in an open pit and produced about 12430Kg of uranium oxide (U3O8), between 1987 and 1988. The dominant geological unit is the porphyritic coarse-grained two-mica granite, with biotite>muscovite. The uranium deposit consists of two gaps crushing, parallel to the coarse-grained porphyritic granite, with average direction N30°E, silicified, sericitized and reddish jasperized, with a width of approximately 10 meters. These gaps are accompanied by two thin veins of white quartz, 70°-80° WNW, ferruginous and jasperized with chalcedony, red jasper and opal. These veins are about 6 meters away from each other. They contain secondary U-phosphates phases such as autunite and torbernite. Rejected materials (1000000ton) were deposited on two dumps and a lake was formed in the open pit. To assess the environmental risk of the abandoned uranium mine of Canto do Lagar, were collected and analysed 70 samples on stream sediments, soils and mine tailings materials. The relation between samples composition were tested using the Principal Components Analysis (PCA) (multivariate analysis) and spatial distribution using Kriging Indicator. The spatial distribution of stream sediments shows that the probability of expression for principal component 1 (explaining Y, Zr, Nb, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Hf, Th and U contents), decreases along SE-NW direction. This component is explained by the samples located inside mine influence. The probability of expression for principal component 2 (explaining Be, Na, Al, Si, P, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, As, Rb, Sr, Mo, Cs, Ba, Tl and Bi contents), increases to middle stream line. This component is explained by the samples located outside mine influence. The spatial distribution of soils, shows that the probability of expression for principal component 1 (explaining Mg, P, Ca, Ge, Sr, Y, Zr, La, Ce, Pr

  9. Bioaccessibility of U, Th and Pb in solid wastes and soils from an abandoned uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Foulkes, Michael; Millward, Geoffrey; Henderson, Samuel; Blake, William

    2016-12-12

    Bioaccessible U, Th, Pb and the (238)U decay products (214)Pb and (210)Pb have been determined, using a modified Unified BARGE Method (UBM), in waste solids and soils from an abandoned uranium mine in South West England, UK. Maximum aqua regia extractable concentrations for U, Th and Pb were 16,200, 3.8 and 4750 μg g(-1), respectively. (238)U had highest activity concentrations near the mine shaft, where the decay products(214)Pb and (210)Pb had values of 235 and 180 Bq g(-1), respectively. UBM extractions gave mean gastro-intestinal bioaccessibility factors (BAFs) for U and Pb in the waste solids of 0.05 and 0.03, respectively, whereas those for the soils were significantly higher at 0.24 and 0.17. The mean BAFs for the transient radionuclides, (214)Pb and (210)Pb, were similar to those for stable Pb implying that the stable and radioactive Pb isotopes were attached to similar sites on the particles. The doses arising from the ingestion of particulate (210)Pb due to soil pica behaviour were in the range 0.2-65 and < 0.1-6.2 μSv day(-1) for a 1-year old child or an adult (>17 years), respectively. The results suggest that the health risk posed by abandoned uranium mines, with waste rock and tailings, throughout the world should take account of the dose due to both bioaccessible radionuclides, as well as their stable counterparts.

  10. Bioaccessibility of U, Th and Pb in particulate matter from an abandoned uranium mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millward, Geoffrey; Foulkes, Michael; Henderson, Sam; Blake, William

    2016-04-01

    Currently, there are approximately 150 uranium mines in Europe at various stages of either operation, development, decommissioning, restoration or abandonment (wise-uranium.com). The particulate matter comprising the mounds of waste rock and mill tailings poses a risk to human health through the inadvertent ingestion of particles contaminated with uranium and thorium, and their decay products, which exposes recipients to the dual toxicity of heavy elements and their radioactive emissions. We investigated the bioaccessibility of 238U, 232Th and 206,214,210Pb in particulate samples taken from a contaminated, abandoned uranium mine in South West England. Sampling included a mine shaft, dressing floor and waste heap, as well as soils from a field used for grazing. The contaminants were extracted using the in-vitro Unified Bioaccessibility Research Group of Europe Method (UBM) in order to mimic the digestion processes in the human stomach (STOM) and the combined stomach and gastrointestinal tract (STOM+INT). Analyses of concentrations of U, Th and Pb in the extracts were by ICP-MS and the activity concentrations of radionuclides were determined on the same particles, before and after extraction, using gamma spectroscopy. 'Total' concentrations of U, Th and Pb for all samples were in the range 57 to 16,200, 0.28 to 3.8 and 69 to 4750 mg kg-1, respectively. For U and Pb the concentrations in the STOM fraction were lower than the total and STOM+INT fractions were even lower. However, for Th the STOM+INT fractions were higher than the STOM due to the presence of Th carbonate species within the gastrointestinal fluid. Activity concentrations for 214Pb and 210Pb, including total, STOM and STOM+INT, were in the range 180 to <1 Bq g-1 for the dressing floor and waste heap and 18 to <1 Bq g-1 for the grazing land. Estimates of the bioaccessible fractions (BAFs) of 238U in the most contaminated samples were 39% and 8% in the STOM and STOM+INT, respectively, whereas the respective

  11. 238U, and its decay products, in grasses from an abandoned uranium mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Childs, Edgar; Maskall, John; Millward, Geoffrey

    2016-04-01

    Bioaccumulation of radioactive contaminants by plants is of concern particularly where the sward is an essential part of the diet of ruminants. The abandoned South Terras uranium mine, south west England, had primary deposits of uraninite (UO2) and pitchblende (U3O8), which contained up to 30% uranium. When the mine was active uranium and radium were extracted but following closure it was abandoned without remediation. Waste rock and gangue, consisting of inefficiently processed minerals, were spread around the site, including a field where ruminants are grazed. Here we report the activity concentrations of 238U, 235U 214,210Pb, and the concentrations of selected metals in the soils, roots and leaves of grasses taken from the contaminated field. Soil samples were collected at the surface, and at 30 cm depth, using an auger along a 10-point transect in the field from the foot of a waste heap. Whole, individual grass plants were removed with a spade, ensuring that their roots were intact. The soils and roots and grass leaves were freeze-dried. Activity concentrations of the radionuclides were determined by gamma spectroscopy, following 30 days incubation for development of secular equilibrium. Dried soils, roots and grasses were also digested in aqua regia and the concentrations of elements determined by ICP techniques. Maximum activity concentrations of 238U, 235U, 214Pb and 210Pb surface soils were 63,300, 4,510, 23,300 and 49,400 Bq kg-1, respectively. The mean 238U:235U ratio was 11.8 ± 1.8, an order of magnitude lower than the natural value of 138, indicating disequilibrium within the decay chain due to mineral processing. Radionuclides in the roots had 5 times lower concentration and only grass leaves in the vicinity of the waste heap had measureable values. The mean soil to root transfer factor for 238U was 36%, the mean root to leaf was 3% and overall only 0.7% of 238U was transferred from the soil to the leaves. The roots contained 0.8% iron, possibly as

  12. Preliminary study of a radiological survey in an abandoned uranium mining area in Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    N, Rabesiranana; M, Rasolonirina; F, Solonjara A.; Andriambololona., Raoelina; L, Mabit

    2010-05-01

    The region of Vinaninkarena located in central Madagascar (47°02'40"E, 19°57'17"S), is known to be a high natural radioactive area. Uranium ore was extracted in this region during the 1950s and the early 1960s. In the mid-1960s, mining activities were stopped and the site abandoned. In the meantime, the region, which used to be without any inhabitants, has recently been occupied by new settlers with presumed increase in exposure of the local population to natural ionizing radiation. In order to assess radiological risk, a survey to assess the soil natural radioactivity background was conducted during the year 2004. This study was implemented in the frame of the FADES Project SP99v1b_21 entitled: Assessment of the environmental pollution by multidisciplinary approach, and the International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Cooperation Project MAG 7002 entitled: Effects of air and water pollution on human health. Global Positioning System (GPS) was used to determine the geographical coordinates of the top soil samples (0-15cm) collected. The sampling was performed using a multi integrated scale approach to estimate the spatial variability of the parameters under investigation (U, Th and K) using geo-statistical approach. A total of 205 soil samples was collected in the study site (16 km2). After humidity correction, the samples were sealed in 100 cm3 cylindrical air-tight plastic containers and stored for more than 6 months to reach a secular equilibrium between parents and short-lived progeny (226Ra and progeny, 238U and 234Th). Measurements were performed using a high-resolution HPGe Gamma-detector with a 30% relative efficiency and an energy resolution of 1.8 keV at 1332.5 keV, allowing the determination of the uranium and thorium series and 40K. In case of secular equilibrium, a non-gamma-emitting radionuclide activity was deduced from its gamma emitting progeny. This was the case for 238U (from 234Th), 226Ra (from 214Pb and 214Bi) and 232Th (from 228Ac, 212Pb or

  13. Accumulation of arsenic in Lemna gibba L. (duckweed) in tailing waters of two abandoned uranium mining sites in Saxony, Germany.

    PubMed

    Mkandawire, Martin; Dudel, E Gert

    2005-01-05

    Accumulation of arsenic in Lemna gibba L. was investigated in tailing waters of abandoned uranium mine sites, following the hypothesis that arsenic poses contamination risks in post uranium mining in Saxony, Germany. Consequently, macrophytes growing in mine tailing waters accumulate high amounts of arsenic, which might be advantageous for biomonitoring arsenic transfer to higher trophic levels, and for phytoremediation. Water and L. gibba sample collected from pond on tailing dumps of abandoned mine sites at Lengenfeld and Neuensalz-Mechelgrun were analysed for arsenic. Laboratory cultures in nutrient solutions modified with six arsenic and three PO(4)(3-) concentrations were conducted to gain insight into the arsenic-L. gibba interaction. Arsenic accumulation coefficients in L. gibba were 10 times as much as the background concentrations in both tailing waters and nutrient solutions. Arsenic accumulations in L. gibba increased with arsenic concentration in the milieu but they decreased with phosphorus concentration. Significant reductions in arsenic accumulation in L. gibba were observed with the addition of PO(4)(3-) at all six arsenic test concentrations in laboratory experiments. Plant samples from laboratory trials had on average twofold higher bioaccumulation coefficients than tailing water at similar arsenic concentrations. This would be attributed to strong interaction among chemical components, and competition among ions in natural aquatic environment. The results of the study indicate that L. gibba can be a preliminary bioindicator for arsenic transfer from substrate to plants and might be used to monitor the transfer of arsenic from lower to higher trophic levels in the abandoned mine sites. There is also the potential of using L. gibba L. for arsenic phytoremediation of mine tailing waters because of its high accumulation capacity as demonstrated in this study. Transfer of arsenic contamination transported by accumulations in L. gibba carried with

  14. Distribution of natural radionuclides in surface soils in the vicinity of abandoned uranium mines in Serbia.

    PubMed

    Momčilović, Milan; Kovačević, Jovan; Tanić, Milan; Dorđević, Milan; Bačić, Goran; Dragović, Snežana

    2013-02-01

    The activity concentrations of natural radionuclides in soils from the area affected by uranium mining at Stara Planina Mountain in Serbia were studied and compared with the results obtained from an area with no mining activities (background area). In the affected area, the activity concentrations ranged from 1.75 to 19.2 mg kg(-1) for uranium and from 1.57 to 26.9 mg kg(-1) for thorium which is several-fold higher than those in the background area. The Th/U, K/U, and K/Th activity ratios were also determined and compared with data from similar studies worldwide. External gamma dose rate in the air due to uranium, thorium, and potassium at 1 m above ground level in the area affected by uranium mining was found to be 91.3 nGy h(-1), i.e., about two-fold higher than that in background area. The results of this preliminary study indicate the importance of radiological evaluation of the area and implementation of remedial measures in order to prevent further dispersion of radionuclides in the environment.

  15. Abandoned Mine Lands

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Abandoned Mine Lands are those lands, waters, and surrounding watersheds where extraction, beneficiation, or processing of ores and minerals (excluding coal) has occurred. These lands also include areas where mining or processing activity is inactive.

  16. Chemical Interactions of Uranium in Water, Sediments, and Plants Along a Watershed Adjacent to the Abandoned Jackpile Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, J.; De Vore, C. L.; Avasarala, S.; Ali, A.; Roldan, C.; Bowers, F.; Spilde, M.; Artyushkova, K.; Cerrato, J.

    2015-12-01

    The chemical interactions, mobility, and plant uptake of uranium (U) near abandoned mine wastes was investigated along the Rio Paguate, adjacent to the Jackpile Mine, located in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. Elevated U concentrations in surface water adjacent to mine waste range from 30 to 710 μg/L seasonally and decrease to 5.77 to 10.0 μg/L at a wetland 4.5 kilometers downstream of the mine. Although U concentrations in stream water are elevated, aqua regia acid digestions performed on co-located stream bed and stream bank sediments reveal that there is limited U accumulation on sediments along the reach between the mine and wetland, with most sediment concentrations being near the 3 mg/kg crustal average. However, U concentrations in sediments in the wetland are 4 times the background concentrations in the area. Individual results from salt cedar roots, stems, and leaves collected along the river transect show higher U concentrations in the roots adjacent to the mine waste (20 and 55 mg/kg) and lower in the stems and leaves. Translocation values calculated below 1 are evident in many of the plant samples, suggesting that U root to shoot translocation is minimal and U is accumulating in the roots. Concentrations of U in salt cedar roots from downstream of the mine waste decrease to 15 mg/kg. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis on sediment samples adjacent to the mine waste show a 75:25% ratio of Fe(III) to Fe(II), which can have an effect on adsorption properties. Electron microprobe results suggest that the ore in this area is present as a uranium-phosphate phase. Our results suggest that dilution, uptake by plants, and U sorption to wetland sediments are the dominant factors that help to decrease the U concentrations downstream of the mine.

  17. U.S. EPA Settles with El Paso Natural Gas for Cleanup Costs at Abandoned Uranium Mines on Navajo Nation

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced a settlement worth more than $500,000 with El Paso Natural Gas Company LLC, (EPNG) to reimburse government costs related to 19 abandoned uranium

  18. Trace Element Mobility in Water and Sediments in a Hyporheic Zone Adjacent to an Abandoned Uranium Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roldan, C.; Blake, J.; Cerrato, J.; Ali, A.; Cabaniss, S.

    2015-12-01

    The legacy of abandoned uranium mines lead to community concerns about environmental and health effects. This study focuses on a cross section of the Rio Paguate, adjacent to the Jackpile Mine on the Laguna Reservation, west-central New Mexico. Often, the geochemical interactions that occur in the hyporheic zone adjacent to these abandoned mines play an important role in trace element mobility. In order to understand the mobility of uranium (U), arsenic (As), and vanadium (V) in the Rio Paguate; surface water, hyporheic zone water, and core sediment samples were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). All water samples were filtered through 0.45μm and 0.22μm filters and analyzed. The results show that there is no major difference in concentrations of U (378-496μg/L), As (0.872-6.78μg/L), and V (2.94-5.01μg/L) between the filter sizes or with depth (8cm and 15cm) in the hyporheic zone. The unfiltered hyporheic zone water samples were analyzed after acid digestion to assess the particulate fraction. These results show a decrease in U concentration (153-202μg/L) and an increase in As (33.2-219μg/L) and V (169-1130μg/L) concentrations compared to the filtered waters. Surface water concentrations of U(171-184μg/L) are lower than the filtered hyporheic zone waters while As(1.32-8.68μg/L) and V(1.75-2.38μg/L) are significantly lower than the hyporheic zone waters and particulates combined. Concentrations of As in the sediment core samples are higher in the first 15cm below the water-sediment interface (14.3-3.82μg/L) and decrease (0.382μg/L) with depth. Uranium concentrations are consistent (0.047-0.050μg/L) at all depths. The over all data suggest that U is mobile in the dissolved phase and both As and V are mobile in the particular phase as they travel through the system.

  19. SSH gene expression profile of Eisenia andrei exposed in situ to a naturally contaminated soil from an abandoned uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Joana; Pereira, Ruth; Gonçalves, Fernando; Mendo, Sónia

    2013-02-01

    The effects of the exposure of earthworms (Eisenia andrei) to contaminated soil from an abandoned uranium mine, were assessed through gene expression profile evaluation by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH). Organisms were exposed in situ for 56 days, in containers placed both in a contaminated and in a non-contaminated site (reference). Organisms were sampled after 14 and 56 days of exposure. Results showed that the main physiological functions affected by the exposure to metals and radionuclides were: metabolism, oxireductase activity, redox homeostasis and response to chemical stimulus and stress. The relative expression of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 and elongation factor 1 alpha was also affected, since the genes encoding these enzymes were significantly up and down-regulated, after 14 and 56 days of exposure, respectively. Also, an EST with homology for SET oncogene was found to be up-regulated. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that this gene was identified in earthworms and thus, further studies are required, to clarify its involvement in the toxicity of metals and radionuclides. Considering the results herein presented, gene expression profiling proved to be a very useful tool to detect earthworms underlying responses to metals and radionuclides exposure, pointing out for the detection and development of potential new biomarkers.

  20. Effect of Intermittent Flow on the Mobility of Metals from Abandoned Uranium Mine Waste Sites on Native American Land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avasarala, S.; Ali, A.; Artyushkova, K.; Gonzalez-Pinzon, R.; Cerrato, J.

    2015-12-01

    Column experiments were conducted to study the effect of intermittent flow on the mobility of metals from abandoned uranium mine waste sites in Blue Gap Tachee (BGT), AZ and Laguna, NM. Intermittent flow represent the rainfall patterns in the southwestern United States, involving alternate wet and dry cycles. In order to simulate these rainfall patterns shorter wet periods of 15, 30, 60, 120 and 360 minutes, followed by longer dry periods of 24 hours, were adopted for the column experiments. The experiment involved sequential leaching of sediments from Laguna and BGT with 18MὨ water (pH 5.4), Synthetic Rain Water (SRW, pH 5.6), 10mM bicarbonate solution (pH 7.9) and 10mM acetic acid (pH 3.4) solution that represent the environmentally relevant conditions as witnessed in BGT water samples (pH 3.8 and 7.4). These reagents were specifically chosen to target most metal species through various transport mechanisms which include advective-dispersive forces, ion-exchange, desorption and dissolution. With just 18MὨ water and SRW almost 90 µg/L of U, 4500 µg/L of V and 20 µg/L of As were released from BGT mine waste while the Laguna sample showed the release of 380 µg/L of U, 2 µg/L of V and 40 µg/L of As. The released U concentrations were 3-13 times its EPA MCL for U which under natural circumstances could threaten the proximate communities. Bicarbonate and acetic acid extractions on the other hand released 3500-6000 µg/L of U, 50-3000 µg/L of V and 14-35 µg/L of As from both Laguna and BGT mine waste respectively. Based on our previously published results, U and V from the uranyl-vanadate (U-V) species within BGT mine waste samples were only partially released with bicarbonate unlike the column experiments where almost all of the U and V from the U-V species were dissolved and released using 10mM bicarbonate solution. For reference, the columns were also leached continuously with bicarbonate and acetic acid for a week (each), to identify if the phases were

  1. Effect of Biogeochemical Redox Processes on the Fate and Transport of As and U at an Abandoned Uranium Mine Site: an X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Study

    SciTech Connect

    Troyer, Lyndsay D.; Stone, James J.; Borch, Thomas

    2014-01-28

    Although As can occur in U ore at concentrations up to 10 wt-%, the fate and transport of both U and As at U mine tailings have not been previously investigated at a watershed scale. The major objective of this study was to determine primary chemical and physical processes contributing to transport of both U and As to a down gradient watershed at an abandoned U mine site in South Dakota. Uranium is primarily transported by erosion at the site, based on decreasing concentrations in sediment with distance from the tailings. equential extractions and U X-ray absorption near-edge fine structure (XANES) fitting indicate that U is immobilised in a near-source sedimentation pond both by prevention of sediment transport and by reduction of UVI to UIV. In contrast to U, subsequent release of As to the watershed takes place from the pond partially due to reductive dissolution of Fe oxy(hydr)oxides. However, As is immobilised by adsorption to clays and Fe oxy(hydr)oxides in oxic zones and by formation of As–sulfide mineral phases in anoxic zones down gradient, indicated by sequential extractions and As XANES fitting. This study indicates that As should be considered during restoration of uranium mine sites in order to prevent transport.

  2. Inactive and abandoned noncoal mines

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-08-01

    Volume 1 outlines the environmental, health and safety problems at IAMS (Inactive, Abandoned Mine Sites), remediation technologies, remediation costs, the methodology states used in preparing state reports, and state summary tables. It also describes the broad range of policy options for remediation of problems associated with IAMS. Volume 2 gives state reports for inactive and abandoned noncoal mines for the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Volume 3 lists the State reports for the inactive and abandoned noncoal mines for the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. A separate abstract is included for each of the 3 volumes of this set.

  3. Evolution of abandoned underground hardrock mine closures by the Texas abandoned mine land reclamation program

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes, M.J.

    1997-12-31

    The Texas Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation program began investigating, designing and implementing hard rock abandoned underground mine closures, after a young boy fell to his death in an abandoned mine opening in 1982. This paper discusses the evolution of abandoned hard rock mine closures in west Texas, by the Texas AML program in response to the development of abandoned underground mine resource information. Case histories are presented of the Texas AML program`s efforts in west Texas including: mine history summaries; site characterization, environmental assessment; design and construction planning considerations, and construction cost information.

  4. Characterization and treatment of water used for human consumption from six sources located in the Cameron/Tuba City abandoned uranium mining area.

    PubMed

    Orescanin, Visnja; Kollar, Robert; Nad, Karlo; Mikelic, Ivanka Lovrencic; Kollar, Iris

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this research was the characterization and improvement of the quality of water used for human consumption of unregulated/regulated water sources located in the Cameron/Tuba City abandoned uranium mining area (NE Arizona, western edge of the Navajo Nation). Samples were collected at six water sources which included regulated sources: Wind Mill (Tank 3T-538), Badger Springs and Paddock Well as well as unregulated sources: Willy Spring, Water Wall and Water Hole. Samples taken from Wind Mill, Water Wall and Water Hole were characterized with high turbidity and color as well as high level of manganese, iron and nickel and elevated value of molybdenum. High level of iron was also found in Badger Spring, Willy Spring, and Paddock Well. These three water sources were also characterized with elevated values of fluoride and vanadium. Significant amounts of zinc were found in Water Wall and Water Hole samples. Water Wall sample was also characterized with high level of Cr(VI). Compared to primary or secondary Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency (NNEPA) water quality standard the highest enrichment was found for turbidity (50.000 times), color (up to 1.796 times) and manganese (71 times), Cr(VI) (17.5 times), iron (7.4 times) and arsenic (5.2 times). Activities of (226)Ra and (238)U in water samples were still in agreement with the maximum contaminant levels. In order to comply with NNEPA water quality standard water samples were subjected to electrochemical treatment. This method was selected due to its high removal efficiency for heavy metals and uranium, lower settlement time, production of smaller volume of waste mud and higher stability of waste mud compared to physico-chemical treatment. Following the treatment, concentrations of heavy metals and activities of radionuclides in all samples were significantly lower compared to NNEPA or WHO regulated values. The maximum removal efficiencies for color, turbidity, arsenic, manganese, molybdenum and

  5. U.S. EPA reaches out to businesses for input on abandoned uranium mine cleanup work in and around Navajo Nation

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    SAN FRANCISCO - (09/11/15) Today the U.S. States Environmental Protection Agency issued a Request for Information (RFI) for an upcoming Navajo Area Uranium Mines Response, Assessment, and Evaluation Services contract. This RFI is a vital step in the

  6. Geohydrology and water chemistry of abandoned uranium mines and radiochemistry of spoil-material leachate, Monument Valley and Cameron areas, Arizona and Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Longsworth, S.A.

    1994-01-01

    Uranium mines in the Monument Valley area were established predominately in channel-fill deposits within the Shinarump Member of the Chinle Formation. The Shinarump Member yields ground water to wells and may yield water to the Moonlight and Radium Hill mines. In the study area near Cameron, uranium was mined from channel-fill deposits within the Petrified Forest Member of the Chinle Formation. Units of the Petrified Forest Member do not yield ground water to wells in the area, but fractures in the lower part of the Petrified Forest Member are probable pathways for upward flow of water from the Shinarump Member. Most of the mines receive water from surface inflow of rainfall runoff, but ground water also may be transmitted to open pits and drill holes in the subsurface through fractures or along faults in the Petrified Forest Member. Uranium-238 activities in shallow ground water from mines ranged from 150 to 14,000 picocuries per liter. Radionuclide activities in well and spring water were less than in shallow ground water near mines; however, in some samples, radionuclide activities in wells and springs were greater than activities in pit water. Uranium concentrations in leachate samples ranged from 20 to 7,700 micrograms per liter. Batch tests were done with material that was 2.00 millimeters and smaller. The radiochemistry of leachate from coarser material was not determined, and the specific rate and magnitude of radionuclide leaching depends on site-specific conditions that include the amounts of oxygen and organic material present, temperature, spoil mineralogy, and local ground-water composition.

  7. Uranium Mines and Mills Location Database

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Uranium Mines and Mills location database identifies and shows the location of active and inactive uranium mines and mills, as well as mines which principally produced other minerals, but were known to have uranium in the ore.

  8. 25 CFR 214.29 - Prospecting; abandonment of mines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... RESERVATION LANDS, OKLAHOMA, FOR MINING, EXCEPT OIL AND GAS § 214.29 Prospecting; abandonment of mines. All prospecting or mining operations or the abandonment of a well or mine shall be subject to the approval of the... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Prospecting; abandonment of mines. 214.29 Section...

  9. Abandoned Mine Lands: Site Information

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    A catalogue of mining sites proposed for and listed on the NPL as well as mining sites being cleaned up using the Superfund Alternative Approach. Also mine sites not on the NPL but that have had removal or emergency response cleanup actions.

  10. 30 CFR 900.14 - Abandoned mine land programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Abandoned mine land programs. 900.14 Section 900.14 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE... Abandoned mine land programs. Programs for reclamation of abandoned mine lands are codified under...

  11. 30 CFR 900.14 - Abandoned mine land programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Abandoned mine land programs. 900.14 Section 900.14 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE... Abandoned mine land programs. Programs for reclamation of abandoned mine lands are codified under...

  12. 30 CFR 900.14 - Abandoned mine land programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Abandoned mine land programs. 900.14 Section 900.14 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE... Abandoned mine land programs. Programs for reclamation of abandoned mine lands are codified under...

  13. 30 CFR 900.14 - Abandoned mine land programs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Abandoned mine land programs. 900.14 Section 900.14 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE... Abandoned mine land programs. Programs for reclamation of abandoned mine lands are codified under...

  14. Gunnar uranium mine environmental remediation - Northern Saskatchewan

    SciTech Connect

    Muldoon, Joe; Yankovich, Tamara; Schramm, Laurier L.

    2013-07-01

    The Gunnar Mine and mill site was the largest of some 38 now-abandoned uranium mines that were developed and operated in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada, during the Cold War years. During their operating lifetimes these mines produced large quantities of ore and tailings. The Gunnar mine (open pit and underground) produced over 5 million tonnes of uranium ore and nearly 4.4 million tonnes of mine tailings during its operations from 1955 through 1963. An estimated 2.2 to 2.7 million m{sup 3} of waste rock that was generated during the processing of the ore abuts the shores of Lake Athabasca, the 22. largest lake in the world. After closure in the 1960's, the Gunnar site was abandoned with little to no decommissioning being done. The Saskatchewan Research Council has been contracted to manage the clean-up of these abandoned northern uranium mine and mill sites. The Gunnar Mine, because of the magnitude of tailings and waste rock, is subject to an environmental site assessment process regulated by both provincial and federal governments. This process requires a detailed study of the environmental impacts that have resulted from the mining activities and an analysis of projected impacts from remediation efforts. The environmental assessment process, specific site studies, and public involvement initiatives are all now well underway. Due to the many uncertainties associated with an abandoned site, an adaptive remediation approach, utilizing a decision tree, presented within the environmental assessment documents will be used as part of the site regulatory licensing. A critical early task was dealing with major public safety hazards on the site. The site originally included many buildings that were remnants of a community of approximately 800 people who once occupied the site. These buildings, many of which contained high levels of asbestos, had to be appropriately abated and demolished. Similarly, the original mine head frame and mill site buildings, many of which still

  15. Toxicity assessment of the water used for human consumption from the Cameron/Tuba City abandoned uranium mining area prior/after the combined electrochemical treatment/advanced oxidation.

    PubMed

    Gajski, Goran; Oreščanin, Višnja; Gerić, Marko; Kollar, Robert; Lovrenčić Mikelić, Ivanka; Garaj-Vrhovac, Vera

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this work was detailed physicochemical, radiological, and toxicological characterization of the composite sample of water intended for human consumption in the Cameron/Tuba City abandoned uranium mining area before and after a combined electrochemical/advanced oxidation treatment. Toxicological characterization was conducted on human lymphocytes using a battery of bioassays. On the bases of the tested parameters, it could be concluded that water used for drinking from the tested water sources must be strictly forbidden for human and/or animal consumption since it is extremely cytogenotoxic, with high oxidative stress potential. A combined electrochemical treatment and posttreatment with ozone and UV light decreased the level of all physicochemical and radiological parameters below the regulated values. Consequently, the purified sample was neither cytotoxic nor genotoxic, indicating that the presented method could be used for the improvement of water quality from the sites highly contaminated with the mixture of heavy metals and radionuclides.

  16. Abandoned metal mine stability risk evaluation.

    PubMed

    Bétournay, Marc C

    2009-10-01

    The abandoned mine legacy is critical in many countries around the world, where mine cave-ins and surface subsidence disruptions are perpetual risks that can affect the population, infrastructure, historical legacies, land use, and the environment. This article establishes abandoned metal mine failure risk evaluation approaches and quantification techniques based on the Canadian mining experience. These utilize clear geomechanics considerations such as failure mechanisms, which are dependent on well-defined rock mass parameters. Quantified risk is computed using probability of failure (probabilistics using limit-equilibrium factors of safety or applicable numerical modeling factor of safety quantifications) times a consequence impact value. Semi-quantified risk can be based on failure-case-study-based empirical data used in calculating probability of failure, and personal experience can provide qualified hazard and impact consequence assessments. The article provides outlines for land use and selection of remediation measures based on risk.

  17. Extremely high radon activity concentration in two adits of the abandoned uranium mine 'Podgórze' in Kowary (Sudety Mts., Poland).

    PubMed

    Fijałkowska-Lichwa, Lidia

    2016-12-01

    Measurements of radon activity concentration were conducted for a period of 6 months, from April to September 2011, in the air of two adits constituting part of the disused uranium mine 'Podgórze' in Kowary. Adits no. 19 and 19a in Kowary had been chosen owing to the occurrence within them of the highest documented radon concentrations in Poland, With levels higher than a million Bq m(-3). The main goal of this study was to characterize the level of (222)Rn activity concentration registered in selected workings of this underground space, investigate (222)Rn changes and their characteristics over selected periods of time (an hour, a day, a month, six months) and determine the effective doses, which provided the basis for estimating the risk of exposure to increased ionizing radiation for employees and visitors to the mine. The highest values of (222)Rn activity concentration inside the adits occurred at the time when visitors, guides and other members of the staff were present there. The recorded values of radon activity concentration, regardless of the time and the month when the measurement was performed, remained at an average level of 350-400 kBq m(-3). These values were far above the limit of 1.5 kBq·m(-3) recommended by international guidelines. The maximum values ranged from 800 to more than 1000 kBq·m(-3). Radon activity concentration changes occurred only in periods determined by 7-h cycles of connecting and disconnecting the mechanical ventilation. For about 7 h after activating the ventilation system, between 7 a. m. and 2 p. m., and after closing the adit, between 7 p. m. and 2 a. m., (222)Rn activity concentrations decreased to levels even as low as 100 kBq·m-3. However, as early as 3-4 h after disconnecting the ventilation system, there was a sharp rise in the values of (222)Rn activity concentration, to the level higher than 800 kBq·m-3. The risk of receiving a radiation dose higher than the national standard of 1 mSv/year by members of

  18. Domestic uranium mining and milling

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    A field hearing was held in Riverton, Wyoming on the erosion of the state's uranium industry as production and capital investment have declined and inventories have continued to rise because of a shift to foreign suppliers. The result has been serious unemployment in Wyoming and a decline in uranium mines from 5400 in 1980 to the present 1200. The seven witnesses spoke for the mining industry and state and federal government. Among the issues raised were mining regulations and the cancellation of nuclear rejects which have impacted the health of the industry. Additional statements and a report supplied for the record follow their testimony. (DCK)

  19. 25 CFR 214.29 - Prospecting; abandonment of mines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Prospecting; abandonment of mines. 214.29 Section 214.29 Indians BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR ENERGY AND MINERALS LEASING OF OSAGE... prospecting or mining operations or the abandonment of a well or mine shall be subject to the approval of...

  20. Evaluation of reclaimed abandoned bentonite mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Edinger, K.D.; Schuman, G.E.; Vance, G.F.

    1999-07-01

    In 1985, the Abandoned Mined Land Division of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality began reclamation of 4,148 ha of abandoned bentonite mined lands. Calcium amendments and sawmill wood wastes were applied to the regraded spoils to enhance water infiltration, displacement of Na on the clay spoil, and leaching of the displaced Na and other soluble salts. Revegetation of these lands was generally successful, but after several years small areas (0.1--0.2 ha) began to show signs of vegetation die-back and to prescribe corrective treatment options. A randomized block design was imposed on study areas near Upton, Colony, and Greybull, Wyoming to characterize spoil chemical properties of good, moderate, and dead vegetation zones, which were subjectively delineated by visual vegetation cover and density differences. Spoil analyses indicated exchangeable-sodium (Na) concentrations were high and the dead vegetation zones exhibited exchangeable-sodium-percentages (ESP) above 50%, while surrounding good vegetation zones exhibited ESP values <10%. This coupled with low soluble-Na concentrations (<2 cmol/kg) suggests insufficient calcium (Ca) amendments were initially applied to ameliorate the sodic conditions of the spoil. The sampling design used to determine Ca amendment rates, which consisted of a composite of 5 spoil cores taken from each 0.8 ha area, was apparently insufficient to account for the highly heterogeneous spoil material that occurred throughout these abandoned bentonite reclamation sites. To revegetate these small degraded sites, additional Ca amendment would be necessary and reseeding would be required. However, the authors recommend further monitoring of the affected sites to determine if unfavorable conditions continue to degrade the reclaimed landscape before any attempt is made to rehabilitate the affected sites. If the degraded sites are stable, further Remediation efforts are not warranted because small areas of little or no vegetation are

  1. New perspectives on a 140-year legacy of mining and abandoned mine cleanup in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yager, Douglas B.; Fey, David L.; Chapin, Thomas; Johnson, Raymond H.

    2016-01-01

    The Gold King mine water release that occurred on 5 August 2015 near the historical mining community of Silverton, Colorado, highlights the environmental legacy that abandoned mines have on the environment. During reclamation efforts, a breach of collapsed workings at the Gold King mine sent 3 million gallons of acidic and metal-rich mine water into the upper Animas River, a tributary to the Colorado River basin. The Gold King mine is located in the scenic, western San Juan Mountains, a region renowned for its volcano-tectonic and gold-silver-base metal mineralization history. Prior to mining, acidic drainage from hydrothermally altered areas was a major source of metals and acidity to streams, and it continues to be so. In addition to abandoned hard rock metal mines, uranium mine waste poses a long-term storage and immobilization challenge in this area. Uranium resources are mined in the Colorado Plateau, which borders the San Juan Mountains on the west. Uranium processing and repository sites along the Animas River near Durango, Colorado, are a prime example of how the legacy of mining must be managed for the health and well-being of future generations. The San Juan Mountains are part of a geoenvironmental nexus where geology, mining, agriculture, recreation, and community issues converge. This trip will explore the geology, mining, and mine cleanup history in which a community-driven, watershed-based stakeholder process is an integral part. Research tools and historical data useful for understanding complex watersheds impacted by natural sources of metals and acidity overprinted by mining will also be discussed.

  2. Abandoned Mine Detection in Western Pennsylvania Using Surface Wave Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, B.

    2015-12-01

    Abandoned mines throughout the Appalachian region of the United States have been recognized as problematic. Resource extraction from these mines has long ceased and few, if any, documents pertaining to these operations exist. Over time support structures internal to the mines may collapse and lead to subsidence, potentially damaging surface structures. A non-invasive, surface deployed seismic method to detect undisclosed, abandoned near-surface mines would be beneficial as a first step to remediation. The use of seismic surface waves to analyze the upper several tens of meters of the subsurface has become an important technique for near-surface investigations and may provide a method for detection of near-surface, abandoned mine shafts. While there are many undocumented abandoned mines throughout the Appalachians one known example exists within Butler County, Pennsylvania. Although little is known about the overall operation there is limited documentation which provides information as to the location of the mine tunnels. Currently there is no recognized surface subsidence associated with the mine however documents indicate that the abandoned mining operations have an estimated depth ranging from twenty to fifty feet. To assist with acquisition a seismic land streamer was constructed. Use of a land streamer increases the speed, ease and efficiency required to perform a seismic survey. Additionally the land streamer allows for the acquisition of seismic surface waves which were analyzed using the Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) method. Data were acquired by conducting multiple, adjacent surveys perpendicular to the suspected location of abandoned mine tunnels. Throughout the survey area to a depth of approximately 15 meters, shear wave velocities range between approximately 200-1200 m/s. Based upon shear wave velocity changes within the profile anomalies have been identified corresponding to the contrast between the suspected mined, and unmined, areas.

  3. Setting priorities for abandoned-mine land research. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-01-01

    In FY 1987, Congress transferred the abandoned mine land (AML) research program and $1.9 million in funding from the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) to the Bureau of Mines (BOM). Subsequently the BOM asked National Research Council (NRC) to recommend research priorities and criteria for evaluating AML reclamation research proposals. The committee identified the highest-priority research problems which are: water quality; subsidence; mine waste; and revegetation, are ranked as the top four research priorities in all regions.

  4. Monitoring genotoxic exposure in uranium mines.

    PubMed Central

    Srám, R J; Dobiás, L; Rössner, P; Veselá, D; Veselý, D; Rakusová, R; Rericha, V

    1993-01-01

    Recent data from deep uranium mines in Czechoslovakia indicated that mines are exposed to other mutagenic factors in addition to radon daughter products. Mycotoxins were identified as a possible source of mutagens in these mines. Mycotoxins were examined in 38 samples from mines and in throat swabs taken from 116 miners and 78 controls. The following mycotoxins were identified from mines samples: aflatoxins B1 and G1, citrinin, citreoviridin, mycophenolic acid, and sterigmatocystin. Some mold strains isolated from mines and throat swabs were investigated for mutagenic activity by the SOS chromotest and Salmonella assay with strains TA100 and TA98. Mutagenicity was observed, especially with metabolic activation in vitro. These data suggest that mycotoxins produced by molds in uranium mines are a new genotoxic factor for uranium miners. PMID:8143610

  5. Uranium Mines and Mills | RadTown USA | US EPA

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2017-03-27

    Uranium is used as nuclear fuel for electric power generation. U.S. mining industries can obtain uranium in two ways: mining or milling. Mining waste and mill tailings can contaminate water, soil and air if not disposed of properly.

  6. Monitoring genotoxic exposure in uranium mines

    SciTech Connect

    Sram, R.J.; Vesela, D.; Vesely, D.

    1993-10-01

    Recent data from deep uranium mines in Czechoslovakia indicated that miners are exposed to other mutagenic factors in addition to radon daughter products. Mycotoxins were identified as a possible source of mutagens in these mines. Mycotoxins were examined in 38 samples from mines and in throat swabs taken from 116 miners and 78 controls. The following mycotoxins were identified from mines samples: aflatoxins B{sub 1} and G1, citrinin, citreoviridin, mycophenolic acid, and sterigmatocystin. Some mold strains isolated from mines and throat swabs were investigated for mutagenic activity by the SOS chromotest and Salmonella assay with strains TA100 and TA98. Mutagenicity was observed, especially with metabolic activation in citro. These data suggest that mycotoxins produced by molds in uranium mines are a new genotoxic factor im uranium miners. 17 refs., 4 tabs.

  7. Remining to reclaim abandoned mined lands: Virginia`s initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Zipper, C.E.; Lambert, B.

    1998-12-31

    Abandoned Mined Lands (AML) are lands that were mined prior to implementation of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) in 1977, but were inadequately reclaimed. Re-mining of AML is being conducted on a routine basis by coal-mining operations in eastern states such as Virginia. Re-mining is a potentially important means of reclaiming AML. However, under current policies, re-mining operations often fail to permit and reclaim priority 1, 2, and 3 AML, especially those areas which present the most severe environmental problems. This paper describes policy issues which affect the potential for AML reclamation by re-mining operations in mountainous mining areas, such as Virginia; efforts underway in Virginia which seek to resolve those issues; and progress achieved to date under that initiative.

  8. 30 CFR 935.20 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE OHIO § 935.20 Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Ohio Abandoned Mine Land...

  9. 30 CFR 935.20 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE OHIO § 935.20 Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Ohio Abandoned Mine Land...

  10. Hydrochemical characteristics of mine waters from abandoned mining sites in Serbia and their impact on surface water quality.

    PubMed

    Atanacković, Nebojša; Dragišić, Veselin; Stojković, Jana; Papić, Petar; Zivanović, Vladimir

    2013-11-01

    Upon completion of exploration and extraction of mineral resources, many mining sites have been abandoned without previously putting environmental protection measures in place. As a consequence, mine waters originating from such sites are discharged freely into surface water. Regional scale analyses were conducted to determine the hydrochemical characteristics of mine waters from abandoned sites featuring metal (Cu, Pb-Zn, Au, Fe, Sb, Mo, Bi, Hg) deposits, non-metallic minerals (coal, Mg, F, B) and uranium. The study included 80 mine water samples from 59 abandoned mining sites. Their cation composition was dominated by Ca2+, while the most common anions were found to be SO4(2-) and HCO3-. Strong correlations were established between the pH level and metal (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu) concentrations in the mine waters. Hierarchical cluster analysis was applied to parameters generally indicative of pollution, such as pH, TDS, SO4(2-), Fe total, and As total. Following this approach, mine water samples were grouped into three main clusters and six subclusters, depending on their potential environmental impact. Principal component analysis was used to group together variables that share the same variance. The extracted principal components indicated that sulfide oxidation and weathering of silicate and carbonate rocks were the primary processes, while pH buffering, adsorption and ion exchange were secondary drivers of the chemical composition of the analyzed mine waters. Surface waters, which received the mine waters, were examined. Analysis showed increases of sulfate and metal concentrations and general degradation of surface water quality.

  11. Modeled atmospheric radon concentrations from uranium mines

    SciTech Connect

    Droppo, J.G.

    1985-04-01

    Uranium mining and milling operations result in the release of radon from numerous sources of various types and strengths. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act, is assessing the health impact of air emissions of radon from underground uranium mines. In this case, the radon emissions may impact workers and residents in the mine vicinity. To aid in this assessment, the EPA needs to know how mine releases can affect the radon concentrations at populated locations. To obtain this type of information, Pacific Northwest Laboratory used the radon emissions, release characteristics and local meterological conditions for a number of mines to model incremental radon concentrations. Long-term, average, incremental radon concentrations were computed based on the best available information on release rates, plume rise parameters, number and locations of vents, and local dispersion climatology. Calculations are made for a model mine, individual mines, and multiple mines. Our approach was to start with a general case and then consider specific cases for comparison. A model underground uranium mine was used to provide definition of the order of magnitude of typical impacts. Then computations were made for specific mines using the best mine-specific information available for each mine. These case study results are expressed as predicted incremental radon concentration contours plotted on maps with local population data from a previous study. Finally, the effect of possible overlap of radon releases from nearby mines was studied by calculating cumulative radon concentrations for multiple mines in a region with many mines. The dispersion model, modeling assumptions, data sources, computational procedures, and results are documented in this report. 7 refs., 27 figs., 18 tabs.

  12. Abandoned Mine Waste Working Group report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-12-10

    The Mine Waste Working Group discussed the nature and possible contributions to the solution of this class of waste problem at length. There was a consensus that the mine waste problem presented some fundamental differences from the other classes of waste addresses by the Develop On-Site Innovative Technologies (DOIT) working groups. Contents of this report are: executive summary; stakeholders address the problems; the mine waste program; current technology development programs; problems and issues that need to be addressed; demonstration projects to test solutions; conclusion-next steps; and appendices.

  13. 78 FR 9803 - Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-12

    ... bill revised the AML program in areas of coal re-mining, abandoned coal refuse sites, as well as... Selection; Coordination with Other Programs; Land Acquisition, Management and Disposal; Reclamation on... of OSM, Tennessee revised its proposed amendment to read, ``Land Acquisition, Management and...

  14. What Price Energy? Hazards of Uranium Mining in the Southwest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barry, Tom

    1979-01-01

    This article describes the hazards, sickness, death and destruction caused by uranium mining/nuclear energy development in the Southwest focusing on the experiences of several Indian uranium mines. (RTS)

  15. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  16. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  17. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  18. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  19. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  20. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  1. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  2. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  3. 30 CFR 904.20 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... § 904.20 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on July 7, 1982, effective May 2, 1983. Copies of...

  4. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land... STATE ARKANSAS § 904.25 Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  5. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  6. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  7. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  8. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  9. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.20 Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan. The New Mexico Abandoned...

  10. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  11. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  12. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  13. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  14. 30 CFR 924.20 - Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land... STATE MISSISSIPPI § 924.20 Approval of Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plans. The Mississippi abandoned mine land reclamation plan as submitted on April 5, 2006, and June 11, 2007, and...

  15. Wind Power Potential at Abandoned Mines in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    jang, M.; Choi, Y.; Park, H.; Go, W.

    2013-12-01

    This study performed an assessment of wind power potential at abandoned mines in the Kangwon province by analyzing gross energy production, greenhouse gas emission reduction and economic effects estimated from a 600 kW wind turbine. Wind resources maps collected from the renewable energy data center in Korea Institute of Energy Research(KIER) were used to determine the average wind speed, temperature and atmospheric pressure at hub height(50 m) for each abandoned mine. RETScreen software developed by Natural Resources Canada(NRC) was utilized for the energy, emission and financial analyses of wind power systems. Based on the results from 5 representative mining sites, we could know that the average wind speed at hub height is the most critical factor for assessing the wind power potential. Finally, 47 abandoned mines that have the average wind speed faster than 6.5 m/s were analyzed, and top 10 mines were suggested as relatively favorable sites with high wind power potential in the Kangwon province.

  16. Remote Sensing Applications to the Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clemens, E.; Warnick, L.

    1982-01-01

    Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Land Inventory demonstrated the effective use of remote sensing techniques within the context of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The inventory combined data from field work, a literature search, and photointerpretation to fulfill both State and Federal requirements. A primary project objective was to accurately identify and map all surface features and disturbances from abandoned surface and underground mining. Black-and-white aerial photographs were used to record pits, contour benches, highwalls, spoil material, graded and recontoured areas, impounded water, and serious erosion and slide prone areas. In addition, vegetation cover estimates and surrounding land uses were noted. The inventory data base provides Pennsylvania with a valuable resource management tool that should be systematically updated. The utilization of remotely sensed data from SPOT or LANDSAT-D satellites may prove valuable in the anticipated updating and monitoring of the Pennsylvania AML inventory over the next several years.

  17. Microgravity method for detection of abandoned mines in New Jersey

    SciTech Connect

    Ghatge, S.L. )

    1993-03-01

    The microgravity method has been used to detect two shallow, subsurface abandoned mines in northern New Jersey. Synthetic models simulated the expected gravity anomalies in the two areas. The first site, Lawrence Iron Mine, tested the applicability of microgravity for abandoned-mine detection. Two profile lines were laid out at right angles to the strike of the magnetite deposit in an amphibolite host rock. The broad gravity lows (magnitude 0.04 and 0.07 mGals) on the gravity profiles were modeled to show mine workings about 10 ft square and 5 ft deep that were filled with loose soil. Trenching confirmed the location of the buried mine. At the Schuyler Copper Mine, located in an urban area, data were collected along four parallel profile lines spaced 10 ft apart. An anomalous low (magnitude 0.03 mGals) on the gravity map was modeled and interpreted to be due to an empty vertical shaft. The shaft is more than 60 ft deep, about 12 ft long and 8 to 10 ft wide. It is capped by about 10 ft of unconsolidated material overlying sandstone bedrock. Drilling confirmed the results of the gravity model. The success of the method depended on the depth and size of the mine instrument accuracy, station spacing, station location and elevation control. Minimizing errors due to the instrument drift, station location and station elevation maximized the resolution of the technique.

  18. Siting of prison complex above abandoned underground coal mine

    SciTech Connect

    Marino, G.G.

    1998-10-01

    This paper discusses in detail the process undertaken to mitigate the effects of any future mine subsidence on prison structures proposed above old abandoned underground workings. The site for a proposed prison complex purchased by the state of Indiana was located in west-central Indiana and was undermined by an old abandoned room and pillar mine. Based on a study of the mine map and subsurface verification of the extent of mining it was determined that all prison buildings and important structures could be placed above solid coal to the north. However, one masonry building was located within the potential draw zone of mine works that still contained significant mine voids. Based on empirical data the subsidence potential was estimated and the building was designed accordingly to be mine subsidence resistant. It was decided that a phase 2 prison complex should be constructed adjacent to and just south of the phase 1 complex. This complex would be directly above the underground workings. Subsequently, an extensive subsurface investigation program was undertaken to (1) ascertain whether or not mine areas where buildings would be located were already collapsed and thus only nominal, if any, subsidence could occur in the future and (2) verify the presence of solid coal areas within the mine as indicated on the mine map. Based on all the site information gathered subsidence profiles were developed from an empirical database of subsidence events in the Illinois coal basin. As a result of this work many structures on the site required no or nominal subsidence considerations. However, for others that could be affected potentially by future subsidence movement preliminary subsidence resistant designs were completed using the expected level of potential subsidence movement.

  19. 30 CFR 920.20 - Approval of Maryland abandoned mine plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Maryland abandoned mine plan. 920.20 Section 920.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE MARYLAND § 920.20 Approval of Maryland abandoned mine...

  20. Combined SEM/EDX and micro-Raman spectroscopy analysis of uranium minerals from a former uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Stefaniak, Elzbieta A; Alsecz, Anita; Frost, Ray; Máthé, Zoltán; Sajó, István E; Török, Szabina; Worobiec, Anna; Van Grieken, René

    2009-08-30

    Samples of the secondary uranium minerals collected in the abandoned uranium mine at Pecs (Hungary) were investigated by two micro-techniques: scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDX) and micro-Raman spectroscopy (MRS). They were applied to locate U-rich particles and identify the chemical form and oxidation state of the uranium compounds. The most abundant mineral was a K and/or Na uranyl sulphate (zippeite group). U(VI) was also present in the form showing intensive Raman scattering at 860 cm(-1) which can be attributed to uranium trioxide. This research has shown the successful application of micro-Raman spectroscopy for the identification of uranyl mineral species on the level of individual particles.

  1. Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund - a view from the West

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, J.D.

    1985-01-01

    Congress created the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund (AML) in 1977 as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. The AML is funded by a special tax on coal mining. About one-third of AML fees will be paid by coal operators in the western states. The author examines the disbursement of AML funds under the Reagan Administration. He describes how the western state governments expected a generous portion of the AML funds for coal and non-coal reclamation, as well as community impact assistance projects in their states. Finally, the author shows how the Office of Surface Mining has largely frustrated the western expectations through its interpretation of the AML disbursement priorities.

  2. Filling abandoned mines with fluidized bed combustion ash grout

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, D.D.; Reddy, T.P.; Black, D.C.; Ziemkiewicz, P.F.

    1998-10-01

    The hydraulic backfilling of abandoned room and pillar coal mines with ash-based grout holds promise as an environmentally beneficial method of ash disposal, capable of preventing acid mine drainage and subsidence. For this scheme to be economically viable, the grout must be sufficiently flowable so that mines can be filled from a small number of boreholes. This paper describes the development and testing of a water-ash-bentonite grout using ash from a coal and gob burning atmospheric pressure fluidized bed combustor. Bentonite was needed to prevent settling which would limit the ability of the grout to spread. Laboratory techniques were devised to measure the rheological parameters of the grout. A static model was developed to predict the maximum distance of spread due to gravity. A field injection of 765 m{sup 3} of grout into an inactive mine panel showed that the grout flows well enough to make hydraulic backfilling feasible.

  3. Radiological characterization of a uranium mine with no mining activity

    PubMed

    Lozano; Vera Tome F; Gomez Escobar V; Blanco Rodriguez P

    2000-07-01

    We report a radiological study of a uranium mine located in Extremadura, in the south-west of Spain, in which mining work had ceased. One interest in the work is that the results can be used as a reference for the future evaluation of the effects produced by the restoration program. The radiological parameters selected to estimate the impact of the inactive mine were: 222Rn in air and water, 222Rn exhalation, effective 226Ra in soils and sediments, and natural uranium and 226Ra in water. Chemical analyses of water samples and measurements of meteorological variables were also made. Average values of these radiological parameters are presented. We characterize the zone radiologically and estimate the influence of the mine on the basis of some of these parameters, while others are used to reflect the status of the installation, information which could be very useful in the near future when restoration is complete.

  4. Uranium Location Database Compilation

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA has compiled mine location information from federal, state, and Tribal agencies into a single database as part of its investigation into the potential environmental hazards of wastes from abandoned uranium mines in the western United States.

  5. Remediation and rehabilitation of abandoned mining sites in Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helsen, S.; Rommens, T.; De Ridder, A.; Panayiotou, C.; Colpaert, J.

    2009-04-01

    Due to a particular geological setting, Cyprus is rich in ore deposits, many of them subject to extensive mining. Most of the mines have a long history, sometimes dating back to prehistorical times. These abandoned mines cause severe off-site environmental problems and health risks for the local population. Groundwater supplies are affected by the leaching of pollutants, surface water is contaminated because of water erosion, and harmful dust containing heavy metals or asbestos is spread due to wind erosion. In addition to the environmental risks associated with the abandoned mines, many of these sites are aestethically unattractive, and remain an economic burden to stakeholders and the public in general, due to the downgrading of surrounding areas, non-development and hence loss of revenue. These factors are important in Cyprus where tourism is a significant source of income for local communities. An EUREKA-project addresses the issue of abandoned mine clean-up and restoration. The main objectives of this study are : (1) To develop phytostabilization and -remediation techniques to stabilize and clean up sites characterized by high nickel and copper concentrations in the soil, using endemic plants (Alyssum spp. and mycorrhizal Pinus brutia). In some old mines, efforts were already made to stabilize slopes in an attempt to minimize soil erosion and spreading of pollutants. These restoration efforts, however, remained largely unsuccessful because vegetation that was planted could not cope with the harsh hydrogeochemical soil characteristics. Regeneration of the vegetation cover therefore failed ; (2) to demonstrate the risks associated to the environmental hazard of metal polluted mine spoils and outline a method by which to accomplish this type of risk assessment ; (3) to analyse costs and benefits of phytostabilization- and phytoremediation-based solution for the problem. Results of the first experiments are still preliminary and incomplete. However, it is expected

  6. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  7. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  8. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  9. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  10. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  11. 30 CFR 915.20 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE IOWA § 915.20 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Secretary approved the Iowa...

  12. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  13. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  14. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  15. 30 CFR 931.25 - Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 931.25 Section 931.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE NEW MEXICO § 931.25 Approval of New Mexico abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments....

  16. Abandoned mine shafts and levels in the British coalfields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Christopher S.

    1988-07-01

    Industrial dereliction is a concern to all societies. In the United Kingdom the British government is trying to make its abandoned coalfields more attractive to new industry through a combination of land reclamation and job incentive programs. The most ambitious of these projects occurs in the South Wales Coalfield, which records 200 years of land defilement and the highest unemployment amplitudes in mainland Britain. In returning this area to a semblance of its previous state, problems arise over how best to fill and cap the many derelict pit shafts and abandoned shallow mines that riddle this region. This analysis reports on the methods of treatment used to achieve this end, along with the procedures used to minimize ground subsidence, water pollution, noxious gas emission, and the potential for physical injury. These environmental controls have application to the United States and Western Europe, where pockets of industrial blight are also symptomatic of a troubled local economy.

  17. Fires in abandoned coal mines and waste banks

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, A.G.; Chaiken, R.F.

    1993-01-01

    Fires that occur in abandoned coal mines, waste banks, and in coal outcrops constitute a serious health, safety, and environmental hazard. Toxic fumes, the deterioration of air quality, and subsidence constitute the greatest hazards from these fires. Although fires on abandoned mined land (AML) occur in every coal-producing state, the severity of the problem varies. Methods to extinguish or control AML fires, including excavation, fire barriers, and sealing, are generally expensive and have a relatively low probability of success. This US Bureau of Mines report includes information from a variety of sources, i.e., agencies of the Federal Government, State agencies, research reports, conference proceedings, product information, and technical literature. This information has been collated into a comprehensive discussion of AML fire problems. Data on past fire control projects and on the estimated extent of the current problem have been compiled. Factors affecting the occurrence, propagation, and extinguishment of AML fires are discussed. Conventional fire control methods are described, and their probable effectiveness is evaluated. Information on the hazards of AML fires and safety considerations is included. The status of current technology, recent improvements in fire control methods, and areas of current research are discussed.

  18. Northern Trust Mines

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The United States and the Navajo Nation entered into settlement agreements that provide funds to conduct investigations and any needed cleanup at 16 of the 46 priority mines, including six mines in the Northern Abandoned Uranium Mine Region.

  19. U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ABANDONED MINE LAND REMEDIATION WORKSHOP

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mining activities in the US (not counting coal) produce 1-2 billion tons of mine waste annually. Since many of the ore mines involve sulfide minerals, the production of acid mine drainage (AMD) is a common problem from these abandoned mine sites. The combination of acidity, heavy...

  20. LAND REBORN: TOOLS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY/NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ABANDONED MINE LAND PROGRAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mining activities in the US (not counting coal) produce 1-2 billion tons of mine waste annually. Since many of the ore mines involve sulfide minerals, the production of acid mine drainage (AMD) is a common problem from these abandoned mine sites. The combination of acidity, heavy...

  1. Encouraging re-mining and reclamation of abandoned mined lands in Appalachia: Policy options

    SciTech Connect

    Santopietro, G.D.; Zipper, C.E.

    1996-01-01

    Abandoned mined lands (AML) are areas that were mined prior to implementation of federal controls over coal-mined land reclamation and were inadequately reclaimed. The majority of the US`s AML acreages were produced by coal mining in the Appalachian areas. Environmental problems include lands in barren or semi-barren condition, excessive sedimentation, acid water discharges, and unstable slopes. This article address the potential to reclame AMLs in the Appalachian region by creating incentives for environmental enhancement through re-mining. Background information of AML and on current policies affecting re-mining are reviewed and the results of a survey of individuals who are knowledgeable in remining policy issues are reported. 7 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  2. U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management Legacy Uranium Mine Site Reclamation - Lessons Learned - 12384

    SciTech Connect

    Kilpatrick, Laura E.; Cotter, Ed

    2012-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management is responsible for administering the DOE Uranium Leasing Program (ULP) and its 31 uranium lease tracts located in the Uravan Mineral Belt of southwestern Colorado (see Figure 1). In addition to administering the ULP for the last six decades, DOE has also undertaken the significant task of reclaiming a large number of abandoned uranium (legacy) mine sites and associated features located throughout the Uravan Mineral Belt. In 1995, DOE initiated a 3-year reconnaissance program to locate and delineate (through extensive on-the-ground mapping) the legacy mine sites and associated features contained within the historically defined boundaries of its uranium lease tracts. During that same time frame, DOE recognized the lack of regulations pertaining to the reclamation of legacy mine sites and contacted the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) concerning the reclamation of legacy mine sites. In November 1995, The BLM Colorado State Office formally issued the United States Department of the Interior, Colorado Bureau of Land Management, Closure/Reclamation Guidelines, Abandoned Uranium Mine Sites as a supplement to its Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (H-3042-1). Over the next five-and-one-half years, DOE reclaimed the 161 legacy mine sites that had been identified on DOE withdrawn lands. By the late 1990's, the various BLM field offices in southwestern Colorado began to recognize DOE's experience and expertise in reclaiming legacy mine sites. During the ensuing 8 years, BLM funded DOE (through a series of task orders) to perform reclamation activities at 182 BLM mine sites. To date, DOE has reclaimed 372 separate and distinct legacy mine sites. During this process, DOE has learned many lessons and is willing to share those lessons with others in the reclamation industry because there are still many legacy mine sites not yet reclaimed. DOE currently administers 31 lease tracts (11,017 ha) that collectively

  3. 30 CFR 935.25 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land... STATE OHIO § 935.25 Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a..., 1986 August 17, 1987 Ohio AMLR Plan 3.7.4, 3.9.1; RAMP Committee role; AMLR program staff...

  4. 30 CFR 935.25 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land... STATE OHIO § 935.25 Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a..., 1986 August 17, 1987 Ohio AMLR Plan 3.7.4, 3.9.1; RAMP Committee role; AMLR program staff...

  5. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  6. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  7. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  8. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  9. 30 CFR 915.25 - Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land... STATE IOWA § 915.25 Approval of Iowa abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. The following is a... Plan sections I. through IV., V.B. and C.; Iowa Code (IC) 207.21 subsection 2.a.(2) through 2.b....

  10. 30 CFR 918.20 - Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land... Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan, as submitted on February 3, 1986, effective December 10, 1986. Copies of the approved plan are available at: (a) Louisiana Department of Natural...

  11. 30 CFR 756.19 - Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine... PROGRAMS § 756.19 Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Crow Tribe's.... Copies of the approved Plan are available at the following locations: (a) Crow Tribal Council,...

  12. Virginia big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) roosting in abandoned coal mines in West Virginia

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, J.B.; Edwards, J.W.; Wood, P.B.

    2005-07-01

    We surveyed bats at 36 abandoned coal mines during summer 2002 and 47 mines during fall 2002 at New River Gorge National River and Gauley River National Recreation Area, WV. During summer, we captured three federally endangered Virginia big-eared bats at two mine entrances, and 25 were captured at 12 mine entrances during fall. These represent the first documented captures of this species at coal mines in West Virginia. Future survey efforts conducted throughout the range of the Virginia big-eared bat should include abandoned coal mines.

  13. Radiochronological Age of a Uranium Metal Sample from an Abandoned Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Meyers, L A; Williams, R W; Glover, S E; LaMont, S P; Stalcup, A M; Spitz, H B

    2012-03-16

    A piece of scrap uranium metal bar buried in the dirt floor of an old, abandoned metal rolling mill was analyzed using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (MC-ICP-MS). The mill rolled uranium rods in the 1940s and 1950s. Samples of the contaminated dirt in which the bar was buried were also analyzed. The isotopic composition of uranium in the bar and dirt samples were both the same as natural uranium, though a few samples of dirt also contained recycled uranium; likely a result of contamination with other material rolled at the mill. The time elapsed since the uranium metal bar was last purified can be determined by the in-growth of the isotope {sup 230}Th from the decay of {sup 234}U, assuming that only uranium isotopes were present in the bar after purification. The age of the metal bar was determined to be 61 years at the time of this analysis and corresponds to a purification date of July 1950 {+-} 1.5 years.

  14. Rehabilitation prioritization of abandoned mines and its application to Nyala Magnesite Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mhlongo, Sphiwe Emmanuel; Amponsah-Dacosta, Francis; Mphephu, Nndweleni Fredrick

    2013-12-01

    The issue of abandoned mine sites is a major environmental and social problem for the mining industry, communities and governments. Historical mine sites are characterized by significant environmental, health and safety problems. The aim of this study was to develop hazard maps that can assist in the prioritization of rehabilitation at Nyala Mine. The approach used involved site examination and characterization to establish the environmental conditions of the mine. Hazards at the mine were identified, scored, and rated using modified Historic Mine Site Scoring System. The scoring focused on source and exposure pathways. The developed hazard maps showed that the best approach of effectively reducing the physical and environmental hazards at Nyala Mine was to give priority to extremely and moderately hazardous pits; surface infrastructure and spoil dumps, and then to tailings dumps characterized with less physical hazards but extremely high environmental hazards. Pits and spoil materials which were found to be relatively less problematic in terms of physical hazards were to receive least attention. The use of this hazard-scoring and risk-ranking methodology coupled with the hazard maps would provide a more robust scientific basis for making sound decisions and prioritize actions that need to be taken to minimize or manage risks associated with various areas of the mine site.

  15. The History of Uranium Mining and the Navajo People

    PubMed Central

    Brugge, Doug; Goble, Rob

    2002-01-01

    From World War II until 1971, the government was the sole purchaser of uranium ore in the United States. Uranium mining occurred mostly in the southwestern United States and drew many Native Americans and others into work in the mines and mills. Despite a long and well-developed understanding, based on the European experience earlier in the century, that uranium mining led to high rates of lung cancer, few protections were provided for US miners before 1962 and their adoption after that time was slow and incomplete. The resulting high rates of illness among miners led in 1990 to passage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. PMID:12197966

  16. 30 CFR 920.25 - Approval of Maryland abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Maryland abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 920.25 Section 920.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE MARYLAND § 920.25 Approval...

  17. 30 CFR 918.25 - Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 918.25 Section 918.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE LOUISIANA § 918.25 Approval...

  18. 30 CFR 917.20 - Approval of the Kentucky abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of the Kentucky abandoned mine reclamation plan. 917.20 Section 917.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE KENTUCKY § 917.20 Approval of the...

  19. 30 CFR 917.21 - Approval of Kentucky abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Kentucky abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 917.21 Section 917.21 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE KENTUCKY § 917.21 Approval...

  20. 30 CFR 918.20 - Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan. 918.20 Section 918.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE LOUISIANA § 918.20 Approval of...

  1. Restoration of contaminated soils in abandoned mine areas (Tuscany, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bini, Claudio; Wahsha, Mohammad

    2016-04-01

    In Italy ore research and exploitation have been nearly exhausted since the end of the last century, and have left on the land a huge amount of mine waste, therefore provoking evident environmental damage including surface and groundwater, soils, vegetation and the food chain, and a potential threat to human health. The main processes occurring at these sites are: rock disgregation, fragments migration, dust dispersion, oxidation (Eh>250mV), acidification (pH<7), hydrolisis and metal leaching, precipitation of oxides and sulphates. The restoration of these sites, therefore, is a primary objective, in order to reduce/eliminate the risk associated to the contamination sources of past activities, and the consequent environmental and human health hazard. The increasing environmental consciousness of general population compelled Public Administrators to set down effective legislation acts on this subject (e.g. D.L. 152/2006), and more generally on environmental contamination. In this work we present the results of a survey carried out at several mixed sulphides mine sites in Tuscany, exploited for at least a millennium, and closed in the last century. Biogeochemical analyses carried out on representative soil profiles (Spolic Technosols) and vegetation in the proximal and distal areas of ore exploitation show heavy metal concentrations (Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Zn) overcoming legislation limits on average. Ni, Cr and Mn concentrations, instead, are generally below the reference levels. The results obtained suggest that the abandoned mine sites represent actual natural laboratories where to experiment new opportunities for restoration of anthropogenically contaminated areas, and to study new pedogenetic trends from these peculiar parent materials. Moreover, plants growing on these substrates are genetically adapted to metal-enriched soils, and therefore may be utilized in phytoremediation of contaminated sites. Furthermore, the institution of natural parks in these areas could

  2. Land contamination and soil evolution in abandoned mine areas (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bini, Claudio; Wahsha, Mohammad; Spiandorello, Massimo

    2014-05-01

    In Italy ore research and exploitation are nearly exhausted since the end of the last century, leaving on the land a huge amount of mine waste, therefore provoking evident environmental damage including landscape, vegetation and the food chain, and a potential threat to human health. The increasing environmental consciousness of general population compelled Public Administrators to set down effective legislation acts on this subject (e.g. D.L. 152/2006), and more generally on environmental contamination. In this work we present the results of a survey carried out at several mixed sulphides mine sites in Italy, exploited for at least a millennium, and closed in the '60s of the last century. Biogeochemical analyses carried out on 50 soil profiles (mostly Entisols and Inceptisols) and vegetation in the proximal and distal areas of ore exploitation show metal concentrations overcoming legislation limits on average (Cu up to 3160 mg kg-1 , Pb up to 23600 mg kg-1, Zn up to 1588 mg kg-1, Fe up to 52,30 %). Ni, Cr and Mn concentrations, instead, are generally below the reference levels. Metal concentrations in native vegetation of the examined areas are moderately to highly elevated. Significant amounts of Cu, Pb, Zn in roots of Plantago major and Silene dioica, in leaves of Taraxacum officinale, and Salix spp, have been recorded. Essential elements, in particular, present Translocation Coefficients (TC) >1, with Mn>Zn>Cu>Fe. Toxic elements (Cd, Cr, Pb), instead, present TC<1, suggesting a synergic/antagonist effect to occur among metals and plants, according to their role in mineral nutrition. The results obtained suggest the abandoned mine sites to represent actual natural aboratories where to experiment new opportunities for restoration of anthropogenically contaminated areas, and to study new pedogenetic trends from these peculiar parent materials. Moreover, the examined plants are genetically adapted to naturally metal-enriched soils, and therefore may be utilized in

  3. Mercury methylation in mine wastes collected from abandoned mercury mines in the USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Hines, M.E.; Biester, H.; Lasorsa, B.K.; ,

    2003-01-01

    Speciation and transformation of Hg was studied in mine wastes collected from abandoned Hg mines at McDermitt, Nevada, and Terlingua, Texas, to evaluate formation of methyl-Hg, which is highly toxic. In these mine wastes, we measured total Hg and methyl-Hg contents, identified various Hg compounds using a pyrolysis technique, and determined rates of Hg methylation and methyl-Hg demethylation using isotopic-tracer methods. Mine wastes contain total Hg contents as high as 14000 ??g/g and methyl-Hg concentrations as high as 88 ng/g. Mine wastes were found to contain variable amounts of cinnabar, metacinnabar, Hg salts, Hg0, and Hg0 and Hg2+ sorbed onto matrix particulates. Samples with Hg0 and matrix-sorbed Hg generally contained significant methyl-Hg contents. Similarly, samples containing Hg0 compounds generally produced significant Hg methylation rates, as much as 26%/day. Samples containing mostly cinnabar showed little or no Hg methylation. Mine wastes with high methyl-Hg contents generally showed low methyl-Hg demethylation, suggesting that Hg methylation was dominant. Methyl-Hg demethylation was by both oxidative and microbial pathways. The correspondence of mine wastes containing Hg0 compounds and measured Hg methylation suggests that Hg0 oxidizes to Hg2+, which is subsequently bioavailable for microbial Hg methylation.

  4. Investigation of subsidence damages above abandoned mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Po-Ming.

    1988-01-01

    Abandoned mine lands (AML) subsidence is one of the most hazardous problems for personal property and community development. In order to improve the technique for subsidence diagnosis and the effectiveness of remedial measures, several methods and techniques have been developed in this research. A subsidence site investigation checklist is developed to guide the investigators with or without hands-on experience to collect a complete and necessary information for subsidence analysis during site investigation. A subsidence cause identification system is developed to streamline the process of analysis and for subsidence cause differentiation and identification over AML. A damage severity system is developed to evaluate the intensity of the damage to structures. A subsidence deduction model is developed based on the probability function integration method to reconstruct subsidence profile and subsurface failure zone for AML subsidence. The study is based on the case studies which include site investigation, surface subsidence survey, subsurface instrumentation, damage severity evaluation, subsidence deduction and statistical analysis. The results show that geologic conditions such as seam depth, seam height, ratios of strong and weak rocks do affect the subsidence damage area, subsidence factor, and damage severity. The relationship between above parameters can be expressed by a second order polynomial with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.7 to 0.9.

  5. 30 CFR 756.14 - Approval of amendments to the Navajo Nation's abandoned mine land plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ...: Introduction Section 101—Findings Section 102—Purposes Section 201—Duties of Navajo Abandoned Mine Lands... September 3, 1996, are approved effective April 15, 1997. Section II, E, 1, Project selection, Sections...

  6. 30 CFR 756.14 - Approval of amendments to the Navajo Nation's abandoned mine land plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund Report Section 413—Miscellaneous Powers, and Section 414—Interagency Cooperation Navajo Nation Rules II(D) (1) and (2)—Reclamation Priorities II(L) (1) and (2)—General...

  7. Mineral dusts and radon in uranium mines

    SciTech Connect

    Abelson, P.H.

    1991-11-08

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to assert that radon is a major cause of lung cancer in this country. EPA is fostering a radon program that could entail huge financial and emotional costs while yielding negligible benefits to public health. Justification for the program was the occurrence of lung cancer in men exposed to huge amounts of radon, mineral dusts, and other lung irritants in uranium mines on the Colorado Plateau. Lung cancer has been reported in about 356 cigarette smokers and in about 25 nonsmokers. During the era of high radon levels, monitoring was sporadic. Conditions in only a small fraction of the mines were measured, and that on a few separate occasions. Later, cumulative exposure to radon was calculated on the basis of measurements involving only a tiny fraction of the miners. Some were exposed to more than 15,000 pCi/liter of radon and its products. The level in the average home is about 1.5 pCi/liter. In making extrapolations from mine to home, the assumption is made that residents are in their dwellings most of the time and that miners spend only 170 hours a month in the mine. Two major questionable assumptions are involved in extrapolations from high doses of radon in the mines to low doses in homes. One is that no threshold is involved; that is, that humans have no remediation mechanism for {alpha} particle damages. There is evidence to the contrary. The most unrealistic assumption is that heavy exposure to silica has no effect on inducing lung cancer. Many studies have shown that silica dust causes lung cancer in animals. Exposure of human culture cells to silica has resulted in formation of neoplastic tissue. EPA has no solid evidence that exposures to 4 pCi/liter of radon causes lung cancer in either smokers or nonsmokers. Indeed, there is abundant evidence to the contrary in the fact that in states with high levels of radon, inhabitants have less lung cancer than those in states with low levels.

  8. Microbial diversity in uranium mining-impacted soils as revealed by high-density 16S microarray and clone library.

    PubMed

    Rastogi, Gurdeep; Osman, Shariff; Vaishampayan, Parag A; Andersen, Gary L; Stetler, Larry D; Sani, Rajesh K

    2010-01-01

    Microbial diversity was characterized in mining-impacted soils collected from two abandoned uranium mine sites, the Edgemont and the North Cave Hills, South Dakota, using a high-density 16S microarray (PhyloChip) and clone libraries. Characterization of the elemental compositions of soils by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy revealed higher metal contamination including uranium at the Edgemont than at the North Cave Hills mine site. Microarray data demonstrated extensive phylogenetic diversity in soils and confirmed nearly all clone-detected taxonomic levels. Additionally, the microarray exhibited greater diversity than clone libraries at each taxonomic level at both the mine sites. Interestingly, the PhyloChip detected the largest number of taxa in Proteobacteria phylum for both the mine sites. However, clone libraries detected Acidobacteria and Bacteroidetes as the most numerically abundant phyla in the Edgemont and North Cave Hills mine sites, respectively. Several 16S rDNA signatures found in both the microarrays and clone libraries displayed sequence similarities with yet-uncultured bacteria representing a hitherto unidentified diversity. Results from this study demonstrated that highly diverse microbial populations were present in these uranium mine sites. Diversity indices indicated that microbial communities at the North Cave Hills mine site were much more diverse than those at the Edgemont mine site.

  9. Geochemical investigations by the U.S. Geological Survey on uranium mining, milling, and environmental restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Landa, Edward R.; Cravotta, Charles A.; Naftz, David L.; Verplanck, Philip L.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; Zielinski, Robert A.

    2000-01-01

    Recent research by the U.S. Geological Survey has characterized contaminant sources and identified important geochemical processes that influence transport of radionuclides from uranium mining and milling wastes. 1) Selective extraction studies indicated that alkaline earth sulfates and hydrous ferric oxides are important hosts of 226Ra in uranium mill tailings. The action of sulfate-reducing and ironreducing bacteria on these phases was shown to enhance release of radium, and this adverse result may temper decisions to dispose of uranium mill tailings in anaerobic environments. 2) Field studies have shown that although surface-applied sewage sludge/wood chip amendments aid in revegetating pyritic spoil, the nitrogen in sludge leachate can enhance pyrite oxidation, acidification of groundwater, and the consequent mobilization of metals and radionuclides. 3) In a U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyfunded study, three permeable reactive barriers consisting of phosphate-rich material, zero-valent iron, or amorphous ferric oxyhydroxide have been installed at an abandoned uranium upgrader facility near Fry Canyon, UT. Preliminary results indicate that each of the permeable reactive barriers is removing the majority of the uranium from the groundwater. 4) Studies on the geochemistry of rare earth elements as analogues for actinides such as uranium and thorium in acid mine drainage environments indicate high mobility under acid-weathering conditions but measurable attenuation associated with iron and aluminum colloid formation. Mass balances from field and laboratory studies are being used to quantify the amount of attenuation. 5) A field study in Colorado demonstrated the use of 234U/238U isotopic ratio measurements to evaluate contamination of shallow groundwater with uranium mill effluent.

  10. Evaluation of residual uranium contamination in the dirt floor of an abandoned metal rolling mill.

    PubMed

    Glassford, Eric; Spitz, Henry; Lobaugh, Megan; Spitler, Grant; Succop, Paul; Rice, Carol

    2013-02-01

    A single, large, bulk sample of uranium-contaminated material from the dirt floor of an abandoned metal rolling mill was separated into different types and sizes of aliquots to simulate samples that would be collected during site remediation. The facility rolled approximately 11,000 tons of hot-forged ingots of uranium metal approximately 60 y ago, and it has not been used since that time. Thirty small mass (≈ 0.7 g) and 15 large mass (≈ 70 g) samples were prepared from the heterogeneously contaminated bulk material to determine how measurements of the uranium contamination vary with sample size. Aliquots of bulk material were also resuspended in an exposure chamber to produce six samples of respirable particles that were obtained using a cascade impactor. Samples of removable surface contamination were collected by wiping 100 cm of the interior surfaces of the exposure chamber with 47-mm-diameter fiber filters. Uranium contamination in each of the samples was measured directly using high-resolution gamma ray spectrometry. As expected, results for isotopic uranium (i.e., U and U) measured with the large-mass and small-mass samples are significantly different (p < 0.001), and the coefficient of variation (COV) for the small-mass samples was greater than for the large-mass samples. The uranium isotopic concentrations measured in the air and on the wipe samples were not significantly different and were also not significantly different (p > 0.05) from results for the large- or small-mass samples. Large-mass samples are more reliable for characterizing heterogeneously distributed radiological contamination than small-mass samples since they exhibit the least variation compared to the mean. Thus, samples should be sufficiently large in mass to insure that the results are truly representative of the heterogeneously distributed uranium contamination present at the facility. Monitoring exposure of workers and the public as a result of uranium contamination resuspended

  11. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  12. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  13. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  14. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  15. 30 CFR 906.20 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, Colorado 80202-5733. ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land..., DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  16. 30 CFR 918.25 - Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Louisiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 918.25 Section 918.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... publication Citation/description February 3, 1986 November 10, 1986 Approval of AMLR program. June 12,...

  17. 30 CFR 906.25 - Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Colorado abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 906.25 Section 906.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... publication Citation/description April 29, 1985 January 9, 1986 Reclamation of noncoal sites. October 29,...

  18. 30 CFR 935.25 - Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Approval of Ohio abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments. 935.25 Section 935.25 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND..., 1986 August 17, 1987 Ohio AMLR Plan 3.7.4, 3.9.1; RAMP Committee role; AMLR program staff...

  19. Field trial for sealing abandoned mine shafts and adits with lightweight concrete. Report of investigations/1994

    SciTech Connect

    Skinner, E.H.; Beckett, L.A.

    1993-10-01

    An abandoned mine shaft near Omar, in Logan County, WV, was permanently sealed through a cooperative agreement between the West Virginia Department of Commerce, Labor, and Environmental Research, Division of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Bureau of Mines, Abandoned Mine Lands (AML). An engineered shaft seal design was developed and demonstrated that featured lightweight concrete as a key material component at a wet density of about 45 lb/cu ft. A reinforced concrete cap designed for 5 psi live load was placed over the shaft seal.

  20. Environmental risks of abandoning a mining project already started: Romaltyn Mining Baia Mare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bud, I.; Duma, S.; Gusat, D.; Pasca, I.; Bud, A.

    2016-08-01

    The history of mining activity, which has been the economy engine in the region and has contributed to the formation of many localities, has been deleted too quickly. During all this time, in the world countries which have invested in mining sector have made considerable progress. The paper brings in question, within the framework of the theme, the implications arising from the abandonment of the Romaltyn project which mainly affects two objectives: Central Tailing Pond and Aurul Tailing Pond. The Central tailing pond constitutes an unfortunate source of pollution for groundwater, surface water, soil and air on a large area around it, because its location upstream of Baia Mare city and in the vicinity of a agricultural production zone. The consequences of the tailing pond maintenance in the current situation are: presence of sclerozing dust with sulphurs content scattered over large agricultural area; soil pollution by acidification; heavy metals release which enter in food chain and will be found in food. The final disposal of the pollution source is the only solution really safe in long term. Abandoning Aurul tailing pond in the current phase of construction involves high environmental risks. Taking in consideration the potential and the huge soil volume which are necessary for rehabilitation, isolation and rehabilitation of this area involve extremely high costs and the realization is, technically, almost impossible in the current context.

  1. Legacy soil contamination at abandoned mine sites: making a case for guidance on soil protection.

    PubMed

    Kostarelos, Konstantinos; Gavriel, Ifigenia; Stylianou, Marinos; Zissimos, Andreas M; Morisseau, Eleni; Dermatas, Dimitris

    2015-03-01

    Within the European Union, guidance in the form of a uniform Soil Directive does not exist and member states are left to enact their own legislation governing historic soil contamination. Several historic or "legacy" sites exist in Cyprus - an EU member state with a long history of mining and a significant number of abandoned mining sites. The gold-silver enrichment plant of Mitsero village was abandoned 70 years ago, yet soil samples inside and outside the plant were extremely low in pH, exhibited high leachability of heavy metals and high cyanide levels. Water samples collected from an ephemeral stream located down-gradient of the site contained high levels of heavy metals. Two abandoned open-pit mines (Kokkinopezoula and Mathiatis) were investigated, where elevated metal content in soil samples from the surrounding streams and spoil heaps, and extremely low pH and high metal content in water samples from the mine crater were measured.

  2. 77 FR 5740 - Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-06

    ... 1992: This bill revised the AML program in areas of coal remining, and abandoned coal refuse sites, as... Disposal; Reclamation on Private Land; Rights of Entry; Public Participation Policies; Organization... include landslide hazards, highwalls, flooding, erosion, sedimentation, acid drainage, coal...

  3. Federal Guidance Report No. 8: Guidance for the Control of Radiation Hazards in Uranium Mining

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This report contains background material used in the development of guidance concerning radiation protection in the mining of uranium ore, and seeks to provide guidance for long-term radiation protection in uranium mining.

  4. Reclamation planning for abandoned mining subsidence lands in eastern China --- A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Zhenqi Hu; Hehe Gu

    1995-09-01

    China has a long history of coal mining and more than 96% of coal output is taken from underground mines each year. With the excavation of coal from underground, severe subsidence often results, which produces many subsidence lands. Since the Chinese government enacted a reclamation stipulation in 1989, many abandoned mining subsidence lands were produced before 1989. Therefore, reclamation of abandoned subsidence lands has become the focus of research activities in our country. This paper explores the principle and methods of reclamation planning for abandoned mining subsidence lands and presents a case study in eastern China. A 373 ha of abandoned mining subsidence land in Anhui province was selected as an experiment site. Since China is a developing country and land shortage is severe in this area, the high economic benefits from the reclaimed land was the final reclamation goal. Based on the topography of subsidence lands --- some parts of the abandoned lands were wetland or lake-like troughs, restoring farmlands and fishponds were chosen as post-reclamation land uses. The elevation of reclaimed lands was the key for restoring farmland successfully because of the high underground water level in this area, and the optimum fishpond size and side-slope design were the keys to reach high reclamation income. The HDP (Hydraulic Dredge Pump) reclamation technique was used for restoring farmland and creating fishpond. A farming and aquaculture plan for high economic benefits was also designed. This project will make farmers, who own the lands, richer through reclamation.

  5. Prioritizing abandoned coal mine reclamation projects within the contiguous United States using geographic information system extrapolation.

    PubMed

    Gorokhovich, Yuri; Reid, Matthew; Mignone, Erica; Voros, Andrew

    2003-10-01

    Coal mine reclamation projects are very expensive and require coordination of local and federal agencies to identify resources for the most economic way of reclaiming mined land. Location of resources for mine reclamation is a spatial problem. This article presents a methodology that allows the combination of spatial data on resources for the coal mine reclamation and uses GIS analysis to develop a priority list of potential mine reclamation sites within contiguous United States using the method of extrapolation. The extrapolation method in this study was based on the Bark Camp reclamation project. The mine reclamation project at Bark Camp, Pennsylvania, USA, provided an example of the beneficial use of fly ash and dredged material to reclaim 402,600 sq mi of a mine abandoned in the 1980s. Railroads provided transportation of dredged material and fly ash to the site. Therefore, four spatial elements contributed to the reclamation project at Bark Camp: dredged material, abandoned mines, fly ash sources, and railroads. Using spatial distribution of these data in the contiguous United States, it was possible to utilize GIS analysis to prioritize areas where reclamation projects similar to Bark Camp are feasible. GIS analysis identified unique occurrences of all four spatial elements used in the Bark Camp case for each 1 km of the United States territory within 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 km radii from abandoned mines. The results showed the number of abandoned mines for each state and identified their locations. The federal or state governments can use these results in mine reclamation planning.

  6. INITIATIVES AND TREATMENT OF MERCURY IN ABANDONED MINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation discusses EPA's research activities and mitigation activities for mercury contaminated mine sites at the International meeting on mercury and artisanal gold mining in Lima, Peru. The topics discussed included the toxicological and enviornmental tasks associated ...

  7. Reactive transport modeling of uranium 238 and radium 226 in groundwater of the Königstein uranium mine, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitzsche, O.; Merkel, B.

    Knowledge of the transport behavior of radionuclides in groundwater is needed for both groundwater protection and remediation of abandoned uranium mines and milling sites. Dispersion, diffusion, mixing, recharge to the aquifer, and chemical interactions, as well as radioactive decay, should be taken into account to obtain reliable predictions on transport of primordial nuclides in groundwater. This paper demonstrates the need for carrying out rehabilitation strategies before closure of the Königstein in-situ leaching uranium mine near Dresden, Germany. Column experiments on drilling cores with uranium-enriched tap water provided data about the exchange behavior of uranium. Uranium breakthrough was observed after more than 20 pore volumes. This strong retardation is due to the exchange of positively charged uranium ions. The code TReAC is a 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D reactive transport code that was modified to take into account the radioactive decay of uranium and the most important daughter nuclides, and to include double-porosity flow. TReAC satisfactorily simulated the breakthrough curves of the column experiments and provided a first approximation of exchange parameters. Groundwater flow in the region of the Königstein mine was simulated using the FLOWPATH code. Reactive transport behavior was simulated with TReAC in one dimension along a 6000-m path line. Results show that uranium migration is relatively slow, but that due to decay of uranium, the concentration of radium along the flow path increases. Results are highly sensitive to the influence of double-porosity flow. Résumé La protection des eaux souterraines et la restauration des sites miniers et de prétraitement d'uranium abandonnés nécessitent de connaître le comportement des radionucléides au cours de leur transport dans les eaux souterraines. La dispersion, la diffusion, le mélange, la recharge de l'aquifère et les interactions chimiques, de même que la décroissance radioactive, doivent être

  8. Bat-compatible closures of abandoned underground mines in national park system units

    SciTech Connect

    Burghardt, J.E.

    1997-12-31

    Because bat habitat is threatened by increased urban development, deforestation, and exploitation of caves, abandoned mines have become critical to the survival of numerous bat species. To date, the National Park Service has placed 71 bat-compatible closures in 11 parks. Habitat surveys for bats and other species are an integral part of the abandoned mine inventory process. When surveys outside mines slated for closure reveal potential habitat, qualified wildlife biologists accompanied by experienced abandoned mine safety personnel conduct internal surveys. Several internal surveys are often useful to determine various species using a mine for different purposes through the seasons of the year. Once the determination is made that a mine slated for closure merits habitat preservation, gates are designed to suit the specific needs of resident species. Construction takes place in a season when the mine is uninhabited, or at a time and in a manner that will cause the least disturbance. The National Park Service and Bat Conservation International recently developed an interpretive warning sign which attempts to prevent vandalism of bat gates by educating the public on the potential hazards inside the mine, the value of bats in ecosystems, and the importance of bat conservation efforts. These signs are available through Bat Conservation International.

  9. Community-level effects in edaphic fauna from an abandoned mining area: integration with chemical and toxicological lines of evidence.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Sara C; Castro, Bruno B; Moreira, Cláudia; Gonçalves, Fernando; Pereira, Ruth

    2013-02-01

    As a part of the Ecological Risk Assessment of a deactivated uranium mining area (Cunha Baixa), the aim of this study was to assess the drivers of litter arthropod community (ecological line of evidence) inhabiting soils with different degrees of contamination. Litter arthropods were collected in the mining area using a total of 70 pitfall traps, in the spring and autumn of 2004. Unlike information previously collected in the chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence, we found no clear evidence of impacts of soil contamination on the edaphic arthropod assemblage. Multivariate analyses were unable to extract relevant environmental gradients related to contamination, as most of the sites shared the same taxa overall. Given the consistency of the chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence, we must conclude that the litter arthropod assemblage underestimated the impacts of contamination in this abandoned mining area. In part, this could be due to the uncertainty caused by confounding factors that affect the litter arthropod community in the area. Nevertheless, despite the overall lack of responsiveness of the epigeic arthropod community data, a few taxa were negatively correlated with metal concentrations (Clubionidae and Staphylinidae), while Pseudoscorpionida were associated with the toxicological profile of the sites. These evidences suggest that community-level approaches with other animal and plant assemblages are necessary to reduce uncertainty relatively to the assessment of risks in higher evaluation tiers in the Cunha Baixa mine area.

  10. Fires in abandoned coal mines and waste banks. Information circular/1993

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, A.G.; Chaiken, R.F.

    1993-01-01

    Fires that occur in abandoned coal mines, waste banks and in coal outcrops constitute a serious health, safety and environmental hazard. Toxic fumes, the deterioration of air quality, and subsidence constitute the greatest hazards from these fires. Although fires on abandoned mined land (AML) occur in every coal producing state, the severity of the problem varies. Methods to extinguish or control AML fires, including excavation, fire barriers and sealing, are generally expensive and have a relatively low probability of success. The report includes information from a variety of sources. Factors affecting the occurrence, propagation and extinguishment of AML fires are discussed. Conventional fire control methods are described, and their probable effectiveness is evaluated.

  11. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg, P.E., P.P.

    1999-10-01

    This report represents the fourth Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. During this reporting period the Engineering Design for remediation of the surface safety hazards associated with the White Meadow Mine was completed. Construction Plans and Technical Specifications were completed and competitive bids were solicited by the Township for completion of the work. The electrical resistivity survey analysis and report was completed for the Green Pond Mines site at the Township Compost Storage Facility. The geophysical survey results confirmed evidence of abandoned mining activity at the Green Pond Mine site which was previously identified. During this reporting period, the time frame of the Cooperative Agreement between the Township and the Department of Energy was extended. An additional site of subsidence with in the Township related to abandoned mining

  12. 30 CFR 756.20 - Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's... RECLAMATION PROGRAMS § 756.20 Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan. Revisions to the following provisions of the Crow Tribe's Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan, as...

  13. Dewatering of the Jenkins open pit uranium mine

    SciTech Connect

    Straskraba, V.; Kissinger, L.E.

    1984-12-01

    Mining of low grade uranium sandstones in the Jenkins open pit mine in the Shirley Basin, Wyoming was troubled by slope failures and wet conditions in the pit. Since the mine was expanding toward a river, the possibility of drainage from this river into the mine raised serious concern during the mine planning. A baseline hydrogeologic study was performed and dewatering measures were designed with the help of a numerical mathematical model. A combination of dewatering wells installed from the surface around the perimeter of the pit and horizontal drains in areas of high slope failure potential substantially improved the mining conditions and slope stability. This procedure consequently led to the successful ore recovery from the highly saturated sandstone strata. The development of drawdown during the dewatering of two separated aquifers in the overburden was close to that predicted by the model.

  14. Some implications of in situ uranium mining technology development

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, C.E.; Parkhurst, M.A.; Cole, R.J.; Keller, D.; Mellinger, P.J.; Wallace, R.W.

    1980-09-01

    A technology assessment was initiated in March 1979 of the in-situ uranium mining technology. This report explores the impediments to development and deployment of this technology and evaluates the environmental impacts of a generic in-situ facility. The report is divided into the following sections: introduction, technology description, physical environment, institutional and socioeconomic environment, impact assessment, impediments, and conclusions. (DLC)

  15. Ground- and surface-water interactions involving an abandoned underground coal mine in Pike County, Indiana

    SciTech Connect

    Harper, D.; Olyphant, G.A.; Sjogren, D.R.

    1996-12-31

    Several highwall pits of an abandoned surface mine in the Springfield Coal Member (Pennsylvanian) are currently occupied by ponds with a total area of approximately 2.3 x 10{sup 4} m{sup 2}. These ponds are adjacent to an abandoned underground mine (Patoka Valley Coal and Coke Company No. 1 Mine) in the same coalbed. The mine underlies about 0.3 km{sup 2} and contains approximately 4 x 10{sup 5} m{sup 3} of flooded voids. Monitoring of water levels in wells that are screened in the mine and of the levels of adjacent ponds reveal that average hourly levels vary in unison across a range of less than one meter. The mean potentiometric level of the mine-aquifer, the neighboring ponds, and an artesian spring that issues through the outcrop of the coalbed, are at elevations of about 163 m above sea level. Long-term monitoring and a field experiment that involved pumping of a pond indicated that the mine was connected to two of the ponds and served to recharge, rather than discharge, the ponds. The monitoring and field experiment also allowed determination of the mine aquifers barometric efficiency (0.3) and its storativity (2 x 10{sup -3}) . A water-balance calculation indicates that the average recharge rate of the mine is about 0.1 mm/day.

  16. 30 CFR 75.1721 - Opening of new underground coal mines, or reopening and reactivating of abandoned or deactivated...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Opening of new underground coal mines, or reopening and reactivating of abandoned or deactivated coal mines, notification by the operator... LABOR COAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Miscellaneous §...

  17. US uranium mining industry: background information on economics and emissions

    SciTech Connect

    Bruno, G.A.; Dirks, J.A.; Jackson, P.O.; Young, J.K.

    1984-03-01

    A review of the US uranium mining industry has revealed a generally depressed industry situation. The 1982 U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production from both open-pit and underground mines declined to 3800 and 6300 tons respectively with the underground portion representing 46% of total production. US exploration and development has continued downward in 1982. Employment in the mining and milling sectors has dropped 31% and 17% respectively in 1982. Representative forecasts were developed for reactor fuel demand and U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production for the years 1983 and 1990. Reactor fuel demand is estimated to increase from 15,900 tons to 21,300 tons U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ respectively. U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production, however, is estimated to decrease from 10,600 tons to 9600 tons respectively. A field examination was conducted of 29 selected underground uranium mines that represent 84% of the 1982 underground production. Data was gathered regarding population, land ownership and private property valuation. An analysis of the increased cost to production resulting from the installation of 20-meter high exhaust borehole vent stacks was conducted. An assessment was made of the current and future /sup 222/Rn emission levels for a group of 27 uranium mines. It is shown that /sup 222/Rn emission rates are increasing from 10 individual operating mines through 1990 by 1.2 to 3.8 times. But for the group of 27 mines as a whole, a reduction of total /sup 222/Rn emissions is predicted due to 17 of the mines being shutdown and sealed. The estimated total /sup 222/Rn emission rate for this group of mines will be 105 Ci/yr by year end 1983 or 70% of the 1978-79 measured rate and 124 Ci/yr by year end 1990 or 83% of the 1978-79 measured rate.

  18. Field Testing of Downgradient Uranium Mobility at an In-Situ Recovery Uranium Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimus, P. W.; Clay, J. T.; Rearick, M.; Perkins, G.; Brown, S. T.; Basu, A.; Chamberlain, K.

    2015-12-01

    In-situ recovery (ISR) mining of uranium involves the injection of O2 and CO2 (or NaHCO3) into saturated roll-front deposits to oxidize and solubilize the uranium, which is then removed by ion exchange at the surface and processed into U3O8. While ISR is economical and environmentally-friendly relative to conventional mining, one of the challenges of extracting uranium by this process is that it leaves behind a geochemically-altered aquifer that is exceedingly difficult to restore to pre-mining geochemical conditions, a regulatory objective. In this research, we evaluated the ability of the aquifer downgradient of an ISR mining area to attenuate the transport of uranium and other problem constituents that are mobilized by the mining process. Such an evaluation can help inform both regulators and the mining industry as to how much restoration of the mined ore zone is necessary to achieve regulatory compliance at various distances downgradient of the mining zone even if complete restoration of the ore zone proves to be difficult or impossible. Three single-well push-pull tests and one cross-well test were conducted in which water from an unrestored, previously-mined ore zone was injected into an unmined ore zone that served as a geochemical proxy for the downgradient aquifer. In all tests, non-reactive tracers were injected with the previously-mined ore zone water to allow the transport of uranium and other constituents to be compared to that of the nonreactive species. In the single-well tests, it was shown that the recovery of uranium relative to the nonreactive tracers ranged from 12-25%, suggesting significant attenuation capacity of the aquifer. In the cross-well test, selenate, molybdate and metavanadate were injected with the unrestored water to provide information on the transport of these potentially-problematic anionic constituents. In addition to the species-specific transport information, this test provided valuable constraints on redox conditions within

  19. 30 CFR 756.21 - Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's... RECLAMATION PROGRAMS § 756.21 Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan. Pursuant to 30 CFR 884.15, the Crow Tribe is required to submit to OSM by the date specified either...

  20. Environmental geochemistry of the abandoned Mamut Copper Mine (Sabah) Malaysia.

    PubMed

    van der Ent, Antony; Edraki, Mansour

    2016-11-15

    The Mamut Copper Mine (MCM) located in Sabah (Malaysia) on Borneo Island was the only Cu-Au mine that operated in the country. During its operation (1975-1999), the mine produced 2.47 Mt of concentrate containing approximately 600,000 t of Cu, 45 t of Au and 294 t of Ag, and generated about 250 Mt of overburden and waste rocks and over 150 Mt of tailings, which were deposited at the 397 ha Lohan tailings storage facility, 15.8 km from the mine and 980 m lower in altitude. The MCM site presents challenges for environmental rehabilitation due to the presence of large volumes of sulphidic minerals wastes, the very high rainfall and the large volume of polluted mine pit water. This indicates that rehabilitation and treatment is costly, as for example, exceedingly large quantities of lime are needed for neutralisation of the acidic mine pit discharge. The MCM site has several unusual geochemical features on account of the concomitant occurrence of acid-forming sulphide porphyry rocks and alkaline serpentinite minerals, and unique biological features because of the very high plant diversity in its immediate surroundings. The site hence provides a valuable opportunity for researching natural acid neutralisation processes and mine rehabilitation in tropical areas. Today, the MCM site is surrounded by protected nature reserves (Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site, and Bukit Hampuan, a Class I Forest Reserve), and the environmental legacy prevents de-gazetting and inclusion in these protected area in the foreseeable future. This article presents a preliminary geochemical investigation of waste rocks, sediments, secondary precipitates, surface water chemistry and foliar elemental uptake in ferns, and discusses these results in light of their environmental significance for rehabilitation.

  1. Agriculture in an area impacted by past uranium mining activities

    SciTech Connect

    Carvalho, F. P.; Oliveira, J. M.; Neves, O.; Vicente, E. M.; Abreu, M. M.

    2007-07-01

    The shallow aquifer near the old Cunha Baixa uranium mine (Viseu, Portugal) was contaminated by acid mine drainage. Concentration of radionuclides in water from irrigation wells and in the topsoil layer of the agriculture fields nearby display enhanced concentrations of uranium, radium and polonium. Two types of agriculture land in this area were selected, one with enhanced and another with low uranium concentrations, for controlled growth of lettuce and potatoes. Plants were grown in replicate portions of land (two plots) in each soil type and were periodically irrigated with water from wells. In each soil, one plot was irrigated with water containing low concentration of dissolved uranium and the other plot with water containing enhanced concentration of dissolved uranium. At the end of the growth season, plants were harvested and analysed, along with soil and irrigation water samples. Results show the accumulation of radionuclides in edible parts of plants, specially in the field plots with higher radionuclide concentrations in soil. Radionuclides in irrigation water contributed less to the radioactivity accumulated in plants than radionuclides from soils. (authors)

  2. Behaviour of abandoned room and pillar mines in Illinois

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marino, G.G.; Bauer, R.A.

    1989-01-01

    Little comprehensive information has been reported on the behaviour of room-and-pillar mines. The objective of this paper is to present case data on mine failures in the Illinois basin for use in practice. Presented are results of an ongoing study and details on the site characteristics of cases where sags have developed on the surface. Site data are reported to show the geologic, mining, and sag conditions that existed. Sags mainly develop from pillar, floor, or pillar-floor failure. The character of the sags depends upon the type of mine failure as well as the overburden response. Preliminary results show that the statistical no-risk tributary pressure decreases over 300% as the mine age increases from about 2 to 100 years at a long-term value of approximately 300 psi (2070 kPa). As more information is collected and more analysis is done, the allowable tributary pressure can be determined for different site conditions. A plot is also reported that depicts the relationship of the maximum subsidence to site conditions. It was found that the modified subsidence factor was heavily dependent upon the overburden rock thickness. ?? 1989 Chapman & Hall Ltd.

  3. Oxidation of sulphide in abandoned mine tailings by ferrate.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yong-Hoon; Yu, Mok-Ryun; Chang, Yoon-Young; Kang, Seon-Hong; Yang, Jae-Kyu

    2015-01-01

    In this study, Fe(VI) was applied to treat three mine tailings containing different amounts of sulphides and heavy metals. Oxidation of sulphides by Fe(VI) was studied at pH 9.2 with variation of solid to solution ratio, Fe(VI) concentration and injection number of Fe(VI) solution. The major dissolved products from the treatment of mine tailings with Fe(VI) solution were sulphate and arsenic. Oxidation efficiency of sulphides was evaluated by reduction efficiency of Fe(VI) as well as by measurement of dissolved sulphate concentration. Even though inorganic composition of three mine tailings was different, reduction fraction of Fe(VI) was quite similar. This result can suggest that Fe(VI) was involved in several other reactions in addition to oxidation of sulphides. Oxidation of sulphides in mine tailing was greatly dependent on the total amount of sulphides as well as kinds of sulphides complexed with metals. Over the five consecutive injections of Fe(VI) solution, dissolved sulphate concentration was greatly decreased by each injection and no more dissolved sulphate was observed at the fifth injection. While dissolved arsenic was decreased lineally up to the fifth injection. Sulphate generation was slightly increased for all mine tailings as Fe(VI) concentration was increased; however, enhancement of oxidation efficiency of sulphides was not directly proportional to the initial Fe(VI) concentration.

  4. The siting of a prison complex above an abandoned underground coal mine

    SciTech Connect

    Marino, G.G.

    1997-12-31

    This paper discusses in detail the process undertaken to mitigate the effects of any future mine subsidence on prison structures proposed above old abandoned underground workings. The site for a proposed prison complex purchased by the State of Indiana was located in west-central Indiana and was undermined by an old abandoned room and pillar mine. The original plan for construction consisted of one phase. Based on a study of the mine map and subsurface verification of the extent of mining it was determined that all prison buildings and important structures could be placed above solid coal to the north. One masonry building, however, was located within the potential draw zone of mine works which still contained significant mine voids. Based on empirical data the subsidence potential was estimated and the building was accordingly designed to be mine subsidence resistant. It was decided that a phase two prison complex should be constructed adjacent to and just south of the Phase I complex. This complex would be directly above the underground workings. The first stage of design was to minimize subsidence potential by positioning the exposure of significant structures to the subjacent mining assuming the mine map was sufficiently accurate. Subsequently, an extensive subsurface investigation program was then undertaken to: (1) ascertain whether or not mine areas where buildings would be located were already collapsed and thus only nominal, if any, subsidence could occur in the future; and (2) verify the presence of solid coal areas within the mine as indicated on the mine map. Based on all the site information gathered subsidence profiles were developed from an empirical data base of subsidence events in the Illinois Coal Basin. As a result of this work many structures on the site required no or nominal subsidence considerations.

  5. Radon and aerosol release from open-pit uranium mining

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, V.W.; Nielson, K.K.; Mauch, M.L.

    1982-08-01

    The quantity of /sup 222/Rn (hereafter called radon) released per unit of uranium produced from open pit mining has been determined. A secondary objective was to determine the nature and quantity of airborne particles resulting from mine operations. To accomplish these objectives, a comprehensive study of the release rates of radon and aerosol material to the atmosphere was made over a one-year period from April 1979 to May 1980 at the Morton Ranch Mine which was operated by United Nuclear Corporation (UNC) in partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The mine is now operated for TVA by Silver King Mines. Morton Ranch Mine was one of five open pit uranium mines studied in central Wyoming. Corroborative measurements were made of radon flux and /sup 226/Ra (hereafter called radium) concentrations of various surfaces at three of the other mines in October 1980 and again at these three mines plus a fourth in April of 1981. Three of these mines are located in the Powder River Basin, about 80 kilometers east by northeast of Casper. One is located in the Shirley Basin, about 60 km south of Casper, and the remaining one is located in the Gas Hills, approximately 100 km west of Casper. The one-year intensive study included simultaneous measurement of several parameters: continuous measurement of atmospheric radon concentration near the ground at three locations, monthly 24-hour radon flux measurements from various surfaces, radium analyses of soil samples collected under each of the flux monitoring devices, monthly integrations of aerosols on dichotomous aerosol samplers, analysis of aerosol samplers for total dust loading, aerosol elemental and radiochemical composition, aerosol elemental composition by particle size, wind speed, wind direction, temperature, barometric pressure, and rainfall.

  6. Comparison of Kriging and coKriging for soil contamination mapping in abandoned mine sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyeongyu; Choi, Yosoon

    2015-04-01

    Soil contamination mapping around abandoned mines is an important task for the planning and design of mine reclamation. This study compared the ordinary Kriging and the co-Kriging methods for the soil contamination mapping in abandoned mine sites. Four approaches were conducted as follows: (1) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) data only; (2) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (PXRF) data only; (3) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and integrated data from ICP and PXRF; and (4) soil contamination mapping using the co-Kriging and integrated data from ICP and PXRF. Results indicate that the approach 3 provides substantial improvements over other three approaches including a more reasonable spatial pattern of soil contamination and reduction in the error of its estimates.

  7. Assessment of nonpoint source chemical loading potential to watersheds containing uranium waste dumps associated with uranium exploration and mining, Browns Hole, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marston, Thomas M.; Beisner, Kimberly R.; Naftz, David L.; Snyder, Terry

    2012-01-01

    During August of 2008, 35 solid-phase samples were collected from abandoned uranium waste dumps, undisturbed geologic background sites, and adjacent streambeds in Browns Hole in southeastern Utah. The objectives of this sampling program were (1) to assess impacts on human health due to exposure to radium, uranium, and thorium during recreational activities on and around uranium waste dumps on Bureau of Land Management lands; (2) to compare concentrations of trace elements associated with mine waste dumps to natural background concentrations; (3) to assess the nonpoint source chemical loading potential to ephemeral and perennial watersheds from uranium waste dumps; and (4) to assess contamination from waste dumps to the local perennial stream water in Muleshoe Creek. Uranium waste dump samples were collected using solid-phase sampling protocols. Solid samples were digested and analyzed for major and trace elements. Analytical values for radium and uranium in digested samples were compared to multiple soil screening levels developed from annual dosage calculations in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act's minimum cleanup guidelines for uranium waste sites. Three occupancy durations for sites were considered: 4.6 days per year, 7.0 days per year, and 14.0 days per year. None of the sites exceeded the radium soil screening level of 96 picocuries per gram, corresponding to a 4.6 days per year exposure. Two sites exceeded the radium soil screening level of 66 picocuries per gram, corresponding to a 7.0 days per year exposure. Seven sites exceeded the radium soil screening level of 33 picocuries per gram, corresponding to a 14.0 days per year exposure. A perennial stream that flows next to the toe of a uranium waste dump was sampled, analyzed for major and trace elements, and compared with existing aquatic-life and drinking-water-quality standards. None of the water-quality standards were exceeded in the stream samples.

  8. Abandoned PbZn mining wastes and their mobility as proxy to toxicity: A review.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Mélida; Mickus, Kevin; Camacho, Lucy Mar

    2016-09-15

    Lead and zinc (PbZn) mines are a common occurrence worldwide; and while approximately 240 mines are active, the vast majority have been abandoned for decades. Abandoned mining wastes represent a serious environmental hazard, as Pb, Zn and associated metals are continuously released into the environment, threatening the health of humans and affecting ecosystems. Iron sulfide minerals, when present, can form acid mine drainage and increase the toxicity by mobilizing the metals into more bioavailable forms. Remediation of the metal waste is costly and, in the case of abandoned wastes, the responsible party(ies) for the cleanup can be difficult to determine, which makes remediation a complex and lengthy process. In this review, we provide a common ground from a wide variety of investigations about concentrations, chemical associations, and potential mobility of Pb, Zn and cadmium (Cd) near abandoned PbZn mines. Comparing mobility results is a challenging task, as instead of one standard methodology, there are 4-5 different methods reported. Results show that, as a general consensus, the metal content of soils and sediments vary roughly around 1000mg/kg for Zn, 100 for Pb and 10 for Cd, and mobilities of Cd>Zn>Pb. Also, mobility is a function of pH, particle size, and formation of secondary minerals. New and novel remediation techniques continue to be developed in laboratories but have seldom been applied to the field. Remediation at most of the sites has consisted of neutralization (e.g. lime,) for acid mine discharge, and leveling followed by phytostabilization. In the latter, amendments (e.g. biochar, fertilizers) are added to boost the efficiency of the treatment. Any remediation method has to be tested before being implemented as the best treatment is site-specific. Potential treatments are described and compared.

  9. Microbial methane formation from hard coal and timber in an abandoned coal mine

    SciTech Connect

    Kruger, M.; Beckmann, S.; Engelen, B.; Thielemann, T.; Cramer, B.; Schippers, A.; Cypionka, H.

    2008-07-01

    About 7% of the global annual methane emissions originate from coal mining. Also, mine gas has come into focus of the power industry and is being used increasingly for heat and power production. In many coal deposits worldwide, stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures of methane indicate a mixed thermogenic and biogenic origin. In this study, we have measured in an abandoned coal mine methane fluxes and isotopic signatures of methane and carbon dioxide, and collected samples for microbiological and phylogenetic investigations. Mine timber and hard coal showed an in-situ production of methane with isotopic signatures similar to those of the methane in the mine atmosphere. Enrichment cultures amended with mine timber or hard coal as sole carbon sources formed methane over a period of nine months. Predominantly, acetoclastic methanogenesis was stimulated in enrichments containing acetate or hydrogen/carbon dioxide. Molecular techniques revealed that the archaeal community in enrichment cultures and unamended samples was dominated by members of the Methanosarcinales. The combined geochemical and microbiological investigations identify microbial methanogenesis as a recent source of methane in abandoned coal mines.

  10. Eukaryotic life in biofilms formed in a uranium mine

    PubMed Central

    Zirnstein, Isabel; Arnold, Thuro; Krawczyk-Bärsch, Evelyn; Jenk, Ulf; Bernhard, Gert; Röske, Isolde

    2012-01-01

    The underground uranium mine Königstein (Saxony, Germany), currently in the process of remediation, represents an underground acid mine drainage (AMD) environment, that is, low pH conditions and high concentrations of heavy metals including uranium, in which eye-catching biofilm formations were observed. During active uranium mining from 1984 to 1990, technical leaching with sulphuric acid was applied underground on-site resulting in a change of the underground mine environment and initiated the formation of AMD and also the growth of AMD-related copious biofilms. Biofilms grow underground in the mine galleries in a depth of 250 m (50 m above sea level) either as stalactite-like slime communities or as acid streamers in the drainage channels. The eukaryotic diversity of these biofilms was analyzed by microscopic investigations and by molecular methods, that is, 18S rDNA PCR, cloning, and sequencing. The biofilm communities of the Königstein environment showed a low eukaryotic biodiversity and consisted of a variety of groups belonging to nine major taxa: ciliates, flagellates, amoebae, heterolobosea, fungi, apicomplexa, stramenopiles, rotifers and arthropoda, and a large number of uncultured eukaryotes, denoted as acidotolerant eukaryotic cluster (AEC). In Königstein, the flagellates Bodo saltans, the stramenopiles Diplophrys archeri, and the phylum of rotifers, class Bdelloidea, were detected for the first time in an AMD environment characterized by high concentrations of uranium. This study shows that not only bacteria and archaea may live in radioactive contaminated environments, but also species of eukaryotes, clearly indicating their potential influence on carbon cycling and metal immobilization within AMD-affected environment. PMID:22950016

  11. Effects of Abandoned Arsenic Mine on Water Resources Pollution in North West of Iran

    PubMed Central

    Hajalilou, Behzad; Mosaferi, Mohammad; Khaleghi, Fazel; Jadidi, Sakineh; Vosugh, Bahram; Fatehifar, Esmail

    2011-01-01

    Background: Pollution due to mining activities could have an important role in health and welfare of people who are living in mining area. When mining operation finishes, environ­ment of mining area can be influenced by related pollution e.g. heavy metals emission to wa­ter resources. The present study was aimed to evaluate Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine ef­fects on drinking water resources quality and possible health effects on the residents of min­ing area in the North West of Iran. Methods: Water samples and some limited composite wheat samples in downstream of min­ing area were collected. Water samples were analyzed for chemical parameters according to standard methods. For determination of arsenic in water samples, Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometric Method (GFAAS) and for wheat samples X – Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Method (ICP) were used. Information about possible health effects due to exposure to arsenic was collected through interviews in studied villages and health center of Herris City. Results: The highest concentrations of arsenic were measured near the mine (as high as 2000 µg/L in Valiloo mine opening water). With increasing distance from the mine, concentration was decreased. Arsenic was not detectable in any of wheat samples. Fortunately, no health effects had been reported between residents of studied area due to exposure to arsenic. Conclusion: Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine has caused release of arsenic to the around en­vironment of the mine, so arsenic concentration has been increased in the groundwater and also downstream river that requires proper measures to mitigate spread of arsenic. PMID:24688901

  12. Using indicator kriging for the evaluation of arsenic potential contamination in an abandoned mining area (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Antunes, I M H R; Albuquerque, M T D

    2013-01-01

    Mining and mineral-processing activities can modify the environment in a variety of ways. Sulfide mineralization is notorious for producing waters with high metal contents. Arsenic is commonly associated with sulfide mineralization and is considered to be toxic in the environment at low levels. The studied abandoned mining area is located in central Portugal and the resulting tailings and rejected materials were deposited and exposed to the air and water for the last 50 years. Sixteen water sample-points were collected. One of these was collected outside the mining influence, with the aim of obtaining a reference background. The risk assessment, concerning the proximity to abandoned mineralized deposits, needs the evaluation of intrinsic and specific vulnerabilities aiming the quantification of the anthropogenic activities. In this study, two indicator variables were constructed. The first one (I(1)), a specific vulnerability, considers the arsenic water supply standard value (0.05 mg/L), and the probability of it being exceeded is dependent on the geologic and hydrological characteristics of the studied area and also on the anthropogenic activities. The second one (I(2)), an intrinsic vulnerability, considers arsenic background limit as cut-off value, and depends only on the geologic and hydro-geological characteristics of the studied area. At Segura, the arsenic water content found during December 2006 (1.190 mg/L) was higher than the arsenic water content detected in October 2006 (0.636 mg/L) which could be associated to the arsenic released from Fe oxy-hydroxide. At Segura abandoned mining area, the iso-probability maps of October 2006 and December 2006, show strong anomalies associated with the water drainage from abandoned mining activities. Near the village, the probability of exceeding the arsenic background value is high but lower than the probability of exceeding the arsenic water supply value. The arsenic anomalies indicate a high probability for water

  13. Uranium decay daughters from isolated mines: Accumulation and sources.

    PubMed

    Cuvier, A; Panza, F; Pourcelot, L; Foissard, B; Cagnat, X; Prunier, J; van Beek, P; Souhaut, M; Le Roux, G

    2015-11-01

    This study combines in situ gamma spectrometry performed at different scales, in order to accurately locate the contamination pools, to identify the concerned radionuclides and to determine the distribution of the contaminants from soil to bearing phase scale. The potential mobility of several radionuclides is also evaluated using sequential extraction. Using this procedure, an accumulation area located downstream of a former French uranium mine and concentrating a significant fraction of radioactivity is highlighted. We report disequilibria in the U-decay chains, which are likely related to the processes implemented on the mining area. Coupling of mineralogical analyzes with sequential extraction allow us to highlight the presence of barium sulfate, which may be the carrier of the Ra-226 activities found in the residual phase (Ba(Ra)SO4). In contrast, uranium is essentially in the reducible fraction and potentially trapped in clay-iron coatings located on the surface of minerals.

  14. A field trail for sealing abandoned mine shafts and adits with lightweight concrete

    SciTech Connect

    Skinner, E.H.; Beckett, L.A.

    1994-01-01

    An abandoned mine shaft near Omar, in Logan County, WV, was permanently sealed through a cooperative agreement between the West Virginia Department of Commerce, Labor, and Environmental Resources, Division of Environmental Protection, and the US Bureau of Mines (USBM), Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Program. An engineered shaft seal design was developed and demonstrated that featured lightweight concrete as a key material component at a wet density of about 45 lb/ft[sup 3]. A reinforced concrete cap designed for 5 psi live load was placed over the shaft seal. Applicable new concrete technologies relating to a 100-yr design life were utilized to assure future integrity of the shaft seal. Waterproofing methods were included in the shaft seal design to provide protection from ambient moisture and corrosive mine waters and to increase the long-term durability of the shaft seal. All construction methods used in the field trial are fully adaptable for the mine-reclamation contractor. The USBM research objectives were to develop a broad generic design that will be widely applicable to other adit-sealing and shaft-sealing problems throughout the mining industry.

  15. Uranium mining wastes, garden exhibition and health risks

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, Gerhard; Schmidt, Peter; Hinz, Wilko

    2007-07-01

    Available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: For more than 40 years the Soviet-German stockholding company SDAG WISMUT mined and milled Uranium in the East of Germany and became up to 1990 the world's third largest Uranium producer. After reunification of Germany, the new found state own company Wismut GmbH was faced with the task of decommissioning and rehabilitation of the mining and milling sites. One of the largest mining areas in the world, that had to be cleaned up, was located close to the municipality of Ronneburg near the City of Gera in Thuringia. After closing the operations of the Ronneburg underground mine and at the 160 m deep open pit mine with a free volume of 84 Mio.m{sup 3}, the open pit and 7 large piles of mine waste, together 112 Mio.m{sup 3} of material, had to be cleaned up. As a result of an optimisation procedure it was chosen to relocate the waste rock piles back into the open pit. After taking this decision and approval of the plan the disposal operation was started. Even though the transport task was done by large trucks, this took 16 years. The work will be finished in 2007, a cover consisting of 40 cm of uncontaminated material will be placed on top of the material, and the re-vegetation of the former open pit area will be established. When in 2002 the City of Gera applied to host the largest garden exhibition in Germany, Bundesgartenschau (BUGA), in 2007, Wismut GmbH supported this plan by offering parts of the territory of the former mining site as an exhibition ground. Finally, it was decided by the BUGA organizers to arrange its 2007 exhibition on grounds in Gera and in the valley adjacent to the former open pit mine, with parts of the remediated area within the fence of the exhibition. (authors)

  16. Metals other than uranium affected microbial community composition in a historical uranium-mining site.

    PubMed

    Sitte, Jana; Löffler, Sylvia; Burkhardt, Eva-Maria; Goldfarb, Katherine C; Büchel, Georg; Hazen, Terry C; Küsel, Kirsten

    2015-12-01

    To understand the links between the long-term impact of uranium and other metals on microbial community composition, ground- and surface water-influenced soils varying greatly in uranium and metal concentrations were investigated at the former uranium-mining district in Ronneburg, Germany. A soil-based 16S PhyloChip approach revealed 2358 bacterial and 35 archaeal operational taxonomic units (OTU) within diverse phylogenetic groups with higher OTU numbers than at other uranium-contaminated sites, e.g., at Oak Ridge. Iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria (FeRB and SRB), which have the potential to attenuate uranium and other metals by the enzymatic and/or abiotic reduction of metal ions, were found at all sites. Although soil concentrations of solid-phase uranium were high, ranging from 5 to 1569 μg·g (dry weight) soil(-1), redundancy analysis (RDA) and forward selection indicated that neither total nor bio-available uranium concentrations contributed significantly to the observed OTU distribution. Instead, microbial community composition appeared to be influenced more by redox potential. Bacterial communities were also influenced by bio-available manganese and total cobalt and cadmium concentrations. Bio-available cadmium impacted FeRB distribution while bio-available manganese and copper as well as solid-phase zinc concentrations in the soil affected SRB composition. Archaeal communities were influenced by the bio-available lead as well as total zinc and cobalt concentrations. These results suggest that (i) microbial richness was not impacted by heavy metals and radionuclides and that (ii) redox potential and secondary metal contaminants had the strongest effect on microbial community composition, as opposed to uranium, the primary source of contamination.

  17. Use of risk assessment to evaluate effects and plan remediation of abandoned mines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, T.P.

    2000-01-01

    A framework of risk assessment is elaborated for the evaluation of the effects of abandoned mines and mills. Steps in this process include environmental description, identification and characterization of sources, assessment of exposure, assessment of effects, risk characterization, and risk management of remediation. The development and use of ecological end-points for remediation is discussed in terms of the chemical constituents, toxicity tests and the biological community.

  18. Hydrologic analysis for ecological risk assessment of watersheds with abandoned mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Gallagher, D.; Babendreier, J.; Cherry, D.

    1999-07-01

    As part of on-going study of acid mine drainage (AMD), a comprehensive ecological risk assessment was conducted in the Leading Creek Watershed in southeast Ohio. The watershed is influenced by agriculture and active and abandoned coal-mining operations. This work presents a broad overview of several quantitative measures of hydrology and hydraulic watershed properties available for in risk assessment and evaluates their relation to metrics of ecology. Data analysis included statistical comparisons of metrics of ecology, ecotoxicology, water quality, and physically based parameters describing land use, geomorphology, flow, velocity, and particle size. A multiple regression analysis indicated that abandoned mining operations dominated impacts upon aquatic ecology. It also indicated low flow velocity measurements and a ratio of maximum velocity to average velocity at low flow where helpful in describing variation in macroinvertebrate Total Taxa scores. Other key parameters also identified strong impact relationships with biodiversity trends and included pH, simple knowledge of any mining upstream, calculated % of the subshed covered by strip mines, and the measured depth of streambed sediments from site to site.

  19. Unexpected hydrologic perturbation in an abandoned underground coal mine: Response to surface reclamation?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harper, D.; Olyphant, G.A.; Hartke, E.J.

    1990-01-01

    A reclamation project at the abandoned Blackhawk Mine site near Terre Haute, Indiana, lasted about four months and involved the burial of coarse mine refuse in shallow (less than 9 m) pits excavated into loess and till in an area of about 16 ha. An abandoned flooded underground coal mine underlies the reclamation site at a depth of about 38 m; the total area underlain by the mine is about 10 km2. The potentiometric levels associated with the mine indicate a significant (2.7 m) and prolonged perturbation of the deeper confined groundwater system; 14 months after completing reclamation, the levels began to rise linearly (at an average rate of 0.85 cm/d) for 11 months, then fell exponentially for 25 months, and are now nearly stable. Prominent subsidence features exist near the reclamation site. Subsidence-related fractures were observed in cores from the site, and such fractures may have provided a connection between the shallower and deeper groundwater systems. ?? 1990 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  20. The risk of collapse in abandoned mine sites: the issue of data uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longoni, Laura; Papini, Monica; Brambilla, Davide; Arosio, Diego; Zanzi, Luigi

    2016-04-01

    Ground collapses over abandoned underground mines constitute a new environmental risk in the world. The high risk associated with subsurface voids, together with lack of knowledge of the geometric and geomechanical features of mining areas, makes abandoned underground mines one of the current challenges for countries with a long mining history. In this study, a stability analysis of Montevecchia marl mine is performed in order to validate a general approach that takes into account the poor local information and the variability of the input data. The collapse risk was evaluated through a numerical approach that, starting with some simplifying assumptions, is able to provide an overview of the collapse probability. The final results is an easy-accessible-transparent summary graph that shows the collapse probability. This approach may be useful for public administrators called upon to manage this environmental risk. The approach tries to simplify this complex problem in order to achieve a roughly risk assessment, but, since it relies on just a small amount of information, any final user should be aware that a comprehensive and detailed risk scenario can be generated only through more exhaustive investigations.

  1. USGS Abandoned Mine Lands Research Presented at the NAAMLP Meeting in Billings, Mont., Sept. 25, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Kate; Church, Stan

    2006-01-01

    The following talk was an invited presentation given at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Lands Programs meeting in Billings, Montana on Sept. 25, 2006. The objective of the talk was to outline the scope of the U.S. Geological Survey research, past, present and future, in the area of abandoned mine research. Two large Professional Papers have come out of our AML studies: Nimick, D.A., Church, S.E., and Finger, S.E., eds., 2004, Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Basin and Boulder mining districts, Boulder River watershed, Jefferson County, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1652, 524 p., 2 plates, 1 DVD, URL: http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/usgspubs/pp/pp1652 Church, S.E., von Guerard, Paul, and Finger, S.E., eds., 2006, Integrated Investigations of Environmental Effects of Historical Mining in the Animas River Watershed, San Juan County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1651, 1,096 p., 6 plates, 1 DVD (in press). Additional publications and links can be found on the USGS AML website at URL: http://amli.usgs.gov/ or are accessible from the USGS Mineral Resource Program website at URL: http://minerals.usgs.gov/.

  2. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TONWSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg

    2003-02-01

    This report represents the tenth Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government-Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township Compost Storage Facility, engineering continued during this reporting period toward development of the Construction Plans and Technical Specifications for the remediation work. At the Mt. Hope Road subsidence, surface monitoring was conducted periodically at the work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort.

  3. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg

    2003-12-01

    This report represents the thirteenth Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this semi annual reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township's Jacobs Road Compost Storage Facility, construction was completed during this reporting period and surface monitoring began. Surface monitoring was conducted periodically at the Mt. Hope Road subsidence work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort.

  4. Lessons learned from the U.S. Geological Survey abandoned mine lands initiative: 1997-2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kimball, Briant A.; Church, Stanley E.; Besser, John M.

    2006-01-01

    Growth of the United States has been facilitated, in part, by hard-rock mining in the Rocky Mountains. Abandoned and inactive mines cause many significant environmental concerns in hundreds of watersheds. Those who have responsibility to address these environmental concerns must have a basic level of scientific information about mining and mine wastes in a watershed prior to initiating remediation activities. To demonstrate what information is needed and how to obtain that information, the U.S. Geological Survey implemented the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Initiative from 1997 to 2002 with demonstration studies in the Boulder River watershed in Montana and the Animas River watershed in Colorado. The AML Initiative included collection and analysis of geologic, hydrologic, geochemical, geophysical, and biological data. The synergy of this interdisciplinary analysis produced a perspective of the environmental concerns that could not have come from a single discipline. Two examples of these perspectives include (1) the combination of hydrological tracer techniques, structural geology, and geophysics help to understand the spatial distribution of loading to the streams in a way that cannot be evaluated by monitoring at a catchment outlet, and (2) the combination of toxicology and hydrology combine to illustrate that seasonal variability of toxicity conditions occurs. Lessons have been learned by listening to and collaborating with land-management agencies to understand their needs and by applying interdisciplinary methods to answer their questions.

  5. Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Abandoned Mine Lands as Signifcant Contamination Problem in Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horvath, E.; Jordan, G.; Fugedi, U.; Bartha, A.; Kuti, L.; Heltai, G.; Kalmar, J.; Waldmann, I.; Napradean, I.; Damian, G.

    2009-04-01

    INTRODUCTION Wide-spread environmental contamination associated with historic mining in Europe has triggered social responses to improve related environmental legislation, the environmental assessment and management methods for the mining industry. Pollution by acid mine drainage (AMD) from ore and coal mining is the outstanding and most important source of mining-induced environmental pollution. Younger et al. (2002) estimates that watercourses polluted by coal mine drainage could be in the order of 2,000 to 3,000 km, and 1,000 to 1,500 km polluted by metal mine discharges for the EU 15 Member States (Younger et al. 2002). Significance of contamination risk posed by mining is also highlighted by mine accidents such as those in Baia Mare, Romania in 2002 and in Aznalcollar, Spain in 1999 (Jordan and D'Alessandro 2004). The new EU Mine Waste Directive (Directive 2006/21/EC) requires the risk-based inventory of abandoned mines in the EU. The cost-effective implementation of the inventory is especially demanding in countries with extensive historic mining and great number of abandoned mine sites, like Romania. The problem is further complicated in areas with trans-boundary effects. The objective of this investigation to carry out the risk-based contamination assessment of a mine site with possible trans-boundary effects in Romania. Assessment follows the source-pathway-receptor chain with a special attention to heavy metal leaching from waste dumps as sources and to transport modelling along surface water pathways. STUDY AREA In this paper the Baiut mine catchment located in the Gutai Mts., Romania, close to the Hungarian border is studied. The polymetallic deposites in the Tertiary Inner-Carpathian Volcanic Arc are exposed by a series of abandoned Zn and Pb mines first operated in the 14th century. Elevation in the high relief catchment ranges from 449m to 1044m. Geology is characterised by andesites hosting the ore deposits and paleogene sediments dominating at the

  6. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg, P.E., P.P.

    2001-04-01

    This report represents the sixth Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the White Meadow Mine site, after amended specifications were prepared and continued negotiations took place with the Property Owner, the property ownership was transferred during the reporting period. As a result in the change in property ownership, the remediation project was then to be done by the new Property Owner out of the responsibility of Rockaway Township under this Cooperators Agreement. At the Mt. Hope Road subsidence, surface monitoring was conducted at the work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township Compost Storage Facility, no additional field work was undertaken during this reporting period subsequent to the previous completion of the geophysical survey. With the termination of the White Meadow

  7. Study of heavy metals transport by runoff and sediments from an abandoned mine: Alagoa, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerardo, R.; de Lima, J. L. M. P.; de Lima, M. I. P.

    2009-04-01

    Over time, several studies have been designed to understand heavy metals fate and its impact on the environment and on human health. However, only a few studies have focused on the transport of heavy metals in mining areas through the various hydrological processes such as runoff, infiltration, and subsurface flow. In particular, heavy rainfall events have a great impact on the dispersion of metals existing in the soil. This problem is often more serious in abandoned and inactive mining sites causing environmental problems. In Portugal, there are 175 identified abandoned mines that continuously threaten the environment through acid drainage waters that pollute the soil as well as surface and groundwater. An example is the abandoned mine of Alagoa, located near the village of Penacova (Centre of Portugal); in this site mining activities ceased about 30 years ago. The area is characterized by very steep slopes that are confining with a small stream; the mining excavation by-products were deposited on these slopes. We have selected this mine as a case study, aiming at understanding the transport mechanisms and dispersion of heavy metals and at contributing to the definition of the most appropriate mitigation measures for this area that is contaminated by heavy metals from the mine tailings. So far a total of 30 soil samples from 3 contaminated zones were collected and analysed for pH, texture and heavy metal content, using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results indicate that the contents of Zn and Pb in the soil samples are in the range from 95-460 mg/kg and 67-239 mg/kg, respectively, which exceed the critical limit-values defined by the Portuguese legislation. These metals are dispersed downslope and downstream from the mine tailings by storm water. The next step of this work is to investigate the transport of heavy metals by runoff, by mobilization of sediments and by subsurface flow. Three spatial scales tests will be conducted: on the mine tailings, on the slope

  8. Uranium mine and mill tailings - Liabilities in the European Union

    SciTech Connect

    Hilden, Wolfgang; Murphy, Simon; Vrijen, Jan

    2007-07-01

    Available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: Uranium mining and milling has taken place on large scale in the Member States of the European Union (EU) for some 60 years. Although, compared to mining, milling activities are normally concentrated in fewer locations, this can still result in a relatively large number of disposal sites for the tailings, compared to other radioactive wastes. In addition these sites are also quite large, in terms of both volume and surface area. Coupled with the residual uranium in the tailings together with other radionuclides, heavy metals, chemicals etc this results in an environmental legacy continuing far into the future. Often during production no or little provision has been made for the closure, remediation and future supervision of such sites. In 1996 the European Commission funded an inventory of uranium mining and milling liabilities in nine Central and Eastern European Countries. Additionally, pilot projects were funded to carry out remediation activities at several sites. Almost ten years later the Commission has identified the need to address the situation of these large liabilities in all EU Member States and to assess the progress made in remediation of the sites, especially in view of the closure of almost all mining activities in Europe. The Commission study has identified the current tailings liabilities in Europe, their status, the future plans for these sites and the hazards that continue to be associated with them. It is clear that although considerable progress has been made in recent years, much work remains to be carried out in the areas of remediation, and ensuring the long-term safety of many of the identified objects. The paper presents the main findings of the study, as well as the challenges identified to ensure long-term safety of these wastes. (authors)

  9. 2010 Five-Year Plan: Assessment of Health and Environmental Impacts of Uranium Mining and Milling

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The five-year plan is intended to compile all activities contributing to the identification and cleanup of legacy uranium milling and mining activities in the Grants Mining District in the State of New Mexico.

  10. Radon concentration in houses over a closed Hungarian uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Somlai, János; Gorjánácz, Zorán; Várhegyi, András; Kovács, Tibor

    2006-08-31

    High radon concentration (average 410 kBq m-3) has been measured in a tunnel of a uranium mine, located 15-55 m below the village of Kovágószolos, Hungary. The mine was closed in 1997; the artificial ventilation of the tunnel was then terminated and recultivation works begun. In this paper, a study has been made as to whether the tunnel has an influence on the radon concentration of surface dwellings over the mining tunnel. At different distances from the surface projection of the mining tunnel, radon concentration, the gamma dose, radon exhalation and radon concentration of soil gas were measured. The average radon concentration in the dwellings was 483 Bq m-3. Significantly higher radon concentrations (average 667 Bq m-3) were measured in houses within +/-150 m from the surface projection of the mining tunnel +50 m, compared with the houses further than the 300-m belt (average 291 Bq m-3). The average radon concentration of the soil gas was 88.8 kBq m-3, the average radon exhalation was 71.4 Bq m-2 s-1 and higher values were measured over the passage as well. Frequent fissures crossing the passage and running up to the surface and the high radon concentration generated in the passage (average 410 kBq m-3) may influence the radon concentration of the houses over the mining tunnel.

  11. Remediation of former uranium mining and milling activities in Central Asia

    SciTech Connect

    Waggitt, Peter

    2007-07-01

    Available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: Several of the Central Asian countries of the former Soviet Union were involved in the uranium mining and milling industry from about 1945 for varying periods until the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and beyond. Some facilities are still producing in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. However, before the break up, many facilities had been abandoned and in only a few cases had any remediation been undertaken. Since 1991 the newly independent states of the region have been seeking assistance for the remediation of the multitude of tailings piles, waste rock stockpiles and abandoned, and often semi dismantled, production facilities that may be found throughout the region. Many of these sites are close to settlements that were established as service towns for the mines. Most towns still have populations, although the mining industry has departed. In some instances there are cases of pollution and contamination and in many locations there is a significant level of public concern. The IAEA has been undertaking a number of Technical Cooperation (TC) projects throughout the region for some time to strengthen the institutions in the relevant states and assist them to establish monitoring and surveillance programs as an integral part of the long term remediation process. The IAEA is liaising with other agencies and donors who are also working on these problems to optimise the remediation effort. The paper describes the objectives and operation of the main TC regional program, liaison efforts with other agencies, the achievements so far and the long term issues for remediation of these legacies of the 'cold war' era. (authors)

  12. The Remediation of Abandoned Iron Ore Mine Subsidence in Rockaway Township, New Jersey

    SciTech Connect

    Gartenberg, Gary; Poff, Gregory

    2010-06-30

    This report represents the twenty-seventh and Final Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this last reporting period ending June 30, 2010 and a summary of the work accomplished since the agreement inception in 1997. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperator's Agreement between the United States Government - Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperator's Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township's Jacobs Road Compost Storage Facility, surface monitoring continued after completion of construction in September 2003. Surface monitoring was conducted periodically at the Mt. Hope Road subsidence work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort. In March 2007, a seventh collapse occurred over a portion of the White Meadow Mine in a public roadway at the intersection of Iowa and Erie Avenues in Rockaway Township. After test drilling, this portion of the mine was remediated by drilling and grouting the stopes.

  13. Environmental geochemistry of abandoned mercury mines in West-Central Nevada, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gray, J.E.; Crock, J.G.; Fey, D.L.

    2002-01-01

    The Humboldt River is a closed basin and is the longest river in Nevada. Numerous abandoned Hg mines are located within the basin, and because Hg is a toxic heavy metal, the potential transport of Hg from these mines into surrounding ecosystems, including the Humboldt River, is of environmental concern Samples of ore, sediment, water, calcines (roasted ore), and leachates of the calcines were analyzed for Hg and other heavy metals to evaluate geochemical dispersion from the mines. Cinnabar-bearing ore samples collected from the mines contain highly elevated Hg concentrations, up to 6.9 %, whereas calcines collected from the mines contain up to 2000 mg Hg/kg. Stream-sediment samples collected within 1 km of the mines contain as much as 170 mg Hg/kg, but those collected distal from the mines (> 5 km) contain 8 km from the Humboldt River, and Hg is transported and diluted through a large volume of pediment before it reaches the Humboldt River. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Navajo birth outcomes in the Shiprock uranium mining area

    SciTech Connect

    Shields, L.M.; Wiese, W.H.; Skipper, B.J.; Charley, B.; Benally, L. )

    1992-11-01

    The role of environmental radiation in the etiology of birth defects, stillbirths, and other adverse outcomes of pregnancy was evaluated for 13,329 Navajos born at the Public Health Service/Indian Health Service Hospital in the Shiprock, NM, uranium mining area (1964-1981). More than 320 kinds of defective congenital conditions were abstracted from hospital records. Using a nested case-control design, families of 266 pairs of index and control births were interviewed. The only statistically significant association between uranium operations and unfavorable birth outcome was identified with the mother living near tailings or mine dumps. Among the fathers who worked in the mines, those of the index cases had histories of more years of work exposure but not necessarily greater gonadal dosage of radiation. Also, birth defects increased significantly when either parent worked in the Shiprock electronics assembly plant. Overall, the associations between adverse pregnancy outcome and exposure to radiation were weak and must be interpreted with caution with respect to implying a biogenetic basis.

  15. Biomarker monitoring of a population residing near uranium mining activities.

    PubMed Central

    Au, W W; Lane, R G; Legator, M S; Whorton, E B; Wilkinson, G S; Gabehart, G J

    1995-01-01

    We investigated whether residents residing near uranium mining operations (target population), who are potentially exposed to toxicants from mining waste, have increased genotoxic effects compared with people residing elsewhere (reference population). Population surveys were conducted, and 24 target and 24 reference residents were selected. The selected subjects and controls were matched on age and gender and they were nonsmokers. Blood samples were collected for laboratory studies. The standard cytogenetic assay was used to determine chromosome aberration frequencies, and the challenge assay was used to investigate DNA repair responses. We found that individuals who resided near uranium mining operations had a higher mean frequency of cells with chromosome aberrations and higher deletion frequency but lower dicentric frequency than the reference group, although the difference was not statistically significant. After cells were challenged by exposure to gamma-rays, the target population had a significantly higher frequency of cells with chromosome aberrations and deletion frequency than the reference group. The latter observation is indicative of abnormal DNA repair response in the target population. PMID:7656876

  16. Relationship between plant biodiversity and heavy metal bioavailability in grasslands overlying an abandoned mine.

    PubMed

    Hernández, A J; Pastor, J

    2008-04-01

    Abandoned metal mines in the Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid, Spain, are often located in areas of high ecological value. This is true of an abandoned barium mine situated in the heart of a bird sanctuary. Today the area sustains grasslands, interspersed with oakwood formations of Quercus ilex and heywood scrub (Retama sphaerocarpa L.), used by cattle, sheep and wild animals. Our study was designed to establish a relationship between the plant biodiversity of these grasslands and the bioavailability of heavy metals in the topsoil layer of this abandoned mine. We conducted soil chemical analyses and performed a greenhouse evaluation of the effects of different soil heavy metal concentrations on biodiversity. The greenhouse bioassays were run for 6 months using soil samples obtained from the mine polluted with heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd) and from a control pasture. Soil heavy metal and Na concentrations, along with the pH, had intense negative effects on plant biodiversity, as determined through changes in the Shannon index and species richness. Numbers of grasses, legumes, and composites were reduced, whilst other species (including ruderals) were affected to a lesser extent. Zinc had the greatest effect on biodiversity, followed by Cd and Cu. When we compared the sensitivity of the biodiversity indicators to the different metal content variables, pseudototal metal concentrations determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were the most sensitive, followed by available and soluble metal contents. Worse correlations between biodiversity variables and metal variables were shown by pseudototal contents obtained by plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Our results highlight the importance of using as many different indicators as possible to reliably assess the response shown by plants to heavy metal soil pollution.

  17. Public views of reclaiming an abandoned coal mine: the Macoupin County project

    SciTech Connect

    Bernard, J. R.

    1980-07-01

    An abandoned underground coal mine waste area in Macoupin County, Illinois, has been reclaimed for demonstration and research purposes near the city of Staunton. According to federal law, end uses of reclaimed coal mines must be determined in part by local concerns. This study examined local residents' preferences for land uses and their social and economic evaluations of reclamation at the Macoupin County site. Personal interviews with 119 residents revealed preferences for recreational use of the demonstration area; however, responses were probably influenced by prior awareness of land-use intentions. Generally, very positive evaluations of the reclamation were received. Willingness to pay for reclamation appears to be linked to fulfillment of desired recreational uses on the site and socioeconomic status of the respondent. In general, the research results provide further evidence that the value of abatement of environmental damage from mining is recognized and supported in economic terms at the public level.

  18. Biogeochemical aspects of uranium mineralization, mining, milling, and remediation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Kate M.; Gallegos, Tanya J.; Landa, Edward R.

    2015-01-01

    Natural uranium (U) occurs as a mixture of three radioactive isotopes: 238U, 235U, and 234U. Only 235U is fissionable and makes up about 0.7% of natural U, while 238U is overwhelmingly the most abundant at greater than 99% of the total mass of U. Prior to the 1940s, U was predominantly used as a coloring agent, and U-bearing ores were mined mainly for their radium (Ra) and/or vanadium (V) content; the bulk of the U was discarded with the tailings (Finch et al., 1972). Once nuclear fission was discovered, the economic importance of U increased greatly. The mining and milling of U-bearing ores is the first step in the nuclear fuel cycle, and the contact of residual waste with natural water is a potential source of contamination of U and associated elements to the environment. Uranium is mined by three basic methods: surface (open pit), underground, and solution mining (in situ leaching or in situ recovery), depending on the deposit grade, size, location, geology and economic considerations (Abdelouas, 2006). Solid wastes at U mill tailings (UMT) sites can include both standard tailings (i.e., leached ore rock residues) and solids generated on site by waste treatment processes. The latter can include sludge or “mud” from neutralization of acidic mine/mill effluents, containing Fe and a range of coprecipitated constituents, or barium sulfate precipitates that selectively remove Ra (e.g., Carvalho et al., 2007). In this chapter, we review the hydrometallurgical processes by which U is extracted from ore, the biogeochemical processes that can affect the fate and transport of U and associated elements in the environment, and possible remediation strategies for site closure and aquifer restoration.This paper represents the fourth in a series of review papers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on geochemical aspects of UMT management that span more than three decades. The first paper (Landa, 1980) in this series is a primer on the nature of tailings and radionuclide

  19. Microbial Populations Stimulated for Hexavalent Uranium Reduction in Uranium Mine Sediment

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Yohey; Kelly, Shelly D.; Kemner, Kenneth M.; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2003-01-01

    Uranium-contaminated sediment and water collected from an inactive uranium mine were incubated anaerobically with organic substrates. Stimulated microbial populations removed U almost entirely from solution within 1 month. X-ray absorption near-edge structure analysis showed that U(VI) was reduced to U(IV) during the incubation. Observations by transmission electron microscopy, selected area diffraction pattern analysis, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic analysis showed two distinct types of prokaryotic cells that precipitated only a U(IV) mineral uraninite (UO2) or both uraninite and metal sulfides. Prokaryotic cells associated with uraninite and metal sulfides were inferred to be sulfate-reducing bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S ribosomal DNA obtained from the original and incubated sediments revealed that microbial populations were changed from microaerophilic Proteobacteria to anaerobic low-G+C gram-positive sporeforming bacteria by the incubation. Forty-two out of 94 clones from the incubated sediment were related to sulfate-reducing Desulfosporosinus spp., and 23 were related to fermentative Clostridium spp. The results suggest that, if in situ bioremediation were attempted in the uranium mine ponds, Desulfosporosinus spp. would be a major contributor to U(VI) and sulfate reduction and Clostridium spp. to U(VI) reduction. PMID:12620814

  20. Detection of abandoned mines/caves using airborne LWIR hyperspectral data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Sylvia S.; Roettiger, Kurt A.

    2012-09-01

    The detection of underground structures, both natural and man-made, continues to be an important requirement in both the military/intelligence and civil communities. There are estimates that as many as 70,000 abandoned mines/caves exist across the nation. These mines represent significant hazards to public health and safety, and they are of concern to Government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels. NASA is interested in the detection of caves on Mars and the Moon in anticipation of future manned space missions. And, the military/ intelligence community is interested in detecting caves, mines, and other underground structures that may be used to conceal the production of weapons of mass destruction or to harbor insurgents or other persons of interest by the terrorists. Locating these mines/caves scattered over millions of square miles is an enormous task, and limited resources necessitate the development of an efficient and effective broad area search strategy using remote sensing technologies. This paper describes an internally-funded research project of The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) to assess the feasibility of using airborne hyperspectral data to detect abandoned cave/mine entrances in a broad-area search application. In this research, we have demonstrated the potential utility of using thermal contrast between the cave/mine entrance and the ambient environment as a discriminatory signature. We have also demonstrated the use of a water vapor absorption line at12.55 μm and a quartz absorption feature at 9.25 μm as discriminatory signatures. Further work is required to assess the broader applicability of these signatures.

  1. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    SciTech Connect

    Gary Gartenberg, P.E., P.P.

    2001-04-01

    This report represents the seventh Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township Compost Storage Facility, research and preliminary design was performed during this reporting period toward development of the engineering plans and Technical Specifications for the remediation work. At the White Meadow Mine site, the remediation project was conducted last reporting period by others, out of the responsibility of Rockaway Township under this Cooperators Agreement. At the Mt. Hope Road subsidence, surface monitoring was conducted at the work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort.

  2. Application Of Immobilized Sulfate Reducing Bacteria For Permeable Reactive Barriers In Abandoned Coal Mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, K.; Hur, W.; Choi, S.; Min, K.; Baek, H.

    2006-05-01

    The decline of the Korean coal industry has been drastic in production and consumption. This has been resulted mainly from the environmental concern and the collapse of commercial viability, which has eventually necessitated the government to implement the coal industry rationalization policies to reduce coal production and close down uneconomical mines. The overall drainage rates from abandoned coal mines reaches up to 80,000 ton/day. As a measure of controlling the acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines, reactive materials in the pathways of drainage, designed to intercept and to transform the contaminants into environmentally acceptable forms can be applied at mines with small drainage rates. The main objective of this study is to design a permeable reactive barrier(PRB) to treat low flow and/or low contaminant loads of acid mine drainage. The PRB is comprised of immobilized sulfate reducing bacteria in hard beads and limestone to remove heavy metals and to raise the pH of AMD. A laboratory reactor was used to prepare a mixed culture of sulfate reducing bacteria. The microbes were separated and mixed with biodegradable matrix to form spherical beads. In order to maintain the viability of micro-organisms for a prolonged period, substrates such as saw dust, polysaccharide or glycerol was supplemented for the beads preparation. The strength of beads fortified by powered limestone to control the permeability of PRB. Different mixtures of limestone and the immobilized beads were tested to determine hydraulic conductivity and AMD treatment capacities. The characteristics of the spherical beads at various pH of AMD was investigated.

  3. Statistical evaluation of hydrologic conditions in the vicinity of abandoned underground coal mines around Cannelburg, Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harper, D.; Olyphant, G.A.

    1993-01-01

    A statistical analysis of daily water-level changes in an abandoned coal mine indicates that precipitation affects the potentiometric level of the mine, independent of associated atmospheric pressure changes and changes in the water level of an overlying aquifer. The independent statistical effect of precipitation (0.99 cm of water-level change per centimeter of rainfall) is interpreted to reflect either lateral percolation from the coalbed's subcrop (1.2 km from the mine) or rapid recharge through mine-associated pathways, such as poorly plugged shafts, boreholes, or subsidence fractures. The relationship between water-level changes in the mine's voids and changes in the overlying aquifer is also statistically significant, but the regression coefficient (0.04) is an order of magnitude smaller than that for precipitation, indicating that vertical percolation (which is represented by covariance of the two aquifers) through undisturbed overburden may be less effective than the recharge associated with precipitation that bypasses the overburden. An equivalent analysis of water-level changes in an underlying unmined coalbed indicated that precipitation had a weaker direct effect (regression coefficient of 0.34, compared with 0.99), although it was still the dominant independent variable. In contrast, the effect of water-level changes in an overlying aquifer (the flooded mine itself) was relatively stronger (regression coefficient of 0.15, compared with 0.04), indicating that vertical percolation through interburden is more important at depth. ?? 1993.

  4. Abandoned metal mines and their impact on receiving waters: A case study from Southwest England.

    PubMed

    Beane, Steven J; Comber, Sean D W; Rieuwerts, John; Long, Peter

    2016-06-01

    Historic mine sites are a major source of contamination to terrestrial and river environments. To demonstrate the importance of determining the significance of point and diffuse metal contamination and the related bioavailability of the metals present from abandoned mines a case study has been carried out. The study provides a quantitative assessment of a historic mine site, Wheal Betsy, southwest England, and its contribution to non-compliance with Water Framework Directive (WFD) Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) for Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. Surface water and sediment samples showed significant negative environmental impacts even taking account of the bioavailability of the metal present, with lead concentration in the stream sediment up to 76 times higher than the Canadian sediment guidelines 'Probable Effect Level'. Benthic invertebrates showed a decline in species richness adjacent to the mine site with lead and cadmium the main cause. The main mine drainage adit was the single most significant source of metal (typically 50% of metal load from the area, but 88% for Ni) but the mine spoil tips north and south of the adit input added together discharged roughly an equivalent loading of metal with the exception of Ni. The bioavailability of metal in the spoil tips exhibited differing spatial patterns owing to varying ambient soil physico-chemistry. The data collected is essential to provide a clear understanding of the contamination present as well as its mobility and bioavailability, in order to direct the decision making process regarding remediation options and their likely effectiveness.

  5. Risk evaluation of uranium mining: A geochemical inverse modelling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rillard, J.; Zuddas, P.; Scislewski, A.

    2011-12-01

    It is well known that uranium extraction operations can increase risks linked to radiation exposure. The toxicity of uranium and associated heavy metals is the main environmental concern regarding exploitation and processing of U-ore. In areas where U mining is planned, a careful assessment of toxic and radioactive element concentrations is recommended before the start of mining activities. A background evaluation of harmful elements is important in order to prevent and/or quantify future water contamination resulting from possible migration of toxic metals coming from ore and waste water interaction. Controlled leaching experiments were carried out to investigate processes of ore and waste (leached ore) degradation, using samples from the uranium exploitation site located in Caetité-Bahia, Brazil. In experiments in which the reaction of waste with water was tested, we found that the water had low pH and high levels of sulphates and aluminium. On the other hand, in experiments in which ore was tested, the water had a chemical composition comparable to natural water found in the region of Caetité. On the basis of our experiments, we suggest that waste resulting from sulphuric acid treatment can induce acidification and salinization of surface and ground water. For this reason proper storage of waste is imperative. As a tool to evaluate the risks, a geochemical inverse modelling approach was developed to estimate the water-mineral interaction involving the presence of toxic elements. We used a method earlier described by Scislewski and Zuddas 2010 (Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 6996-7007) in which the reactive surface area of mineral dissolution can be estimated. We found that the reactive surface area of rock parent minerals is not constant during time but varies according to several orders of magnitude in only two months of interaction. We propose that parent mineral heterogeneity and particularly, neogenic phase formation may explain the observed variation of the

  6. Analysis of radon reduction and ventilation systems in uranium mines in China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Peng-hua; Li, Xian-jie

    2012-09-01

    Mine ventilation is the most important way of reducing radon in uranium mines. At present, the radon and radon progeny levels in Chinese uranium mines where the cut and fill stoping method is used are 3-5 times higher than those in foreign uranium mines, as there is not much difference in the investments for ventilation protection between Chinese uranium mines and international advanced uranium mines with compaction methodology. In this paper, through the analysis of radon reduction and ventilation systems in Chinese uranium mines and the comparison of advantages and disadvantages between a variety of ventilation systems in terms of radon control, the authors try to illustrate the reasons for the higher radon and radon progeny levels in Chinese uranium mines and put forward some problems in three areas, namely the theory of radon control and ventilation systems, radon reduction ventilation measures and ventilation management. For these problems, this paper puts forward some proposals regarding some aspects, such as strengthening scrutiny, verifying and monitoring the practical situation, making clear ventilation plans, strictly following the mining sequence, promoting training of ventilation staff, enhancing ventilation system management, developing radon reduction ventilation technology, purchasing ventilation equipment as soon as possible in the future, and so on.

  7. Tracing lead pollution sources in abandoned mine areas using stable Pb isotope ratios.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Eun-Jin; Lee, Jung-A; Park, Jae-Seon; Lee, Khanghyun; Lee, Won-Seok; Han, Jin-Seok; Choi, Jong-Woo

    2014-02-01

    This study focused on Pb isotope ratios of sediments in areas around an abandoned mine to determine if the ratios can be used as a source tracer. For pretreatment, sediment samples were dissolved with mixed acids, and a multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS, Nu plasma II) was used to investigate the Pb isotopic composition of the samples. The measured isotope ratios were then corrected for instrumental mass fractionation by measuring the (203)Tl/(205)Tl ratio. Repeated measurements with the NIST SRM 981 reference material showed that the precision of all ratios was below 104 ppm (±2σ) for 50 ng/g. The isotope ratios ((207)Pb/(206)Pb) found were 0.85073 ± 0.0004~0.85373 ± 0.0003 for the main stream, while they were 0.83736 ± 0.0010 for the tributary and 0.84393 ± 0.0002 for the confluence. A binary mixing equation for isotope ratios showed that the contributions of mine lead to neighboring areas were up to 60%. Therefore, Pb isotope ratios can be a good source tracer for areas around abandoned mines.

  8. Corrosion control when using passively treated abandoned mine drainage as alternative makeup water for cooling systems.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ming-Kai; Chien, Shih-Hsiang; Li, Heng; Monnell, Jason D; Dzombak, David A; Vidic, Radisav D

    2011-09-01

    Passively treated abandoned mine drainage (AMD) is a promising alternative to fresh water as power plant cooling water system makeup water in mining regions where such water is abundant. Passive treatment and reuse of AMD can avoid the contamination of surface water caused by discharge of abandoned mine water, which typically is acidic and contains high concentrations of metals, especially iron. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of reusing passively treated AMD in cooling systems with respect to corrosion control through laboratory experiments and pilot-scale field testing. The results showed that, with the addition of the inhibitor mixture orthophosphate and tolyltriazole, mild steel and copper corrosion rates were reduced to acceptable levels (< 0.127 mm/y and < 0.0076 mm/y, respectively). Aluminum had pitting corrosion problems in every condition tested, while cupronickel showed that, even in the absence of any inhibitor and in the presence of the biocide monochloramine, its corrosion rate was still very low (0.018 mm/y).

  9. Hydrogeological definition and applicability of abandoned coal mines as water reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Ordóñez, A; Jardón, S; Álvarez, R; Andrés, C; Pendás, F

    2012-08-01

    Hydrogeologically, the Central Coal Basin (Asturias, Spain) is characterized by predominantly low-permeability materials that make up a multilayer aquifer with very low porosity and permeability values, where the sandstones act as limited aquifers, and wackes, mudstones, shales and coal seams act as confining levels. Preferential groundwater flow paths are open fractures and zones of decompression associated with them, so the hydraulic behaviour of the system is more associated with fracturing than lithology. Thus, abandoned and flooded mines in the area acquire an important role in the management of water resources, setting up an artificial "pseudo-karst" aquifer. This paper evaluates the potential application of the abandoned mines as underground reservoirs, both for water supply and energetic use, mainly through heat pumps and small hydropower plants. In particular, the groundwater reservoir shaped by the connected shafts Barredo and Figaredo has been chosen, and a detailed and multifaceted study has been undertaken in the area. The exposed applications fit with an integrated management of water resources and contribute to improve economic and social conditions of a traditional mining area in gradual decline due to the cessation of such activity.

  10. A science-based, watershed strategy to support effective remediation of abandoned mine lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buxton, Herbert T.; Nimick, David A.; Von Guerard, Paul; Church, Stanley E.; Frazier, Ann G.; Gray, John R.; Lipin, Bruce R.; Marsh, Sherman P.; Woodward, Daniel F.; Kimball, Briant A.; Finger, Susan E.; Ischinger, Lee S.; Fordham, John C.; Power, Martha S.; Bunch, Christine M.; Jones, John W.

    1997-01-01

    A U.S. Geological Survey Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative will develop a strategy for gathering and communicating the scientific information needed to formulate effective and cost-efficient remediation of abandoned mine lands. A watershed approach will identify, characterize, and remediate contaminated sites that have the most profound effect on water and ecosystem quality within a watershed. The Initiative will be conducted during 1997 through 2001 in two pilot watersheds, the Upper Animas River watershed in Colorado and the Boulder River watershed in Montana. Initiative efforts are being coordinated with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and other stakeholders which are using the resulting scientific information to design and implement remediation activities. The Initiative has the following eight objective-oriented components: estimate background (pre-mining) conditions; define baseline (current) conditions; identify target sites (major contaminant sources); characterize target sites and processes affecting contaminant dispersal; characterize ecosystem health and controlling processes at target sites; develop remediation goals and monitoring network; provide an integrated, quality-assured and accessible data network; and document lessons learned for future applications of the watershed approach.

  11. Geochemistry and environmental threats of soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mine.

    PubMed

    Bori, Jaume; Vallès, Bettina; Navarro, Andrés; Riva, Maria Carme

    2016-07-01

    The closure of mercury mining areas is generally associated with a release of Hg and other metals into the environment due to the abandonment of mining wastes. Because of their potential toxic properties, the mobilization of particulate and soluble metal species is of major concern. In the present study, the environmental risks posed by soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mining area in Valle del Azogue (Almeria, Spain) are assessed through the determination of physical-chemical parameters, the quantification of metal concentrations, and the application of aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicity bioassays. Chemical analysis of soil samples revealed concentrations of Hg, As, Ba, Pb, Sb, and Zn above international intervention values. Results from terrestrial tests showed detrimental effects in all studied organisms (Eisenia foetida, Folsomia candida, and different plant species) and revealed the avoidance response of earthworms as the most sensitive endpoint. Surprisingly, the most toxic samples were not the ones with higher metal contents but the ones presenting higher electrical conductivity. Aquatic ecotoxicity tests with Vibrio fischeri, Raphidocelis subcapitata, Daphnia magna, and Danio rerio were in accordance with terrestrial tests, confirming the need to couple environmental chemistry with ecotoxicological tools for the proper assessment of metal-contaminated sites. In view of the results, a remediative intervention of the studied area is recommended.

  12. Mercury contamination in agricultural soils from abandoned metal mines classified by geology and mineralization.

    PubMed

    Kim, Han Sik; Jung, Myung Chae

    2012-01-01

    This survey aimed to compare mercury concentrations in soils related to geology and mineralization types of mines. A total of 16,386 surface soils (0~15 cm in depth) were taken from agricultural lands near 343 abandoned mines (within 2 km from each mine) and analyzed for Hg by AAS with a hydride-generation device. To meaningfully compare mercury levels in soils with geology and mineralization types, three subclassification criteria were adapted: (1) five mineralization types, (2) four valuable ore mineral types, and (3) four parent rock types. The average concentration of Hg in all soils was 0.204 mg kg(-1) with a range of 0.002-24.07 mg kg(-1). Based on the mineralization types, average Hg concentrations (mg kg(-1)) in the soils decreased in the order of pegmatite (0.250) > hydrothermal vein (0.208) > hydrothermal replacement (0.166) > skarn (0.121) > sedimentary deposits (0.045). In terms of the valuable ore mineral types, the concentrations decreased in the order of Au-Ag-base metal mines ≈ base metal mines > Au-Ag mines > Sn-W-Mo-Fe-Mn mines. For parent rock types, similar concentrations were found in the soils derived from sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks followed by heterogeneous rocks with igneous and metamorphic processes. Furthermore, farmland soils contained relatively higher Hg levels than paddy soils. Therefore, it can be concluded that soils in Au, Ag, and base metal mines derived from a hydrothermal vein type of metamorphic rocks and pegmatite deposits contained relatively higher concentrations of mercury in the surface environment.

  13. Stormflow hydrochemistry of a river draining an abandoned metal mine: the Afon Twymyn, central Wales.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Patrick; Reid, Ian; Wood, Paul J

    2013-03-01

    Contaminated drainage from metal mines is a serious water-quality problem facing nations that exploit metal mineral resources. Measurements of river hydrochemistry during baseflow are common at mine sites, whilst detailed hydrochemical information regarding stormflow is limited and often confined to a single event. This study investigates the seasonal evolution of stormflow hydrochemistry at an abandoned metal mine in central Wales, UK, and the possible sources and mechanisms of metal release. Significant flushing of metals was observed during stormflow events, resulting in concentrations that severely exceeded water-quality guidelines. The relationship between metal concentrations and river discharge suggests dissolution of efflorescent metal sulphates on the surface of the mine spoil as the principal source of the contamination. High fluxes of Pb during stormflows are linked to extended periods of dry weather prior to storm events that produced water table drawdown and encouraged oxidation of Pb sulphide in the mine spoil. However, some Pb flushing also occurred following wet antecedent conditions. It is suggested that Fe oxide reduction in mine spoil and translatory flows involving metal-rich pore waters results in flushing during wetter periods. Detailed measurements of stormflow hydrochemistry at mine sites are essential for accurate forecasting of long-term trends in metals flux to understand metal sources and mechanisms of release, to assess potential risks to water quality and instream ecology, and to gauge the potential effectiveness of remediation. In order to protect riverine and riparian ecosystems, it is suggested that routine monitoring of stormflows becomes part of catchment management in mining-impacted regions.

  14. Ohio's Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Program: a Study of Data Collection and Evaluation Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sperry, S. L.

    1982-01-01

    The planning process for a statewide reclamation plan of Ohio abandoned minelands in response to the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 included: (1) the development of a screening and ranking methodology; (2) the establishment of a statewide review of major watersheds affected by mining; (3) the development of an immediate action process; and (4) a prototypical study of a priority watershed demonstrating the data collection, analysis, display and evaluation to be used for the remaining state watersheds. Historical methods for satisfying map information analysis and evaluation, as well as current methodologies being used were discussed. Various computer mapping and analysis programs were examined for their usability in evaluating the priority reclamation sites. Hand methods were chosen over automated procedures; intuitive evaluation was the primary reason.

  15. Application of multispectral scanner data to the study of an abandoned surface coal mine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spisz, E. W.

    1978-01-01

    The utility of aircraft multispectral scanner data for describing the land cover features of an abandoned contour-mined coal mine is considered. The data were obtained with an 11 band multispectral scanner at an altitude of 1.2 kilometers. Supervised, maximum-likelihood statistical classifications of the data were made to establish land-cover classes and also to describe in more detail the barren surface features as they may pertain to the reclamation or restoration of the area. The scanner data for the surface-water areas were studied to establish the variability and range of the spectral signatures. Both day and night thermal images of the area are presented. The results of the study show that a high degree of statistical separation can be obtained from the multispectral scanner data for the various land-cover features.

  16. Systematic evaluation of satellite remote sensing for identifying uranium mines and mills.

    SciTech Connect

    Blair, Dianna Sue; Stork, Christopher Lyle; Smartt, Heidi Anne; Smith, Jody Lynn

    2006-01-01

    In this report, we systematically evaluate the ability of current-generation, satellite-based spectroscopic sensors to distinguish uranium mines and mills from other mineral mining and milling operations. We perform this systematic evaluation by (1) outlining the remote, spectroscopic signal generation process, (2) documenting the capabilities of current commercial satellite systems, (3) systematically comparing the uranium mining and milling process to other mineral mining and milling operations, and (4) identifying the most promising observables associated with uranium mining and milling that can be identified using satellite remote sensing. The Ranger uranium mine and mill in Australia serves as a case study where we apply and test the techniques developed in this systematic analysis. Based on literature research of mineral mining and milling practices, we develop a decision tree which utilizes the information contained in one or more observables to determine whether uranium is possibly being mined and/or milled at a given site. Promising observables associated with uranium mining and milling at the Ranger site included in the decision tree are uranium ore, sulfur, the uranium pregnant leach liquor, ammonia, and uranyl compounds and sulfate ion disposed of in the tailings pond. Based on the size, concentration, and spectral characteristics of these promising observables, we then determine whether these observables can be identified using current commercial satellite systems, namely Hyperion, ASTER, and Quickbird. We conclude that the only promising observables at Ranger that can be uniquely identified using a current commercial satellite system (notably Hyperion) are magnesium chlorite in the open pit mine and the sulfur stockpile. Based on the identified magnesium chlorite and sulfur observables, the decision tree narrows the possible mineral candidates at Ranger to uranium, copper, zinc, manganese, vanadium, the rare earths, and phosphorus, all of which are

  17. Effect of biochar produced at different pyrolysis temperature on the soil respiration of abandoned mine soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yong Seong; Kim, Juhee; Hwang, Wonjae; Hyun, Seunghun

    2015-04-01

    Contaminated soils near an abandoned mine site included the high acidic mine tailing have received great interest due to potential risk to human health, because leachable elements in low pH continuously release from mine site soil with ground water and precipitation event. Biochar, which is the obtained pyrolysis process of biomass, is used as a soil amendments and carbon storage. Especially, many researchers report that the biochar application to soil show increasing soil pH, CEC, adsorption capacity of various elements, as well as, enhanced microbial activity. Therefore, biochar application to contaminated soil near abandoned mine site is expected to have a positive effects on management of these site and soils through the decreased leachability of contaminants. However, effects of biochar application to these site on the soil respiration, as a common measure of soil health, are poorly understood. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of biochar application to abandoned mine site soil on the microbial activity with soil respiration test. Biochar was obtained from giant Miscanthus in a slow pyrolysis process (heating rate of 10° C min-1 and N2 gas flow rate of 1.2 L min-1) at the temperature of 400° C (BC4) and 700° C (BC7), respectively. All biochar samples were prepared with grinding and sieving for particle size control (150~500μm). Soil sample was collected from abandoned mine site at Korea (36° 58'N, 128° 10'E). Main contaminants of this soil were As (12.5 g kg-1), Pb (7.3 g kg-1), and Zn (1.1 g kg-1). Biochars were applied (5% by dry weight) to the soil (final mixture weight were 800g), and then moisture contents were adjusted to 100% field capacity (-0.33 bar) in the respirometer with vacuum pump. CO2 efflux of each samples was continuously assessed using continuous aeration system (air flow rate 25 cc min-1) using air cylinder during 130hr (at 20° C and darkness condition). The CO2 emitted from the samples were carried to the

  18. Evaluation of the sensitivity of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity endpoints in earthworms exposed in situ to uranium mining wastes.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Joana; Pereira, Ruth; Silva, Ana; Carvalho, Fernando; Oliveira, João; Malta, Margarida; Paiva, Artur; Gonçalves, Fernando; Mendo, Sónia

    2012-01-01

    Earthworms were exposed for 56 days to a contaminated soil from an abandoned uranium mine and to the natural reference soil LUFA 2.2. The exposure occurred in situ: the containers with contaminated soil were placed near the mine pit; the containers with reference soil were placed in a reference site. For the assessment of metals bioaccumulation, DNA damages, cell-to-cell variation in DNA content, Median Fluorescence Intensity (MFI), coelomocytes frequency and proliferation, organisms were sampled after 0, 1, 2, 7, 14 and 56 days of exposure. For the assessment of radionuclides bioaccumulation, animals were sampled after 0, 14 and 56 days of exposure. As for growth, organisms were sampled after 0, 14, 28 and 56 days of exposure. The reproduction assay was performed according to the OECD (2004) guideline. DNA damages were assessed by comet assay and flow cytometry was used to determine cell-to-cell variation in DNA content, Median Fluorescence Intensity (MFI), coelomocytes frequency and proliferation. Results have shown a myriad of effects in the organisms exposed to the contaminated soil, namely: the inhibition of reproduction, growth reduction, DNA damages, cytotoxicity, changes in eleocytes fluorescence intensity, coelomocytes proliferation and bioaccumulation of metals and radionuclides. Our results showed that the evaluation of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity endpoints, along with other parameters at an individual level in standard reproduction assays conducted in situ, are important to improve the risk assessment process of areas contaminated with uranium and other radioactive mining wastes.

  19. Mercury in vegetation and soils at abandoned mercury mines in southwestern Alaska, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bailey, E.A.; Gray, J.E.; Theodorakos, P.M.

    2002-01-01

    We chemically analysed vegetation (willow and alder) and soil samples collected at three abandoned mercury (Hg) mines and at background sites in southwestern Alaska and compared Hg concentrations, speciation and distribution. Total Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were higher in vegetation and soil samples from all the mine sites compared to samples from the background sites, but there was no correlation between total-Hg concentrations in vegetation and total-Hg concentrations in soil or between total-Hg and MeHg concentrations. However, the percent MeHg of the total Hg was higher in samples from the background sites compared to samples from the mine sites and is higher in vegetation samples than in corresponding soil samples. The percent MeHg is an order of magnitude higher in the willow samples than in corresponding alder or soil samples. The percent of divalent Hg [Hg(II)] is highest in soil samples from the retort and background areas. The higher percent MeHg in vegetation and soil in samples from background sites may be explained by the higher proportions of reactive Hg species, such as Hg(II), at these sites compared to the surface mined and tailings areas where most of the Hg is in the elemental and cinnabar (HgS) forms. Dissolved gaseous Hg species are more readily accumulated in vegetation and are more readily methylated than solid phases like HgS and liquid Hg.

  20. Brazilian uranium mine decommissioning-chemical and radiological study of waste rock piles

    SciTech Connect

    Wiikmann, L. O.

    1996-12-31

    The Pocos de Caldas plateau is a high-natural-radioactivity area in the state of Minas Gerais, southeast Brazil. Uranium occurrence in the plateau was first observed in 1948. Mining started in 1977 with mine scouring, and the first ore pile was constructed in 1981. Waste rocks are derived from the mine material. The analysis of core samples is discussed.

  1. INTERACTIVE ABANDONED MINE LANDS WORKSHOP SERIES - ACID MINE WATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of this interactive workshop is to present and discuss active and passive acid mine wastes cleanup technologies and to discuss the apparent disconnect between their development and their implementation. The workshop addressed five main barriers to implementing innovat...

  2. National inventory of abandoned mine land problems: an emphasis on health, safety, and general welfare impacts

    SciTech Connect

    Honea, R.B.; Baxter, F.P.

    1984-07-01

    In 1977 Congress passed the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, which provided for the abatement of abandoned mine land (AML) problems through a reclamation program funded by a severance tax on current mining. AML was defined as any land, including associated buildings, equipment, and affected areas, that was no longer being used for coal mining by August 1977. This act also created the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) in the Department of the Interior to administer the AML program and to assume other regulatory and research responsibilities. This report documents the design, implementation, and results of a National inventory of the most serious problems associated with past mining practices. One of the objectives of the Inventory was to help OSM and the participating states locate, identify, and rank AML problems and estimate their reclamation costs. Other objectives were to encourage states and Indian tribes to collect such data and to provide OSM with the information necessary to guide its decision-making processes and to quantify the progress of the reclamation program. Because only limited funds were available to design and implement the National inventory and because the reclamation fund established by the Act may never be sufficient to correct all AML problems, OSM has focused on only the top-priority problems. It is stressed that this is not an inventory of AML features but rather an inventory of AML impacts. It should be noted that the data and analysis contained in this report are based on a data collection effort conducted by the states, Indian tribes, and OSM contractors between 1979 and mid-1982.

  3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SYNTHETIC SOIL MATERIALS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL RECLAMATION OF ABANDONED MINED LAND SITES

    SciTech Connect

    Song Jin

    2006-03-01

    Abandoned mine sites associated with coal and metal mining across the western United States have been left as unproductive wastelands. The availability of soil materials or other materials to support the restoration of the vegetative cover and enhance the recovery of such areas is limited. The restoration of these areas often requires the use of available amendments such as organic waste products or to help stabilize the soil. Many of the organic waste products, including sewage sludge, clarifier sludge, fly ash sludge, and other by-products from the agricultural industries such as compost can be employed for beneficial uses. This study looked at the feasibility of applying organic waste products to a mine soil in Montana to increase soil fertility and enhance plant productivity. Waste rock samples were tested for acid forming potential via acid base accounting. Samples cores were constructed and leached with simulated rainwater to determine amendment affect on metal leaching. A greenhouse study was completed to determine the most suitable amendment(s) for the field mine land site. Results from the acid base accounting indicate that acid formed from the waste rock would be neutralized with the alkalinity in the system. Results also show that metals in solution are easily held by organics from the amendments and not allowed to leach in to the surrounding water system. Data from the greenhouse study indicated that the amendment of sewage sludge was most promising. Application of 2% sewage sludge along with 1% sewage sludge plus 1% clarifier sludge, 2% compost, and no treatment were used for mine land application. Initial results were encouraging and it appears that sewage sludge may be a good reclamation option for mine lands.

  4. Geochemical Characterization of the Waste Rock Dump at the abandoned Geo-pung Mine, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, S.; Lee, H.; Cheong, Y.; Yim, G.; Park, H.

    2008-05-01

    To propose basic data for the establishment of the reclamation plan of the mine waste rock dumps, the geochemical studies including Acid-Base Accounting (ABA) test, water quality analyses of leachate and run-off waters, metal extraction test, and pot test were performed at the abandoned Geo-pung mine, located in the middle part of Korea. The acid generation capacities of the Geo-pung mine waste rocks (samples from ten points at the waste dump) showed high acid forming potential except for one point (G7). The maximum value of NAPP (Net Acid Producing Potential), which calculated by total sulfur (MPA, Maximum Potential Acidity, kg H2SO4/t) and ANC (Acid Neutralizing Capacity), was 80.94 kg H2 SO4/t. The results of the chemical analysis showed that the leachate from the waste rock dump have high concentration of Al (56 mg/l), Mn (39 mg/l), Cu (26.3 mg/l), Zn (155.3 mg/l), SO42- (1430 mg/l) and low pH (3.19). Run-off waters (surface flow of waste dump when rain) were, although partly different, showed high concentration of Al (1.7 ~ 20.2 mg/l), Cu (1.8 ~ 14.7 mg/l), Zn (2.4 ~ 26.5 mg/l) and low pH (3.08 ~ 4.07). From the metal extraction test, concentration of zinc was showed high level, from 579 mg/kg to 3,934 mg/kg. The upper parts of the Geo-pung mine waste dump have very low nutrient which needed for plant growth. The organic content was 9 g/kg, bioavailable phosphate was 0.1 mg/kg, and the exchangeable cation (K, Na, Mg) content also under the limit value (1 mg/kg) for the plant growth. The result of pot test also showed that this waste dump is unsuitable for media for plant growth due to lack of nutrient components. So when establish the reclamation plan of the Geo- pung mine waste dump, the cover system which have the function of prevention of sulfide oxidation and provision of nutrient with neutralize materials for revegetation must be considered. key words : Abandoned Mine, Waste Rock Dump, Acid-Base Accounting, Cover System

  5. The impact of a disused mine on uranium transport in the River Fal, South West England.

    PubMed

    Moliner-Martinez, Yolanda; Campíns-Falcó, Pilar; Worsfold, Paul J; Keith-Roach, Miranda J

    2004-11-01

    Unfiltered and filtered (0.45 and 0.2 microm) water samples and sediment samples (sieved to <180 microm and 180-1000 microm) were collected along an approximately 15 km transect of the River Fal, Cornwall, UK, to examine the impact of the disused South Terras uranium mine on the uranium concentrations of the river water and underlying sediments. The uranium concentration of the water samples fluctuated along the river, with the 0.45 microm filtered water showing the largest, seven-fold, difference between minimum (0.19 microg L(-1)) and maximum (1.34 microg L(-1)) concentrations. The historical uranium mine and spoil heaps were not a significant source of uranium to the river water, as water concentrations were low next to the site, but a highly elevated uranium concentration (1000 mg kg(-1)) was found in sediment below an outflow pipe from this mine. Operationally defined "colloidal" (0.2-0.45 microm) and "dissolved" (<0.2 microm) uranium were the predominant forms of the element in the river water (35 and 45% respectively). The uranium concentration in the dissolved phase showed a correlation coefficient of 0.83 (n= 9) with the total cation concentration, suggesting that the uranium concentration in this fraction is directly linked to weathering of rocks and minerals. The observation that weathering is the dominant mechanism delivering uranium to the river water explains the low uranium concentrations in the river water close to South Terras mine, despite the proximity of the spoil heaps, and the maximum uranium concentrations close to a china clay mining area.

  6. Psychosocial and health impacts of uranium mining and milling on Navajo lands.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Susan E; Madsen, Gary E

    2011-11-01

    The uranium industry in the American Southwest has had profoundly negative impacts on American Indian communities. Navajo workers experienced significant health problems, including lung cancer and nonmalignant respiratory diseases, and psychosocial problems, such as depression and anxiety. There were four uranium processing mills and approximately 1,200 uranium mines on the Navajo Nation's over 27,000 square miles. In this paper, a chronology is presented of how uranium mining and milling impacted the lives of Navajo workers and their families. Local community leaders organized meetings across the reservation to inform workers and their families about the relationship between worker exposures and possible health problems. A reservation-wide effort resulted in activists working with political leaders and attorneys to write radiation compensation legislation, which was passed in 1990 as the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) and included underground uranium miners, atomic downwinders, and nuclear test-site workers. Later efforts resulted in the inclusion of surface miners, ore truck haulers, and millworkers in the RECA Amendments of 2000. On the Navajo Nation, the Office of Navajo Uranium Workers was created to assist workers and their families to apply for RECA funds. Present issues concerning the Navajo and other uranium-impacted groups include those who worked in mining and milling after 1971 and are excluded from RECA. Perceptions about uranium health impacts have contributed recently to the Navajo people rejecting a resumption of uranium mining and milling on Navajo lands.

  7. Safeguards on uranium ore concentrate? the impact of modern mining and milling process

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, Stephen

    2013-07-01

    Increased purity in uranium ore concentrate not only raises the question as to whether Safeguards should be applied to the entirety of uranium conversion facilities, but also as to whether some degree of coverage should be moved back to uranium ore concentrate production at uranium mining and milling facilities. This paper looks at uranium ore concentrate production across the globe and explores the extent to which increased purity is evident and the underlying reasons. Potential issues this increase in purity raises for IAEA's strategy on the Starting Point of Safeguards are also discussed.

  8. Nanominerals and potentially hazardous elements from coal cleaning rejects of abandoned mines: Environmental impact and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Fdez-Ortiz de Vallejuelo, Silvia; Gredilla, Ainara; da Boit, Kátia; Teixeira, Elba C; Sampaio, Carlos H; Madariaga, Juan Manuel; Silva, Luis F O

    2017-02-01

    Soils around coal mining are important reservoir of hazardous elements (HEs), nanominerals, and ultrafine compounds. This research reports and discusses the soil concentrations of HEs (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in coal residues of abandoned mines. To assess differences regarding environmental impact and risk assessment between coal abandoned mines from the Santa Catarina state, eighteen coal cleaning rejects with different mineralogical and chemical composition, from eight abandoned mines were collected. Nanominerals and ultra-fine minerals from mining-contaminated areas were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM), providing new information on the mineralogy and nano-mineralogy of these coal residues. The total contents of 57 elements (HEs, alkali metals, and rare earth elements) were analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The calculation of NWACs (Normalized Average Weighted Concentration), together with the chemometric analysis by Principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed the variability of the samples regarding their city and their mine of origin. Moreover, the results confirmed the existence of hotspots in mines near urban areas.

  9. Alteration and vein mineralization, Ladwig uranium mine, Jefferson County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Alan R.

    1979-01-01

    Uranium ore at the Ladwig mine, Jefferson County, Colo., occurs in steeply dipping, northwest-striking faults and related fractures with a carbonate-adularia assemblage that forms in altered wallrocks and fills veins. The faults occur between large intrusive pegmatites and garnetiferous gneisses of Precambrian age, and were reactivated as the result of the early Paleocene uplift of the Front Range foothills. Mineralization in the deposit includes both wallrock alteration and vein filling. Alteration was intense but local, and chiefly involved the carbonatization of mafic minerals in the wallrocks. Felsic minerals in the wallrocks are relatively unaltered. The veins are filled with an adularia-pitchblende-carbonate assemblage with minor related sulfides and coffinite. Many of the iron-bearing carbonates in both the alteration and vein assemblages have been altered to hematite. The mineralization and alteration are believed to have formed in response to initially high amounts of CO2 and the subsequent release of dissolved CO2 by boiling or effervescence. Uranium, carried in a dicarbonate complex, was precipitated directly as pitchblende when the CO2 was released. The expulsion of H+ during boiling created a net oxidizing environment which oxidized the iron-bearing carbonates. Late stage calcite and sulfides were deposited in existing voids in the veins.

  10. Reconnaissance examination for uranium at six mines and properties in Idaho and Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vhay, John Stewart

    1951-01-01

    Six mining properties in Idaho and Montana at which radioactivity had been reported or suspected were briefly examine by J.S. Vhay and W.A. Roberts of the U.S. Geological Survey in October and November 1949. The properties in Idaho are the Grunter mine, from which radio-active mill concentrates have been reported; the Kentuck mine; the Ulysses-kittie Burton Mill; and the Garm-Lemoreaux mine. The properties in Montana are the Armeson-McKenny property in Beaverhead County and the Oro property in Lincoln County. Moderate to high radioactivity was noted at the Garm-Lemoreaux mine and the Armeson-McKenney property. That most of this radioactivity is not caused by uranium is suggested by the low uranium content of the majority of the samples. One sample from a dump of the Garm-Lemoreaux mine assayed 0.11 percent uranium.

  11. Hydrologic conditions in the coal mining district of Indiana and implications for reclamation of abandoned mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Olyphant, G.A.; Harper, D.

    1998-12-31

    Bedrock strata of the mining district of Indiana (Indiana Coal Mining District, ICMD) include numerous coalbeds of economic importance, together with underclays, roof shales, limestones, and sandstones of Pennsylvanian age. These are typically poor aquifers with low hydraulic conductivities and specific yields. Surficial materials include loess, till, alluvium, and other deposits of pleistocene age. The loess and till also have low hydraulic conductivities, so that very few shallow aquifers exist in the vicinities of abandoned mine land (AML) sites, except where they are close to the alluvial fill of large bedrock valleys. The hydrologic cascade at AML sites in Indiana is strongly conditioned by the existence of elevated deposits of coarse-grained coal-preparation refuse and flooded underground mine workings. Flooded mines are the principal conduits of groundwater flow in the area, but their boundaries, flowpaths, and mechanisms of recharge and discharge are very different from those of natural aquifers and are poorly understood. Acidic mine drainage often emerges as seepages and springs on the edges of the elevated refuse deposits, but the low permeability of the natural surficial materials and bedrock inhibits the development of off-site groundwater contaminant plumes. The water balance across the surface of the refuse deposits is critical to reclamation planning and success. Enhancing runoff through reduction of infiltration capacity has the beneficial effect of reducing recharge through the acid-generating refuse, but the excess runoff may be accompanied by soil erosion that can lead to reclamation failure. Furthermore, during cool seasons and stormy periods, a well vegetated surface promotes recharge through increased infiltration, resulting in greater rates of acidic baseflow seepage. Passive Anoxic Limestone Drains (PALDs) have been successfully coupled with wetland treatment systems to improve surface waters that discharge from AML sites. Storm runoff from

  12. Abandoned mine lands: a mid-course review of the national reclamation program for coal. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-11-01

    The Committee on Abandoned Mine Lands (CAML) analyzed how the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Office of Surface Mining (OSM) has and is administering the Title IV (Abandoned Mine Lands) Program of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. In the course of focusing on the effectiveness of the program, the Committee evaluated the program not only in terms of its probable accomplishments over its fifteen-year life, between 1977 and 1992, when the program statutorily ends, but also the magnitude and nature of the AML problems remaining to be remedied in the post-1992 period, if Congress decides to extend it. The Committee made nineteen recommendations about how OSM could improve the AML program's current effectiveness as well as prepare to assist Congress in reaching a decision to terminate or extend the program. Over the fifteen-year life of the program, some $3.3 billion will have been spent.

  13. Long term monitoring of water basin of an abandoned copper open pit mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolov, H.; Borisova, D.

    2012-04-01

    Nonoperating open pit mines, very often as a matter of fact abandoned, create serious ecological risk for the region of their location especially for the quality of the water since the rainfall fills the bottom of the pit forming water body having different depth. This water as a rule has very high concentration of the metals in it and is highly toxic. One example for such opencast, idle copper mine is Medet located in the central part of Bulgaria who was started for exploitation in 1964 and at that moment being the largest in Europe for production of copper concentrate. In the vicinity of it after autumn and spring rains there are many cases reported for water contamination by heavy metals such as arsenic, copper, cadmium in the rivers running close to this open pit mine. This justifies the need for long term and sustainable monitoring of the area of the water basin of this idle mine in order to estimate its acid drainage and imaging spectroscopy combined with is-situ investigations is proved to provide reliable results about the area of the water table. In the course of this study we have investigated historical data gathered by remote sensing which allowed us to make conclusions about the year behavior of this area. Our expectations are that the results of this research will help in the rehabilitation process of this idle mine and will provide the local authorities engaged in water quality monitoring with a tool to estimate the possible damage caused to the local rivers and springs. With this research we also would like to contribute to the fulfillment of the following EU Directives: Directive 2006/21/°C on the Management of Waste from the Extractive Industries and Directive 2004/35/ °C on Environmental Liability with regard to the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage.

  14. Glionitrin A, an antibiotic-antitumor metabolite derived from competitive interaction between abandoned mine microbes

    SciTech Connect

    Park, H.B.; Kown, H.C.; Lee, C.H.; Yang, H.O.

    2009-02-15

    The nutrient conditions present in abandoned coal mine drainages create an extreme environment where defensive and offensive microbial interactions could be critical for survival and fitness. Coculture of a mine drainage-derived Sphingomonas bacterial strain, KMK-001, and a mine drainage-derived Aspergillus fumigatus fungal strain, KMC-901, resulted in isolation of a new diketopiperazine disulfide, glionitrin A (1). Compound 1 was not detected in monoculture broths of KMK-001 or KMC-901. The structure of 1, a (3S,10aS) diketopiperazine disulfide containing a nitro aromatic ring, was based on analysis of MS, NMR, and circular dichroism spectra and confirmed by X-ray crystal data. Glionitrin A displayed significant antibiotic activity against a series of microbes including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. An in vitro MTT cytotoxicity assay revealed that 1 had potent submicromolar cytotoxic activity against four human cancer cell lines: HCT-116, A549, AGS, and DU145. The results provide further evidence that microbial coculture can produce novel biologically relevant molecules.

  15. Resistance to and Accumulation of Heavy Metals by Actinobacteria Isolated from Abandoned Mining Areas

    PubMed Central

    El Baz, Soraia; Baz, Mohamed; El Gharmali, Abdelhay; Imziln, Boujamâa

    2015-01-01

    Accumulation of high concentrations of heavy metals in environments can cause many human health risks and serious ecological problems. Nowadays, bioremediation using microorganisms is receiving much attention due to their good performance. The aim of this work is to investigate heavy metals resistance and bioaccumulation potential of actinobacteria strains isolated from some abandoned mining areas. Analysis of mining residues revealed that high concentration of zinc “Zn” was recorded in Sidi Bouatman, Arbar, and Bir Nhass mining residues. The highest concentration of lead “Pb” was found in Sidi Bouatman. Copper “Cu,” cadmium “Cd,” and chromium “Cr” were found with moderate and low concentrations. The resistance of 59 isolated actinobacteria to the five heavy metals was also determined. Using molecular identification 16S rRNA, these 27 isolates were found to belong to Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis genera. The results showed different levels of heavy metal resistance; the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) recorded was 0.55 for Pb, 0.15 for Cr, and 0.10 mg·mL−1 for both Zn and Cu. Chemical precipitation assay of heavy metals using hydrogen sulfide technic (H2S) revealed that only 27 isolates have a strong ability to accumulate Pb (up to 600 mg of Pb per g of biomass for Streptomyces sp. BN3). PMID:25763383

  16. Application of decision tree model for the ground subsidence hazard mapping near abandoned underground coal mines.

    PubMed

    Lee, Saro; Park, Inhye

    2013-09-30

    Subsidence of ground caused by underground mines poses hazards to human life and property. This study analyzed the hazard to ground subsidence using factors that can affect ground subsidence and a decision tree approach in a geographic information system (GIS). The study area was Taebaek, Gangwon-do, Korea, where many abandoned underground coal mines exist. Spatial data, topography, geology, and various ground-engineering data for the subsidence area were collected and compiled in a database for mapping ground-subsidence hazard (GSH). The subsidence area was randomly split 50/50 for training and validation of the models. A data-mining classification technique was applied to the GSH mapping, and decision trees were constructed using the chi-squared automatic interaction detector (CHAID) and the quick, unbiased, and efficient statistical tree (QUEST) algorithms. The frequency ratio model was also applied to the GSH mapping for comparing with probabilistic model. The resulting GSH maps were validated using area-under-the-curve (AUC) analysis with the subsidence area data that had not been used for training the model. The highest accuracy was achieved by the decision tree model using CHAID algorithm (94.01%) comparing with QUEST algorithms (90.37%) and frequency ratio model (86.70%). These accuracies are higher than previously reported results for decision tree. Decision tree methods can therefore be used efficiently for GSH analysis and might be widely used for prediction of various spatial events.

  17. Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) of faulting and subsidence at an abandoned coal mine in the Walloon Coal Measures, Queensland, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brook, Martin; MacDonald-Creevey, Amanda; Smith, Ben

    2016-04-01

    As urban and suburban areas expand into previously unoccupied sites, the problem of accurately determining the locations of abandoned mine workings and the possible effects of fault reactivation on surface subsidence becomes more important. Here, we present the results of DC electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) surveys above an abandoned coal mine in the Jurassic Walloon Coal Measures of the Clarence-Moreton Basin, Queensland. Objectives were to: (1) locate the surface entrance to a coal mine access shaft, (2) determine the extent of the mine workings, (3) determine if the workings are open, partly- or fully-collapsed, (4) locate the possible existence of a high angle fault delineating the western extent of the workings. Coal seams were mined underground by the bord-and-pillar technique at the site until the first half of the 20th century to within ~20 m of the ground surface. This has led to ground settlement post-abandonment, with an additional hazard of this stress-redistribution being the possible reactivation of steeply-dipping faults known to pervade the coal measures. After an initial site reconnaissance, desktop study and modelling, it was determined that existing mine plans, maps and records were poorly kept and inaccurate, making a satisfactory geotechnical risk assessment prior to land development and construction difficult. The 2D ERI transects, coupled with boreholes, identified lateral zones of moderate-high resistivity that are interpreted to be partly-collapsed workings. The second key feature identified was a reverse fault that delineated the western edge of the mine workings. The key outcome is that for abandoned mine risk assessment to be optimised, careful integration of geophysical data and direct testing needs to be made.

  18. Science for watershed decisions on abandoned mine lands; review of preliminary results, Denver, Colorado, February 4-5, 1998

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nimick, David A.; Von Guerard, Paul

    1998-01-01

    From the Preface: There are thousands of abandoned or inactive mines on or adjacent to public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service. Mine wastes from many of these abandoned mines adversely affect resources on public lands. In 1995, an interdepartmental work group within the Federal government developed a strategy to address remediation of the many abandoned mines on public lands. This strategy is based on using a watershed approach to address the abandoned mine lands (AML) problem. The USGS, working closely with the Federal land-management agencies (FLMAs), is key for the success of this watershed approach. In support of this watershed approach, the USGS developed an AML Initiative with pilot studies in the Boulder River in Montana and the Animas River in Colorado. The goal of these studies is to design and implement a reliable strategy that will supply the scientific information to the FLMAs so that land managers can develop efficient and cost-effective remediation of AML. The symposium 'Science for Watershed Decisions on Abandoned Mine Lands: Review of Preliminary Results' held in Denver, Colorado, on February 4-5, 1998, provided the FLMAs a first look at the techniques, data, and interpretations being generated by the USGS pilot studies. This multidisciplined effort already is proving very valuable to land managers in making science-based AML cleanup decisions and will continue to be of increasing value as additional and more complete information is obtained. Ongoing interaction between scientists and land managers is essential to insure the efficient continuation and success of AML cleanup efforts.

  19. Uranium in vegetable foodstuffs: should residents near the Cunha Baixa uranium mine site (Central Northern Portugal) be concerned?

    PubMed

    Neves, M O; Abreu, M M; Figueiredo, V

    2012-04-01

    Large uranium accumulations in vegetable foodstuffs may present risks of human health if they are consumed. The objective of this study was to evaluate the uranium concentrations in different vegetable foodstuffs and grown in agricultural soils, which are then consumed by the residents of the village of Cunha Baixa (Portugal),--located in an former uranium mining area. This study was conducted to address concerns expressed by the local farmers as well as to provide data for uranium-related health risk assessments for the area. Soils, irrigation water and edible tissues of lettuce, potato, green bean, carrot, cabbage, apple and maize (Latuca sativa L., Solanum tuberosum L., Phaseolus vulgaris L., Daucus carota L., Brassica oleracea L., Malus domestica Borkh, Zea mays L., respectively) were sampled and uranium determined. High uranium concentrations were found in some soils (U(total) > 50 mg/kg), in irrigation waters (218 to 1,035 μg/l) and in some vegetable foodstuffs (up to 234, 110, 30, 26, 22, 16 and 1.6 μg/kg fresh weight for lettuce, potato with peel, green bean pods, cabbage, corn, carrot and apple, respectively). However, the results of the toxicity hazard analysis were reassuring the estimated level of uranium exposure through the ingestion of these vegetable foodstuffs was low, suggesting no chemical health risk (hazard quotient <1) to this uranium exposure pathway for a local residents during their lifetime, even for the most sensitive part of the population (child).

  20. Risk assessment of toxic heavy metals in the abandoned metal mine areas, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J. S.; Chon, H. T.

    2003-04-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess the risk of adverse health effects on human exposure to toxic heavy metals influenced by past mining activities. Environmental geochemical survey was undertaken in the abandoned metal mine areas (Dongil Au-Ag-Cu-Zn mine, Okdong Cu-Pb-Zn mine, Myungbong Au-Ag mine). After appropriate sample preparation, tailings, soils, crop plants and groundwaters were analyzed for As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn by ICP-AES and ICP-MS. Health risk assessment of toxic heavy metals has been performed with chemical analytical data for environmental media. Arsenic and other heavy metals are highly elevated in the tailings from the Dongil mine (8,720 As mg/kg, 5.9 Cd mg/kg, 3,610 Cu mg/kg, 5,850 Pb mg/kg, 630 Zn mg/kg), but heavy metals except As from the Okdong mine (72 As mg/kg, 53.6 Cd mg/kg, 910 Cu mg/kg, 1,590 Pb mg/kg, 5,720 Zn mg/kg) and only As from the Myungbong mine (5,810 As mg/kg). These significant concentrations can impact on soils and waters around the tailing files. Also, elevated levels of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn are found in agricultural soils from these mine areas. Risk assessment modeling is subdivided into main four stages, i.e. hazard identification, exposure assessment, toxicity (dose-response) assessment and risk characterization. In order to assess exposure it is necessary to calculate the average daily dose (ADD) of contaminant via the three identified pathways (soil, groundwater and food (rice grain) pathways). In dose-response assessment for non-carcinogens, reference doses (RfD) are calculated and that for carcinogens, slope factors (SF) are obtained by US-EPA IRIS database. In risk characterization, the results of toxicity assessment and exposure assessment are integrated to arrive at quantitative estimates of cancer risks and hazard quotients. Toxic (non-cancer) risks are indicated in terms of a hazard quotient (H.Q.) and this risk exists for H.Q.>1. The H.Q. values for only As from the Dongil and Myungbong mine areas are 2.1 and

  1. Uranium mine waste water: potential source of ground water in northwestern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hiss, W.L.

    1977-01-01

    Substantial quantities of water are being pumped from the Morrison Formation of Late Jurassic age in uranium mines in the Grants mineral belt in northwestern New Mexico. The water often contains unacceptable amounts of dissolved uranium, radium, iron, and selenium and suspended solids, but with treatment it can be made suitable for municipal and industrial purposes. Water salvaged from current and projected mining operations constitutes the most readily available water in this otherwise water-deficient area.

  2. Reclamation of abandoned surface coal mined land using flue gas desulfurization products

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, L.; Kost, D.; Dick, W.A.

    2009-07-01

    Details are given of a field-scale research project where the Fleming site, in Ohio, of highly degraded and acid-forming abandoned surface coal-mined land, was reclaimed using a dry flue gas desulfurization product from an atmospheric fluidized bed combustion burner at a General Motors plant Pontiac, MI, which burned eastern Ohio coal and used dolomitic limestone for desulfurization. Plots were seeded with a mixture of grasses, wheat and clover, in 1994 and soil and water samples were analysed in 1995 and in 2009. It was found that FGD-treated plots promoted good regenerative growth, similar to that in plots using more concentrated re-soil material. The FGD treatment also greatly improved overall water quality. 3 figs., 4 tabs.

  3. Physiological aspects of vetiver grass for rehabilitation in abandoned metalliferous mine wastes.

    PubMed

    Pang, J; Chan, G S Y; Zhang, J; Liang, J; Wong, M H

    2003-09-01

    Physiological aspects of why vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides L.) can be tolerant to heavy metals and be used as an alternative method for rehabilitation of abandoned metalliferous mine wastelands have been investigated. The results showed that high proportions of lead and zinc (Pb/Zn) tailing greatly inhibited the leaf growth, dry matter accumulation, and photosynthesis of leaves, but stimulated the accumulation of proline and abscisic acid (ABA), and enhanced the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), implying that different mechanisms to detoxify active oxygen species (AOS) existed in different parts of plants. Physiological responses to heavy metal treatments differed greatly between roots and shoots. Nitrogen fertilizer application could greatly alleviate the adverse effects of high proportions of Pb/Zn tailing on vetiver grass growth.

  4. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  5. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  6. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  7. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  8. Contaminant dispersion at the rehabilitated Mary Kathleen uranium mine, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lottermoser, B. G.; Ashley, P. M.; Costelloe, M. T.

    2005-09-01

    This study reports on the transfer of contaminants from waste rock dumps and mineralised ground into soils, sediments, waters and plants at the rehabilitated Mary Kathleen uranium mine in semi-arid northwest Queensland. Numerous waste rock dumps were partly covered with benign soil and the open pit mine was allowed to flood. The mineralised and waste calc-silicate rock in the open pit and dumps has major (>1 wt%) Ca, Fe and Mg, minor (>1,000 ppm) Ce, La, Mn, P and S, subminor (>100 ppm) Ba, Cu, Th and U, and trace (<100 ppm) As, Ni, Pb, Y and Zn values. Consequently, chemical and physical weathering processes have acted on waste rock and on rock faces within the open pit, mobilising many elements and leading to their dispersion into soils, stream sediments, pit water and several plant species. Chemical dispersion is initiated by sulfide mineral breakdown, generation of sulfuric acid and formation of several soluble, transient sulfate minerals as evaporative efflorescent precipitates. Radiation doses associated with the open pit average 5.65 mSv year-1; waste dumps commonly have lower values, especially where soil-covered. Surface pit water is slightly acid, with high sulfate values accompanied by levels of U, Cu and Ni close to or above Australian water guideline values for livestock. Dispersion of U and related elements into soils and stream sediments occurs by physical (erosional) processes and from chemical precipitation. Plants growing in the mine void, on waste dumps and contaminated soil display evidence of biological uptake of U, LREE, Cu and Th and to a lesser degree of As, Ni, Pb, Y and Zn, with values being up to 1-2 orders of magnitude above background sites for the same species. Although rehabilitation procedures have been partly successful in reducing dispersion of U and related elements into the surrounding environment, it is apparent that 20 years after rehabilitation, there is significant physical and chemical mobility, including transfer into

  9. Population dose in the vicinity of closed Hungarian uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Gorjánácz, Z; Várhegyi, A; Kovács, T; Somlai, J

    2006-01-01

    In order to determine the exposure to natural sources of radiation for people in the vicinity of remediated Hungarian uranium mine regional surveys were carried out. The surveys evaluated indoor radon concentrations and outdoor and indoor external gamma dose rates. Radon concentration has been measured with nuclear etched track detectors for 4 months in 129 houses in Kovágószolos and in 23 houses in Cserkút. In some houses measurements have been carried out for a year and the measurement results of the 4 months were corrected according to these. The corrected radon concentrations altered between 15 and 2314 Bq m(-3). An average of 257 Bq m(-3) in Kovágószolos and 125 Bq m(-3) in Cserkút was measured. The average was 434 Bq m(-3) for the 48 houses within 100 m of the passage of the former mine that is under the village of Kovágószolos. The higher values of Kovágószolos are likely to be the result of the influence of mining. The terrestrial gamma-ray dose rate was measured outdoors and indoors at these houses. Values of 139 (62-233) nGy h(-1) and 133 (93-275) nGy h(-1) were measured in Kovágószolos and Cserkút, respectively. The average annual effective doses for the two villages studied were 3 and 5 mSv y(-1), but the maximum value was 40 mSv y(-1).

  10. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA.

    PubMed

    Kayzar, Theresa M; Villa, Adam C; Lobaugh, Megan L; Gaffney, Amy M; Williams, Ross W

    2014-10-01

    The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. The ((234)U)/((238)U) composition of Red Rock Creek is altered downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water ((234)U)/((238)U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114-1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activity ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041-1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek. In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (∼70-80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.

  11. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA

    DOE PAGES

    Kayzar, Theresa M.; Villa, Adam C.; Lobaugh, Megan L.; ...

    2014-06-07

    The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. Furthermore, we alter the (234U)/(238U) composition of Red Rock Creek downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water (234U)/(238U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114–1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activitymore » ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041–1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek. In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (~70–80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Furthermore, contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.« less

  12. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA

    SciTech Connect

    Kayzar, Theresa M.; Villa, Adam C.; Lobaugh, Megan L.; Gaffney, Amy M.; Williams, Ross W.

    2014-06-07

    The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. Furthermore, we alter the (234U)/(238U) composition of Red Rock Creek downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water (234U)/(238U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114–1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activity ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041–1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek. In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (~70–80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Furthermore, contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.

  13. Impact of acid mine drainages on surficial waters of an abandoned mining site.

    PubMed

    García-Lorenzo, M L; Marimón, J; Navarro-Hervás, M C; Pérez-Sirvent, C; Martínez-Sánchez, M J; Molina-Ruiz, José

    2016-04-01

    Weathering of sulphide minerals produces a great variety of efflorescences of soluble sulphate salts. These minerals play an important role for environmental pollution, since they can be either a sink or a source for acidity and trace elements. This paper aims to characterise surface waters affected by mining activities in the Sierra Minera of Cartagena-La Union (SE, Spain). Water samples were analysed for trace metals (Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, As and Fe), major ions (Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)) and anions (F(-), Cl(-), NO3 (-), CO3 (2-), SO4 (2-)) concentrations and were submitted to an "evaporation-precipitation" experiment that consisted in identifying the salts resulting from the evaporation of the water aliquots sampled onsite. Mineralogy of the salts was studied using X-ray diffraction and compared with the results of calculations using VISUAL MINTEQ. The study area is heavily polluted as a result of historical mining and processing activities that has produced large amount of wastes characterised by a high trace elements content, acidic pH and containing minerals resulting from the supergene alteration of the raw materials. The mineralogical study of the efflorescences obtained from waters shows that magnesium, zinc, iron and aluminium sulphates predominate in the acid mine drainage precipitates. Minerals of the hexahydrite group have been quantified together with minerals of the rozenite group, alunogen and other phases such as coquimbite and copiapite. Calcium sulphates correspond exclusively to gypsum. In a semiarid climate, such as that of the study area, these minerals contribute to understand the response of the system to episodic rainfall events. MINTEQ model could be used for the analysis of waters affected by mining activities but simulation of evaporation gives more realistic results considering that MINTEQ does not consider soluble hydrated salts.

  14. Biogeochemical prospecting for uranium with conifers: results from the Midnite Mine area, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nash, J. Thomas; Ward, Frederick Norville

    1977-01-01

    The ash of needles, cones, and duff from Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws) growing near uranium deposits of the Midnite mine, Stevens County, Wash., contain as much as 200 parts per million (ppm) uranium. Needle samples containing more than 10 ppm uranium define zones that correlate well with known uranium deposits or dumps. Dispersion is as much as 300 m but generally is less. Background is about 1 ppm. Tree roots are judged to be sampling ore, low-grade uranium halo, or ground water to a depth of about 15 m. Uptake of uranium by Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) needles appears to be about the same as by Ponderosa pine needles. Cones and duff are generally enriched in uranium relate to needles. Needles, cones, and duff are recommended as easily collected, uncomplicated sample media for geochemical surveys. Samples can be analyzed by standard methods and total cost per sample kept to about $6.

  15. Ecotoxicological risks of the abandoned F-Ba-Pb-Zn mining area of Osor (Spain).

    PubMed

    Bori, Jaume; Vallès, Bettina; Navarro, Andrés; Riva, Maria Carme

    2016-06-03

    Due to its potential toxic properties, metal mobilization is of major concern in areas surrounding Pb-Zn mines. In the present study, metal contents and toxicity of soils, aqueous extracts from soils and mine drainage waters from an abandoned F-Ba-Pb-Zn mining area in Osor (Girona, NE Spain) were evaluated through chemical extractions and ecotoxicity bioassays. Toxicity assessment in the terrestrial compartment included lethal and sublethal endpoints on earthworms Eisenia fetida, arthropods Folsomia candida and several plant species, whereas aquatic tests involved bacteria Vibrio fischeri, microalgae Raphidocelis subcapitata and crustaceans Daphnia magna. Total concentrations of Ba (250-5110 mg kg(-1)), Pb (940 to >5000 mg kg(-1)) and Zn (2370-11,300 mg kg(-1)) in soils exceeded intervention values to protect human health. Risks for the aquatic compartment were identified in the release of drainage waters and in the potential leaching and runoff of metals from contaminated soils, with Cd (1.98-9.15 µg L(-1)), Pb (2.11-326 µg L(-1)) and Zn (280-2900 µg L(-1)) concentrations in filtered water samples surpassing US EPA Water Quality Criteria (2016a, b). Terrestrial ecotoxicity tests were in accordance with metal quantifications and identified the most polluted soil as the most toxic. Avoidance and reproduction tests with earthworms showed the highest sensitivity to metal contamination. Aquatic bioassays performed in aqueous extracts from soils confirmed the results from terrestrial tests and also detected toxic effects caused by the mine drainage waters. Algal growth inhibition was the most sensitive aquatic endpoint. In view of the results, the application of a containment or remediative procedure in the area is encouraged.

  16. Risk assessment and restoration possibilities of some abandoned mining ponds in Murcia Region, SE Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faz, Angel; Acosta, Jose A.; Martinez-Martinez, Silvia; Carmona, Dora M.; Zornoza, Raul; Kabas, Sebla; Bech, Jaume

    2010-05-01

    In Murcia Region, SE Spain, there are 85 tailing ponds due to intensive mining activities that occurred during last century, especially in Sierra Minera de Cartagena-La Union. Although mining activity was abandoned several decades ago, those tailing ponds with high amounts of heavy metals still remain in the area. The ponds, due to their composition and location, may create environmental risks of geochemical pollution, negatively affecting soil, water, and plant, animal, and human populations, as well as infrastructures. The main objective of this research is to evaluate the restoration possibilities of two representative mining ponds in order to minimize the risk for human and ecosystems. To achieve this objective, two tailing ponds generated by mining activities were selected, El Lirio and El Gorguel. These ponds are representative of the rest of existent ponds in Sierra Minera de Cartagena-La Unión, with similar problems and characteristics. Several techniques and studies were applied to the tailing ponds for their characterization, including: geophysics, geotechnics, geochemical, geological, hydrological, and vegetation studies. In addition, effects of particulate size in the distribution of heavy metals will be used to assess the risk of dispersion of these metals in finest particles. Once the ponds were characterized, they were divided in several sectors in order to apply different amendments (pig slurry and marble waste) to reduce the risk of metal mobility and improve soil quality for a future phytostabilization. It is known that organic amendments promote soil development processes, microbial diversity, and finally, soil ecosystem restoration to a state of self-sustainability. By comparing the results before and after applications we will be able to evaluate the effect of the different amendments on soil quality and their effectively on risk reduction. Finally, plant metal-tolerant species are used to restore vegetation in the ponds, thereby decreasing

  17. Uranium mining and milling work force characteristics in the western US

    SciTech Connect

    Rapp, D.A.

    1980-12-01

    This report presents the results of a survey of the socioeconomic characteristics associated with 11 uranium mine and mill operations in 5 Western States. Comparisons are made with the socioeconomic characteristics of construction and operating crews for coal mines and utility plants in eight Western States. Worker productivity also is compared with that in similar types of coal and uranium mining operations. We found that there existed no significant differences between the socioeconomic characteristics of construction and operating crews and the secondary employment impacts associated with uranium mines and mills when compared with those associated with coal mines and utility plants requiring similar skills at comparable locations. In addition, our survey includes a comparison of several characteristics associated with the households of basic and nonbasic work forces and concludes that significant changes have occurred in the last 5 yr. Accordingly, we recommend additional monitoring and updating of data used in several economic forecasting models to avoid unwarranted delays in achieving national energy goals.

  18. Molybdenum and copper levels in white-tailed deer near uranium mines in Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.; LeLeux, J.; Mulhern, B.M.

    1984-01-01

    Molybdenum toxicity, molybdenosis, in ruminant animals has been identified in at least 15 states and in Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. In most western states, molybdenosis has been associated with strip-mine spoil deposits. Molybdenum toxicity has been diagnosed in cattle pastured near uranium strip-mine spoils in several Texas counties. Recent reports from hunters and the authors' observations indicated that white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus ) that fed near uranium-mine spoil deposits may also have been exposed to high levels of molybdenum. The objectives of this study were to determine if white-tailed deer from a South Texas uranium mining district were accumulating harmful levels of molybdenum and to compare molybdenum and copper levels with antler development in deer from the mined area vs. an unmined control area.

  19. Environmental radioactivity assessment around old uranium mining sites near Mangualde (Viseu), Portugal

    SciTech Connect

    Carvalho, Fernando P.; Torres, Lubelia M.; Oliveira, Joao M.

    2007-07-01

    Uranium ore was extracted in the surroundings of Mangualde city, North of Portugal, in the mines of Cunha Baixa, Quinta do Bispo and Espinho until a few years ago. Mining waste, milling tailings and acid mine waters are the on site remains of this extractive activity. Environmental radioactivity measurements were performed in and around these sites in order to assess the dispersal of radionuclides from uranium mining waste and the spread of acidic waters resulting from the in situ uranium leaching with sulphuric acid. Results show migration of acid waters into groundwater around the Cunha Baixa mine. This groundwater is tapped by irrigation wells in the agriculture area near the Cunha Baixa village. Water from wells displayed uranium ({sup 238}U) concentrations up to 19x10{sup 3} mBq L{sup -1} and sulphate ion concentrations up to 1070 mg L{sup -1}. These enhanced concentrations are positively correlated with low water pH, pointing to a common origin for radioactivity, dissolved sulphate, and acidity in underground mining works. Radionuclide concentrations were determined in horticulture and farm products from this area also and results suggest low soil to plant transfer of radionuclides and low food chain transfer of radionuclides to man. Analysis of aerosols in surface air showed re suspension of dust from mining and milling waste heaps. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain mine water treatment and to plan remediation of these mine sites in order to prevent waste dispersal in the environment. (authors)

  20. Geoelectrical surveys for monitoring acid mine drainage in groundwater at abandoned open-cast lignite mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stollberg, R.; Hirsch, M.; Weiss, H.

    2013-05-01

    Surface and borehole geoelectrical survey techniques (DC resistivity measurements, Direct Push based electrical conductivity logging) were used to identify and localize acid mine drainage (AMD) at former lignite mining areas and adjacent groundwater bodies in Central Germany. Geoelectrical surface measurements are a fast and high-resolution survey method for the identification and discrimination of subsurface sections with different electrical properties. The method is based on a current injection by a pair of electrodes and electrical potential measurements by a second pair of electrodes. An electrical resistivity distribution of the subsurface can be measured by the ratio of injected currents and measured potentials. Moreover, electrical conductivity logging (EC-logging) was applied along the profile line of the geoelectrical surface measurement. A direct-push machine was used to push a GeoProbe® Wenner-Probe attached to a rod string into the ridges of mining dumps for recording vertical electrical resistivity profiles. The main objective has been the comparison between the superficial resistivity measurements and the results from in-situ downhole EC-logging for identifying the presence of AMD. Both, surface and subsurface measurements yielded in a precise and corresponding imaging of acidification effects in the underground. The electrical properties of soil/dump material and groundwater were found to be a proper proxy for the assessment of extension and degree of AMD impacts on soil and groundwater systems. A good correlation of the results obtained by these non- to minimal invasive investigation techniques with conventional (i.e. groundwater sampling) approaches could be proven.

  1. Elevated Concentrations of U and Co-occurring Metals in Abandoned Mine Wastes in a Northeastern Arizona Native American Community.

    PubMed

    Blake, Johanna M; Avasarala, Sumant; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi S; Brearley, Adrian J; Shuey, Christopher; Robinson, Wm Paul; Nez, Christopher; Bill, Sadie; Lewis, Johnnye; Hirani, Chris; Pacheco, Juan S Lezama; Cerrato, José M

    2015-07-21

    The chemical interactions of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a Native American community in northeastern Arizona were investigated using spectroscopy, microscopy and aqueous chemistry. The concentrations of U (67-169 μg L(-1)) in spring water samples exceed the EPA maximum contaminant limit of 30 μg L(-1). Elevated U (6,614 mg kg(-1)), V (15,814 mg kg(-1)), and As (40 mg kg(-1)) concentrations were detected in mine waste solids. Spectroscopy (XPS and XANES) solid analyses identified U (VI), As (-I and III) and Fe (II, III). Linear correlations for the release of U vs V and As vs Fe were observed for batch experiments when reacting mine waste solids with 10 mM ascorbic acid (∼pH 3.8) after 264 h. The release of U, V, As, and Fe was at least 4-fold lower after reaction with 10 mM bicarbonate (∼pH 8.3). These results suggest that U-V mineral phases similar to carnotite [K2(UO2)2V2O8] and As-Fe-bearing phases control the availability of U and As in these abandoned mine wastes. Elevated concentrations of metals are of concern due to human exposure pathways and exposure of livestock currently ingesting water in the area. This study contributes to understanding the occurrence and mobility of metals in communities located close to abandoned mine waste sites.

  2. Mercury dispersal to arroyo and coastal sediments from abandoned copper mine operations, el Boléo, Baja California.

    PubMed

    Kot, Fyodor; Shumilin, Evgueni; Rodríguez-Figueroa, Griselda Margarita; Mirlean, Nicolai

    2009-01-01

    Evidence for mercury dispersal in an arid coastal region of central Baja California (Mexico) suggests that abandoned copper mining operations are a noticeable source of mercury in the environment. There is a generally elevated level of mercury in alluvium of arroyos throughout the mining district (0.14-0.18 mg kg(-1)). In the first several dozen meters surrounding two of the biggest mines, mercury levels range from 0.26 to 3.16 mg kg(-1), forming a halo of anomalously high concentrations. The coastal marine sediments, particularly those close to the copper smelter in the town of Santa Rosalía, also display some mercury enrichment.

  3. Radiological impact of surface water and sediment near uranium mining sites.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, K; Stojanovska, Z; Badulin, V; Kunovska, B; Yovcheva, M

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the radiological impact of surface water and sediment around uranium mining sites 20 years after their closing. The areas under observations are 31 former classical underground uranium mining and exploratory sites in Bulgaria, named as objects. The extraction and processing of uranium ores in the Republic of Bulgaria were ended in 1992. To assess the radiological impact of radionuclides field expeditions were performed to sample water and bottom sediment. The migration of uranium through surface water was examined as one of the major pathways for contamination spread. The range of uranium concentration in water flowing from the mining sites was from 0.012 to 6.8 mgU l(-1) with a geometric mean of 0.192 mgU l(-1). The uranium concentrations in water downstream the mining sites were approximately 3 times higher than the background value (upstream). The concentrations of Unat, (226)Ra, (210)Pb, and (232)Th in the sediment of downstream river were higher than those upstream by 3.4, 2.6, 2, and 1.7 times, respectively. The distribution coefficient of uranium reflects its high mobility in most of the sites. In order to evaluate the impact on people as well as site prioritization for more detailed assessment and water management, screening dose assessments were done.

  4. Sustainability of uranium mining and milling: toward quantifying resources and eco-efficiency.

    PubMed

    Mudd, Gavin M; Diesendorf, Mark

    2008-04-01

    The mining of uranium has long been a controversial public issue, and a renewed debate has emerged on the potential for nuclear power to help mitigate against climate change. The central thesis of pro-nuclear advocates is the lower carbon intensity of nuclear energy compared to fossil fuels, although there remains very little detailed analysis of the true carbon costs of nuclear energy. In this paper, we compile and analyze a range of data on uranium mining and milling, including uranium resources as well as sustainability metrics such as energy and water consumption and carbon emissions with respect to uranium production-arguably the first time for modern projects. The extent of economically recoverable uranium resources is clearly linked to exploration, technology, and economics but also inextricably to environmental costs such as energy/water/chemicals consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and social issues. Overall, the data clearly show the sensitivity of sustainability assessments to the ore grade of the uranium deposit being mined and that significant gaps remain in complete sustainability reporting and accounting. This paper is a case study of the energy, water, and carbon costs of uranium mining and milling within the context of the nuclear energy chain.

  5. Use of native plants for the remediation of abandoned mine sites in Mediterranean semiarid environments.

    PubMed

    Bacchetta, G; Cappai, G; Carucci, A; Tamburini, E

    2015-03-01

    Abandoned tailing dumps from mining industry represent important sources of metal contamination in the surrounding environments. This study evaluates the potential of two Mediterranean native plants, Pistacia lentiscus and Phragmites australis, for phytoremediation of two Sardinian contaminated mine sites. A 6 months study has been conducted at greenhouse-controlled conditions with the aim of investigating the plant capability to tolerate high metal concentrations and to extract or immobilize them within the roots. The possibility to mitigate stress on the plants and improve treatment efficiency by adding compost as amendment was also evaluated. Both species were able to restrict accumulation of Cd, Pb and Zn to the root tissues exhibiting a metal concentration ratio of plant roots to soil bioavailable fraction higher than two (four in the case of Zn). However, the two species showed different adaptation responses, being the survival of P. australis after 6 months in contaminated soil lower (25 %-58 %) than that observed for P. lentiscus (77 %-100 %). Compost addition resulted in a lower metal uptake in tissues of both plants and a higher survival of P. australis, whilst almost no effect was observed as regard the growth of both species. The two tested species appear to be promising candidates for phytostabilization, P. lentiscus exhibiting a greater adaptability to heavy metal contaminated matrices than P. australis.

  6. Abandoned mined land impacts on water and sediment quality, and invertebrate assemblages in two Virginia watersheds

    SciTech Connect

    Yeager, J.L.; Bidwell, J.R.; Cherry, D.S.; Zipper, C.E.

    1996-12-31

    The constituents of abandoned mined land (AML) discharges (acidic pH, metals, dissolved solids, total suspended solids) can be toxic to aquatic life. Studies were undertaken to determine environmental impacts of acid mine drainage (AMD), a component of AML, in the Black Creek and Ely Creek watersheds, Wise and Lee Counties, Virginia. Conductivity and pH in the stream were measured to survey the magnitude of AMD discharge within each system. Water, sediment and water/sediment mixtures that simulate storm events were analyzed for metal content (Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Mg). Benthic macroinvertebrates were collected seasonally using D-framed nets to determine AMD effects on relative abundance and taxon richness. Acidic pH ranged from 2.15-3.30 at three AMD-influenced seeps and varied from 6.40-8.00 at reference stations. Conductivity ({mu}mhos/cm) ranged from 32-278 at reference sites and from 245 to >6000 at AMD-impact sites. Benthic macroinvertebrate abundance and taxon richness were notably lower in the seeps having only 1-3 taxa totalling < 10 organisms as compared to reference areas where richness values were 12-17 and comprised 300-977 organisms. Sediments from selected areas within Black Creek caused significant reductions in Daphnia magna reproduction relative to reference site sediments in 10 day chronic toxicity test. Concentrations of Fe, Al, Mg, Cu, and Zn were highest in the AMD influenced stations with low pH and high conductivity.

  7. Exposure assessment of heavy metals on abandoned metal mine areas by ingestion of soil, crop plant and groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J.-S.; Chon, H.-T.

    2003-05-01

    In order to assess the risk of adverse health effects on human exposure to arsenic and heavy metals influence by past mining activities, environmental geochemical survey was undertaken in the abandoned metal mine areas (Dongil Au-Ag-Cu-Zn mine, Okdong Cu-Pb-Zn mine, Myungbong Au-Ag mine). Arsenic and other heavy metals were highly elevated in the tailings from the Dongil mine (8,720 As mg/kg, 5.9 Cd mg/kg, 3,610 Cu mg/kg, 5,850 Pb mg/kg, 630 Zn mg/kg). Heavy metals except As from the Okdong mine (53.6 Cd mg/kg, 910 Cu mg/kg, 1,590 Pb mg/kg, 5,720 Zn mg/kg) and As from the Myungbong mine (5,810 As mg/kg) were also elevated. Elevated levels of As, Cd and Zn were also found in agricultural soils from these mine areas. The H.I. (hazard index) values of As and Cd from the Dongil, the Okdong and Myungbong mine areas are higher than 1.0. Therefore, toxic risk for As and Cd exist via exposure (ingestion) of contaminated soil, groundwater and rice grain in these mine areas.

  8. Radon emanation from backfilled mill tailings in underground uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Patitapaban; Mishra, Devi Prasad; Panigrahi, Durga Charan; Jha, Vivekananda; Patnaik, R Lokeswara; Sethy, Narendra Kumar

    2014-04-01

    Coarser mill tailings used as backfill to stabilize the stoped out areas in underground uranium mines is a potential source of radon contamination. This paper presents the quantitative assessment of radon emanation from the backfilled tailings in Jaduguda mine, India using a cylindrical accumulator. Some of the important parameters such as (226)Ra activity concentration, bulk density, bulk porosity, moisture content and radon emanation factor of the tailings affecting radon emanation were determined in the laboratory. The study revealed that the radon emanation rate of the tailings varied in the range of 0.12-7.03 Bq m(-2) s(-1) with geometric mean of 1.01 Bq m(-2) s(-1) and geometric standard deviation of 3.39. An increase in radon emanation rate was noticed up to a moisture saturation of 0.09 in the tailings, after which the emanation rate gradually started declining with saturation due to low diffusion coefficient of radon in the saturated tailings. Radon emanation factor of the tailings varied in the range of 0.08-0.23 with the mean value of 0.21. The emanation factor of the tailings with moisture saturation level over 0.09 was found to be about three times higher than that of the absolutely dry tailings. The empirical relationship obtained between (222)Rn emanation rate and (226)Ra activity concentration of the tailings indicated a significant positive linear correlation (r = 0.95, p < 0.001). This relationship may be useful for quick prediction of radon emanation rate from the backfill material of similar nature.

  9. Pesticide mobility and leachate toxicity in two abandoned mine soils. Effect of organic amendments.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Liébana, José Antonio; Mingorance, M Dolores; Peña, Aránzazu

    2014-11-01

    Abandoned mine areas, used in the past for the extraction of minerals, constitute a degraded landscape which needs to be reintegrated to productive or leisure activities. However these soils, mainly composed by silt or sand and with low organic matter content, are vulnerable to organic and inorganic pollutants posing a risk to the surrounding ecosystems and groundwater. Soils from two mining areas from Andalusia were evaluated: one from Nerva (NCL) in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Andalusia) and another one from the iron Alquife mine (ALQ) (SE Andalusia). To improve soil properties and fertility two amendments, stabilised sewage sludge (SSL) and composted sewage sludge (CSL), were selected. The effect of amendment addition on the mobility of two model pesticides, thiacloprid and fenarimol, was assessed using soil columns under non-equilibrium conditions. Fenarimol, more hydrophobic than thiacloprid, only leached from native ALQ, a soil with lower organic carbon (OC) content than NCL (0.21 and 1.4%, respectively). Addition of amendments affected differently pesticide mobility: thiacloprid in the leachates was reduced by 14% in NCL-SSL and by 4% in ALQ-CSL. Soil OC and dissolved OC were the parameters which explained pesticide residues in soil. Chemical analysis revealed that leachates from the different soil columns did not contain toxic element levels, except As in NCL soil. Finally ecotoxicological data showed moderate toxicity in the initial leachates, with an increase coinciding with pesticide maximum concentration. The addition of SSL slightly reduced the toxicity towards Vibrio fischeri, likely due to enhanced retention of pesticides by amended soils.

  10. Final covering of the Ronneburg uranium mining site

    SciTech Connect

    Hoepfner, Uwe

    2007-07-01

    The rehabilitation of WISMUT's former Ronneburg uranium mining site involves backfilling of waste rock to the Lichtenberg open pit. The relocation project comprises about 110 million m{sup 3} of sulphide-bearing and AMD-generating waste rock which makes it the most important and most cost-intensive single surface restoration project conducted by WISMUT at the Ronneburg site. The backfilled waste rock has to be covered on an area of about 220 ha to control water infiltration and gas diffusion. Design planning for the final cover placement which began in 2004 had to be based on a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis as well on field tests of alternative cover options which are in compliance with legal requirements. An intensive testing program concerning the vadose zone of soil covers has therefore been started in 2000. The paper presents an overview of the monitoring program and the results of the vadose zone measurements. The water of soil covers have to be predicted for extended evaluation periods. Therefore water balance simulations of single layer covers (storage and evaporation concept) taking current and future soil and climate conditions into account are performed with the HYDRUS 2D code. (author)

  11. Radioactivity in the environment around past radium and uranium mining sites of Portugal.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, F P; Madruga, M J; Reis, M C; Alves, J G; Oliveira, J M; Gouveia, J; Silva, L

    2007-01-01

    Measurements of ambient radiation doses and determination of radionuclide concentrations in mining waste and soils were performed in 60 areas of former radium and uranium mining. In several places, mining waste and low-grade uranium ore left on the surface contain radioactivity above regional background. Most of the former mining sites present no enhanced radionuclide concentrations. However, in the mining facilities where the radioactive ore was chemically extracted, mill tailings contain materials with elevated levels of radioactivity, up to 200 times the levels in unaffected soils of the region. Mud from neutralization ponds used to treat acid mine waters contains also elevated radionuclide concentrations. Furthermore, depending on the type of waste, the radioelement composition varies. Environmental rehabilitation measures shall take these differences into account in order to prevent in the long term the radioactive contamination of agriculture soils and water resources, and to ensure adequate radiological protection to the public and to the environment.

  12. [Pb, Zn accumulation and nutrient uptake of 15 plant species grown in abandoned mine tailings].

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiang; Chen, Yi-Tai; Wang, Shu-Feng; Li, Jiang-Chuan

    2012-06-01

    Vegetation restoration field test was carried out in the abandoned lead-zinc tailings for 3 years. The study showed that accumulation of lead (Pb), zinc (Zn) and nutrient uptake differed with plant species and organs, heavy metals, and planting time. Pb was mainly accumulated in tree roots, and its content distribution in tree organs was generally in the order of roots > leaves > stems. But Zn concentrations in leaves of several tree species were higher than those in roots and stems. Within the tested 15 species, Cercis Canadensis had the highest concentrations of Pb and Zn in roots (1 803 and 2120 mg x kg(-1), respectively). Rhus chinensis had the highest Pb concentration in stems and leaves (280 and 546 mg x kg(-1), respectively) and Zn concentration (1 507 mg x kg(-1)) in leaves. Zn concentration in stems and leaves of Salix matsudana (729 and 1 153 mg x kg(-1), respectively) were the highest. Among the tested 15 species, TF values for Pb of Liquidambar formosana, Medicago sativa, and for Zn of Salix matsudana, Rhus chinensis, Medicago sativa were higher than 1. BCF values for Pb were all lower than 0.17, while that for Zn were all lower than 0.44. The N contents in nitrogen-fixing plants, P contents in Rhus typhina and Ailanthus altissima, and K content in Nerium indicum were significantly higher than those in other plants. With the increase of planting time, concentrations of heavy metal in plant body increased significantly; however the inverse trend were observed in nutritional element content. The species have higher metal accumulation capacity, such as Rhus chinensis, Salix matsudana and those nitrogen-fixing plants have higher tolerance to metal contamination and nutrient deficiency, such as Amorpha fruticosa, Medicago sativa, Lespedeza cuneata, and Alnus cremastogyne, they were suitable as the phytostabilizers in abandoned mine tailings.

  13. Trace elements in native and transplanted Fontinalis antipyretica and Platyhypnidium riparioides from rivers polluted by uranium mining.

    PubMed

    Kosior, Grzegorz; Steinnes, Eiliv; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra; Lierhagen, Syverin; Kolon, Krzysztof; Dołhańczuk-Śródka, Agnieszka; Ziembik, Zbigniew

    2017-03-01

    The past uranium/polymetallic mining activities in the Sudety (SW Poland) left abandoned mines, pits, and dumps of waste rocks with trace elements and radionuclides which may erode or leach out and create a potential risk for the aquatic ecosystem, among others. In the present work four rivers affected by effluents from such mines were selected to evaluate the application of aquatic mosses for the bioindication of 56 elements. Naturally growing F. antipyretica and P. riparioides were compared with transplanted samples of the same species. The results demonstrate serious pollution of the examined rivers, especially with As, Ba, Fe, Mn, Pb, Ti, U and Zn, reaching extremely high concentrations in native moss samples. In the most polluted rivers native F. antipyretica and P. riparioides samples showed significantly higher concentrations of As, Ba, Cu, Fe, La, Nd, Ni, Pb, U and Zn than corresponding transplanted samples, whereas at less polluted sites a reverse situation was sometimes observed. Transplanted moss moved from clean to extremely polluted rivers probably protects itself against the accumulation of toxic elements by reducing their uptake. Selection of native or transplanted F. antipyretica and P. riparioides depended on the pollution load.

  14. Impact of former uranium mining activities on the floodplains of the Mulde River, Saxony, Germany.

    PubMed

    Bister, S; Birkhan, J; Lüllau, T; Bunka, M; Solle, A; Stieghorst, C; Riebe, B; Michel, R; Walther, C

    2015-06-01

    The Mulde River drains the former uranium mining areas in Saxony (Germany), which has led to a large-scale contamination of the river and the adjacent floodplain soils with radionuclides of the uranium decay series. The objective of the investigation is to quantify the long-term effect of former uranium mining activities on a river system. All of the investigated environmental compartments (water, sediment, soil) still reveal an impact from the former uranium mining and milling activities. The contamination of water has decreased considerably during the last 20 years due to the operation of water treatment facilities. The uranium content of the sediments decreased as well (on average by a factor of 5.6), most likely caused by displacement of contaminated material during flood events. Currently, the impact of the mining activities is most obvious in soils. For some of the plots activity concentrations of >200 Bq/kg of soil were detected for uranium-238. Alluvial soils used as grassland were found to be contaminated to a higher degree than those used as cropland.

  15. Ecological studies on the revegetation process of surface coal mined areas in North Dakota. 3. soil and vegetation development of abandoned mines. Final report Aug 75-Jun 82

    SciTech Connect

    Wali, M.K.; Pemble, R.H.

    1982-06-01

    Soil and vegetation development were studied on abandoned mine sites near Velva in Ward County, North Dakota. The sites studied were 1, 7, 17, 30 and 45 years old since abandonment; unmined sites were also studied to provide measures of comparison. Species diversity was the highest at unmined sites (114) and lowest at the 1 year old site (26). Stand-environmental complex ordinations encompassing 53 variables showed topographic variables to be the most important followed by site ages. Rates of nutrient accumulations were given in the report.

  16. Cola soft drinks for evaluating the bioaccessibility of uranium in contaminated mine soils.

    PubMed

    Lottermoser, Bernd G; Schnug, Ewald; Haneklaus, Silvia

    2011-08-15

    There is a rising need for scientifically sound and quantitative as well as simple, rapid, cheap and readily available soil testing procedures. The purpose of this study was to explore selected soft drinks (Coca-Cola Classic®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero®) as indicators of bioaccessible uranium and other trace elements (As, Ce, Cu, La, Mn, Ni, Pb, Th, Y, Zn) in contaminated soils of the Mary Kathleen uranium mine site, Australia. Data of single extraction tests using Coca-Cola Classic®, Diet Coke® and Coke Zero® demonstrate that extractable arsenic, copper, lanthanum, manganese, nickel, yttrium and zinc concentrations correlate significantly with DTPA- and CaCl₂-extractable metals. Moreover, the correlation between DTPA-extractable uranium and that extracted using Coca-Cola Classic® is close to unity (+0.98), with reduced correlations for Diet Coke® (+0.66) and Coke Zero® (+0.55). Also, Coca-Cola Classic® extracts uranium concentrations near identical to DTPA, whereas distinctly higher uranium fractions were extracted using Diet Coke® and Coke Zero®. Results of this study demonstrate that the use of Coca-Cola Classic® in single extraction tests provided an excellent indication of bioaccessible uranium in the analysed soils and of uranium uptake into leaves and stems of the Sodom apple (Calotropis procera). Moreover, the unconventional reagent is superior in terms of availability, costs, preparation and disposal compared to traditional chemicals. Contaminated site assessments and rehabilitation of uranium mine sites require a solid understanding of the chemical speciation of environmentally significant elements for estimating their translocation in soils and plant uptake. Therefore, Cola soft drinks have potential applications in single extraction tests of uranium contaminated soils and may be used for environmental impact assessments of uranium mine sites, nuclear fuel processing plants and waste storage and disposal facilities.

  17. Abandoned Rayrock uranium mill tailings in the Northwest Territories: environmental conditions and radiological impact.

    PubMed

    Veska, E; Eaton, R S

    1991-03-01

    Field and laboratory investigations were undertaken of the environment surrounding abandoned U mill tailings at Rayrock, Northwest Territories, Canada, to examine the extent of 226Ra and U contamination. Samples of ground water, surface water, and unconsolidated geological material from the Rayrock area were collected for chemical and radiochemical analyses. Results indicated that the surface waters contained levels of 226Ra as high as 20 Bq L-1, 210Pb as high as 1.1 Bq L-1, and ground water U as high as 2800 micrograms L-1. Lower levels of 226Ra, 210Pb, and U, 3.6 Bq L-1, 0.5 Bq L-1, and 4 micrograms L-1, respectively, were found in a small lake adjacent to the tailings area. Analysis of tailings and soil in the immediate vicinity indicates that the radionuclides and U are mobilized and can move within the tailings. Some of the mobilized radionuclides will be bound by the surrounding peat. The remainder may move to Lake Alpha in ground water. Surface water flow also transports some contaminants both in the water of Alpha Creek and by washing tailings into Lake Alpha. The potential annual external and internal dose equivalents to a hypothetical resident were calculated based on exposure from the abandoned U mill tailings, drinking water, and fish caught in the lakes in the vicinity of the tailings. While Alpha Creek and Lake Alpha water showed evidence of contamination, the rest of the water system and the fish were at natural background levels of radioactivity.

  18. Are plants growing at abandoned mine sites suitable for phytoremediation of contaminated soils?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bini, Claudio; Buffa, Gabriella; Fontana, Silvia; Wahsha, Mohammad

    2013-04-01

    Plants growing on abandoned mine sites are of particular interest in the perspective to remediate contaminated soils by phytoremediation, a low cost and environmental friendly technique which uses metal-accumulator plants to clean up moderately contaminated areas. The choice of plants is a crucial aspect for the practical use of this technique, given the ability to accumulate metals in their tissues, being genetically tolerant to high metal concentrations. Up today, more than 400 native plants that hyperaccumulate metals are reported, Brassicaceae being the family with the largest number of hyperaccumulator species. For example, Alyssum bertoloni is well known as Ni accumulator, as well as Thlaspi caerulescens for Zn and Brassica napus for Pb. However, metal hyperaccumulation is not a common phenomenon in terrestrial higher plants, and many of the European hyperaccumulator plants are of small biomass, and have a slow growth rate. Therefore, there is an urgent need for surveying and screening of plants with ability to accumulate metals in their tissues and a relatively high biomass. In recent years, a survey of soils and plants growing on contaminated areas at several abandoned sulphide mines in Italy was carried out by working groups of the Universities of Florence, Siena, Cagliari, Bologna, Udine and Venice, in order to evaluate the ability of these plants to colonize mine waste and to accumulate metals, in the perspective of an ecological restoration of contaminated sites. We investigated the heavy metal concentration of the waste material, and the soils developed from, in order to determine the extent of heavy metal dispersion, and the uptake by plants, and deserved attention to wild plants growing at that sites, to find out new metal-tolerant species to utilize in soil remediation. Current results of these investigations, with particular emphasis on the Tuscan areas, are reported here. All the studied profiles are strongly enriched in metals; their

  19. An integrative assessment of a watershed impacted by abandoned mined land discharges.

    PubMed

    Cherry, D S; Currie, R J; Soucek, D J; Latimer, H A; Trent, G C

    2001-01-01

    The Ely Creek watershed in Lee County, VA, USA, contains an abundance of abandoned mined land areas with acid mine drainage (AMD) that contaminate the majority of the creek and its confluence into Stone Creek. Acidic pH measurements ranged from 2.73 to 5.2 at several stations throughout the watershed. Sediments had high concentrations of iron (approximately 10,000 mg kg-1), aluminum (approximately 1,500 mg kg-1), magnesium (approximately 400 mg kg-1) and manganese (approximately 150 mg kg-1), and habitat was partially to non-supporting at half of the stations due to sedimentation. Benthic macroinvertebrate surveys at six of 20 stations sampled in the watershed yielded no macroinvertebrates, while eight others had total abundances of only one to nine organisms. Four reference stations contained > or = 100 organisms and at least 13 different taxa. Asian clam in situ toxicity testing supported field survey results. Laboratory, 10-day survival/impairment sediments tests with Daphnia magna and Chironomus tentans and 48-h water column bioassays with Ceriodaphnia dubia indicated environmental stress to a lesser degree. Ten parameters that were directly influenced by AMD through physical, chemical, ecological and toxicological endpoints were assimilated into an ecotoxicological rating (ETR) to form a score of 0-100 points for the 20 sampling stations, and the lower the score the greater the AMD stress. Twelve of the 15 sampling stations influenced by AMD received an ETR score of 13.75-57.5, which were categorized as severely stressed (i.e. comprised the < 60 percentile category) and worthy of the highest priority for future ecological restoration activities in the watershed.

  20. Spectral masking of goethite in abandoned mine drainage systems: implications for Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cull, Selby; Cravotta, Charles A.; Klinges, Julia Grace; Weeks, Chloe

    2014-01-01

    Remote sensing studies of the surface of Mars use visible- to near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy to identify hydrated and hydroxylated minerals, which can be used to constrain past environmental conditions on the surface of Mars. However, due to differences in optical properties, some hydrated phases can mask others in VNIR spectra, complicating environmental interpretations. Here, we examine the role of masking in VNIR spectra of natural precipitates of ferrihydrite, schwertmannite, and goethite from abandoned mine drainage (AMD) systems in southeastern Pennsylvania. Mixtures of ferrihydrite, schwertmannite, and goethite were identified in four AMD sites by using X-ray diffractometry (XRD), and their XRD patterns compared to their VNIR spectra. We find that both ferrihydrite and schwertmannite can mask goethite in VNIR spectra of natural AMD precipitates. These findings suggest that care should be taken in interpreting environments on Mars where ferrihydrite, schwertmannite, or goethite are found, as the former two may be masking the latter. Additionally, our findings suggest that outcrops on Mars with both goethite and ferrihydrite/schwertmannite VNIR signatures may have high relative abundances of goethite, or the goethite may exist in a coarsely crystalline phase.

  1. Reclamation of abandoned mined lands along th Upper Illinois Waterway using dredged material

    SciTech Connect

    Van Luik, A; Harrison, W

    1982-01-01

    Sediments were sampled and characterized from 28 actual or proposed maintenance-dredging locations in the Upper Illinois Waterway, that is, the Calumet-Sag Channel, the Des Plaines River downstream of its confluence with the Calumet-Sag Channel, and the Illinois River from the confluence of the Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers to Havana, Illinois. Sufficient data on chemical constituents and physical sediments were obtained to allow the classification of these sediments by currently applicable criteria of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the identification of hazardous, persistent, and potentially hazardous wastes. By these criteria, the potential dredged materials studied were not hazardous, persistent, or potentially hazardous; they are a suitable topsoil/ reclamation medium. A study of problem abandoned surface-mined land sites (problem lands are defined as being acidic and/or sparsely vegetated) along the Illinois River showed that three sites were particularly well suited to the needs of the Corps of Engineers (COE) for a dredged material disposal/reclamation site. Thes sites were a pair of municipally owned sites in Morris, Illinois, and a small corporately owned site east of Ottawa, Illinois, and adjacent to the Illinois River. Other sites were also ranked as to suitability for COE involvement in their reclamation. Reclamation disposal was found to be an economically competitive alternative to near-source confined disposal for Upper Illinois Waterway dredged material.

  2. Bioprospecting for acidophilic lipid-rich green microalgae isolated from abandoned mine site water bodies.

    PubMed

    Eibl, Joseph K; Corcoran, Jason D; Senhorinho, Gerusa N A; Zhang, Kejian; Hosseini, Nekoo Seyed; Marsden, James; Laamanen, Corey A; Scott, John A; Ross, Gregory M

    2014-03-26

    With fossil fuel sources in limited supply, microalgae show tremendous promise as a carbon neutral source of biofuel. Current microalgae biofuel strategies typically rely on growing high-lipid producing laboratory strains of microalgae in open raceways or closed system photobioreactors. Unfortunately, these microalgae species are found to be sensitive to environmental stresses or competition by regional strains. Contamination by invasive species can diminish productivity of commercial algal processes. A potential improvement to current strategies is to identify high-lipid producing microalgae, which thrive in selected culture conditions that reduce the risk of contamination, such as low pH. Here we report the identification of a novel high-lipid producing microalgae which can tolerate low pH growth conditions. Lig 290 is a Scenedesmus spp. isolated from a low pH waterbody (pH = 4.5) in proximity to an abandoned lignite mine in Northern Ontario, Canada. Compared to a laboratory strain of Scendesmus dimorphus, Lig 290 demonstrated robust growth rates, a strong growth profile, and high lipid production. As a consequence, Lig 290 may have potential application as a robust microalgal species for use in biofuel production.

  3. Screening risk assessment tools for assessing the environmental impact in an abandoned pyritic mine in Spain.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Jiménez, Eduardo; García-Gómez, Concepción; Oropesa, Ana Lourdes; Esteban, Elvira; Haro, Amparo; Carpena-Ruiz, Ramón; Tarazona, Jose Vicente; Peñalosa, Jesus Manuel; Fernández, María Dolores

    2011-01-15

    This paper describes a new methodology for assessing site-specific environmental impact of contaminants. The proposed method integrates traditional risk assessment approaches with real and variable environmental characteristics at a local scale. Environmental impact on selected receptors was classified for each environmental compartment into 5 categories derived from the whole (chronic and acute) risk assessment using 8 risk levels. Risk levels were established according to three hazard quotients (HQs) which represented the ratio of exposure to acute and chronic toxicity values. This tool allowed integrating in only one impact category all the elements involved in the standard risk assessment. The methodology was applied to an abandoned metal mine in Spain, where high levels of As, Cd, Zn and Cu were detected. Risk affecting potential receptors such as aquatic and soil organisms and terrestrial vertebrates were assessed. Whole results showed that impact to the ecosystem is likely high and further investigation or remedial actions are necessary. Some proposals to refine the risk assessment for a more realistic diagnostic are included.

  4. Bioprospecting for acidophilic lipid-rich green microalgae isolated from abandoned mine site water bodies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    With fossil fuel sources in limited supply, microalgae show tremendous promise as a carbon neutral source of biofuel. Current microalgae biofuel strategies typically rely on growing high-lipid producing laboratory strains of microalgae in open raceways or closed system photobioreactors. Unfortunately, these microalgae species are found to be sensitive to environmental stresses or competition by regional strains. Contamination by invasive species can diminish productivity of commercial algal processes. A potential improvement to current strategies is to identify high-lipid producing microalgae, which thrive in selected culture conditions that reduce the risk of contamination, such as low pH. Here we report the identification of a novel high-lipid producing microalgae which can tolerate low pH growth conditions. Lig 290 is a Scenedesmus spp. isolated from a low pH waterbody (pH = 4.5) in proximity to an abandoned lignite mine in Northern Ontario, Canada. Compared to a laboratory strain of Scendesmus dimorphus, Lig 290 demonstrated robust growth rates, a strong growth profile, and high lipid production. As a consequence, Lig 290 may have potential application as a robust microalgal species for use in biofuel production. PMID:24670060

  5. Application and analysis of anchored geosynthetic systems for stabilization of abandoned mine land slopes

    SciTech Connect

    Vitton, S.J.; Whitman, F.; Liang, R.Y.; Harris, W.W.

    1996-12-31

    An anchored geosynthetic system (AGS) was used in the remediation of a landslide associated with an abandoned coal mine located near Hindman, Kentucky. In concept, AGS is a system that provides in-situ stabilization of soil slopes by combining a surface-deployed geosynthetic with an anchoring system of driven reinforcing rods similar to soil nailing. Installation of the system of driven reinforcing rods similar to soil nailing. Installation of the system involves tensioning a geosynthetic over a slope`s surface by driving anchors through the geosynthetic at a given spacing and distance. By tensioning the geosynthetic over the slope`s surface, a compressive load is applied to the slope. Benefits of AGS are described to include the following: (1) increase soil strength due to soil compression including increased compressive loading on potential failure surfaces, (2) soil reinforcement through soil nailing, (3), halt of soil creep, (4) erosion control, and (5) long term soil consolidation. Following installation of the AGS and one year of monitoring, it was found that the anchored geosynthetic system only provided some of the reported benefits and in general did not function as an active stabilization system. This was due in part to the inability of the system to provide and maintain loading on the geosynthetic. The geosynthetic, however, did tension when slope movement occurred and prevented the slope from failing. Thus, the system functioned more as a passive restraint system and appeared to function well over the monitoring period.

  6. Biological assessment of remedial action at the abandoned uranium mill tailings site near Naturita, Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    1996-03-01

    Pursuant to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to conduct remedial action to clean up the residual radioactive materials (RRM) at the Naturita uranium processing site in Colorado. The Naturita site is in Montrose County, Colorado, and is approximately 2 miles (mi) (3 kilometer [km]) from the unincorporated town of Naturita. The proposed remedial action is to remove the RRM from the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan disposal site. To address the potential impacts of the remedial action on threatened and endangered species, the DOE prepared this biological assessment. Informal consultations with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) were initiated in 1986, and the FWS provided a list of the threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. This list was updated by two FWS letters in 1988 and by verbal communication in 1990. A biological assessment was included in the environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed remedial action that was prepared in 1990. This EA addressed the impacts of moving the Naturita RRM to the Dry Flats disposal site. In 1993, the design for the Dry Flats disposal alternative was changed. The FWS was again consulted in 1993 and provided a new list of threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. The Naturita EA and the biological assessment were revised in response to these changes. In 1994, remedial action was delayed because an alternate disposal site was being considered. The DOE decided to move the FIRM at the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan site. Due to this delay, the FWS was consulted in 1995 and a list of threatened and endangered species was provided. This biological assessment is a revision of the assessment attached to the Naturita EA and addresses moving the Naturita RRM to the Upper Burbank Quarry disposal site.

  7. Heavy metal pollution associated with an abandoned lead-zinc mine in the Kirki region, NE Greece.

    PubMed

    Nikolaidis, Christos; Zafiriadis, Ilias; Mathioudakis, Vasileios; Constantinidis, Theodore

    2010-09-01

    The "Agios Philippos" mine in the Kirki region (NE Greece) has been abandoned in 1998 after half a century of ore exploration without a reclamation or remediation plan. This article aims at elucidating the potential environmental risks associated with this site by quantifying pollution in tailing basins, stream waters, stream sediments and agricultural fields. Concentrations of heavy metals in the abandoned mine tailings reached 12,567 mg/kg for Pb, 22,292 mg/kg for Zn, 174 mg/kg for Cd and 241 mg/kg for As. The geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor for these metals were indicative of extremely high contamination (I(geo) > 5) and extremely high enrichment (EF > 40), respectively. Stream waters in the proximity of the mine had an acidic pH equal to 5.96 and a high sulfate content (SO(4)(-2) = 545.5 mg/L), whereas concentrations of Mn, Zn and Cd reached 2,399 microg/L, 7,681 microg/L and 11.2 microg/L. High I(geo) and EF values for Cd, Zn and As in stream sediments indicates that surface water pollution has a historic background, which is typically associated with acid mine drainage. Agricultural fields in the proximity of the mine exhibited high I(geo) and EF values, which were in decreasing order Cd > Pb > Zn > As. These findings urge for an immediate remediation action of the afflicted area.

  8. 13 CFR 121.510 - What is the size standard for leasing of Government land for uranium mining?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false What is the size standard for leasing of Government land for uranium mining? 121.510 Section 121.510 Business Credit and Assistance... standard for leasing of Government land for uranium mining? A concern is small for this purpose if...

  9. ENHANCEMENT OF TERRESTRIAL CARBON SINKS THROUGH RECLAMATION OF ABANDONED MINE LANDS IN THE APPALACHIAN REGION

    SciTech Connect

    Gary D. Kronrad

    2002-12-01

    The U.S.D.I. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) estimates that there are approximately 1 million acres of abandoned mine land (AML) in the Appalachian region. AML lands are classified as areas that were inadequately reclaimed or were left unreclaimed prior to the passage of the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and where no federal or state laws require any further reclamation responsibility to any company or individual. Reclamation and afforestation of these sites have the potential to provide landowners with cyclical timber revenues, generate environmental benefits to surrounding communities, and sequester carbon in the terrestrial ecosystem. Through a memorandum of understanding, the OSM and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have decided to investigate reclaiming and afforesting these lands for the purpose of mitigating the negative effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This study determined the carbon sequestration potential of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), one of the major reclamation as well as commercial species, planted on West Virginia AML sites. Analyses were conducted to (1) calculate the total number of tons that can be stored, (2) determine the cost per ton to store carbon, and (3) calculate the profitability of managing these forests for timber production alone and for timber production and carbon storage together. The Forest Management Optimizer (FORMOP) was used to simulate growth data on diameter, height, and volume for northern red oak. Variables used in this study included site indices ranging from 40 to 80 (base age 50), thinning frequencies of 0, 1, and 2, thinning percentages of 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40, and a maximum rotation length of 100 years. Real alternative rates of return (ARR) ranging from 0.5% to 12.5% were chosen for the economic analyses. A total of 769,248 thinning and harvesting combinations, net present worths, and soil expectation values were calculated in this study. Results indicate that

  10. Solutions Network Formulation Report. Landsat Data Continuity Mission Simulated Data Products for Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency Abandoned Mine Lands Decision Support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estep, Leland

    2007-01-01

    Presently, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has identified a multitude of abandoned mine sites in primarily Western states for cleanup. These sites are prioritized and appropriate cleanup has been called in to reclaim the sites. The task is great in needing considerable amounts of agency resources. For instance, in Colorado alone there exists an estimated 23,000 abandoned mines. The problem is not limited to Colorado or to the United States. Cooperation for reclamation is sought at local, state, and federal agency level to aid in identification, inventory, and cleanup efforts. Dangers posed by abandoned mines are recognized widely and will tend to increase with time because some of these areas are increasingly used for recreation and, in some cases, have been or are in the process of development. In some cases, mines are often vandalized once they are closed. The perpetrators leave them open, so others can then access the mines without realizing the danger posed. Abandoned mine workings often fill with water or oxygen-deficient air and dangerous gases following mining. If the workings are accidentally entered into, water or bad air can prove fatal to those underground. Moreover, mine residue drainage negatively impacts the local watershed ecology. Some of the major hazards that might be monitored by higher-resolution satellites include acid mine drainage, clogged streams, impoundments, slides, piles, embankments, hazardous equipment or facilities, surface burning, smoke from underground fires, and mine openings.

  11. Contamination of wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer by abandoned zinc and lead mines, Ottawa County, Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christenson, Scott C.

    1995-01-01

    The Roubidoux aquifer in Ottawa County Oklahoma is used extensively as a source of water for public supplies, commerce, industry, and rural water districts. Water in the Roubidoux aquifer in eastern Ottawa County has relatively low dissolved-solids concentrations (less than 200 mg/L) with calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate as the major ions. The Boone Formation is stratigraphically above the Roubidoux aquifer and is the host rock for zinc and lead sulfide ores, with the richest deposits located in the vicinity of the City of Picher. Mining in what became known as the Picher mining district began in the early 1900's and continued until about 1970. The water in the abandoned zinc and lead mines contains high concentrations of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, sulfate, fluoride, cadmium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc. Water from the abandoned mines is a potential source of contamination to the Roubidoux aquifer and to wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer. Water samples were collected from wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer in the Picher mining district and from wells outside the mining district to determine if 10 public supply wells in the mining district are contaminated. The chemical analyses indicate that at least 7 of the 10 public supply wells in the Picher mining district are contaminated by mine water. Application of the Mann-Whitney test indicated that the concentrations of some chemical constituents that are indicators of mine-water contamination are different in water samples from wells in the mining area as compared to wells outside the mining area. Application of the Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed that the concentrations of some chemical constituents that are indicators of mine-water contamination were higher in current (1992-93) data than in historic (1981-83) data, except for pH, which was lower in current than in historic data. pH and sulfate, alkalinity, bicarbonate, magnesium, iron, and tritium concentrations consistently

  12. Elevated concentrations of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a northeastern Arizona Native American community

    DOE PAGES

    Blake, Johanna M.; Avasarala, Sumant; Artyushkova, Kateryna; ...

    2015-07-09

    The chemical interactions of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a Native American community in northeastern Arizona were investigated using spectroscopy, microscopy and aqueous chemistry. The concentrations of U (67–169 μg L–1) in spring water samples exceed the EPA maximum contaminant limit of 30 μg L–1. Elevated U (6,614 mg kg–1), V (15,814 mg kg–1), and As (40 mg kg–1) concentrations were detected in mine waste solids. Spectroscopy (XPS and XANES) solid analyses identified U (VI), As (-I and III) and Fe (II, III). Linear correlations for the release of U vs V and As vs Femore » were observed for batch experiments when reacting mine waste solids with 10 mM ascorbic acid (~pH 3.8) after 264 h. The release of U, V, As, and Fe was at least 4-fold lower after reaction with 10 mM bicarbonate (~pH 8.3). These results suggest that U–V mineral phases similar to carnotite [K2(UO2)2V2O8] and As–Fe-bearing phases control the availability of U and As in these abandoned mine wastes. Elevated concentrations of metals are of concern due to human exposure pathways and exposure of livestock currently ingesting water in the area. This study contributes to understanding the occurrence and mobility of metals in communities located close to abandoned mine waste sites.« less

  13. Elevated concentrations of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a northeastern Arizona Native American community

    SciTech Connect

    Blake, Johanna M.; Avasarala, Sumant; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Ali, Abdul -Mehdi S.; Brearley, Adrian J.; Shuey, Christopher; Robinson, Wm. Paul; Nez, Christopher; Bill, Sadie; Lewis, Johnnye; Hirani, Chris; Pacheco, Juan S. Lezama; Cerrato, José M.

    2015-07-09

    The chemical interactions of U and co-occurring metals in abandoned mine wastes in a Native American community in northeastern Arizona were investigated using spectroscopy, microscopy and aqueous chemistry. The concentrations of U (67–169 μg L–1) in spring water samples exceed the EPA maximum contaminant limit of 30 μg L–1. Elevated U (6,614 mg kg–1), V (15,814 mg kg–1), and As (40 mg kg–1) concentrations were detected in mine waste solids. Spectroscopy (XPS and XANES) solid analyses identified U (VI), As (-I and III) and Fe (II, III). Linear correlations for the release of U vs V and As vs Fe were observed for batch experiments when reacting mine waste solids with 10 mM ascorbic acid (~pH 3.8) after 264 h. The release of U, V, As, and Fe was at least 4-fold lower after reaction with 10 mM bicarbonate (~pH 8.3). These results suggest that U–V mineral phases similar to carnotite [K2(UO2)2V2O8] and As–Fe-bearing phases control the availability of U and As in these abandoned mine wastes. Elevated concentrations of metals are of concern due to human exposure pathways and exposure of livestock currently ingesting water in the area. This study contributes to understanding the occurrence and mobility of metals in communities located close to abandoned mine waste sites.

  14. Influence of anionic species on uranium separation from acid mine water using strong base resins.

    PubMed

    Ladeira, Ana Claudia Queiroz; Gonçalves, Carlos Renato

    2007-09-30

    The presence of uranium and other elements in high concentrations in acid mine drainage at Poços de Caldas Uranium Mine (Brazil) is a matter of concern. The acid water pH is around 2.7, the uranium concentration is in the range of 6-14 mg L(-1), sulfate concentration near 1400 mg L(-1), fluoride 140 mg L(-1) and iron 180 mg L(-1). In this solution, where sulfate is present in elevated concentrations, uranium is basically in the form of UO(2)(SO(4))(3)(4-). This study investigated the separation of uranium from the other anions present in the acid water under batch and column mode using ion exchange technique. The pH studied was 2.7 and 3.9. Two strong base anionic resins were tested. The influence of ions, commonly found in acid waters like sulfate and fluoride, on ion exchange process was also assessed. Equilibrium studies were carried out to determine the maximum adsorption capacities of the resins. The resins showed a significant capacity for uranium uptake which varied from 66 to 108 mg g(-1) for IRA 910U and 53 to 79 mg g(-1) for Dowex A. The results also showed that SO(4)(2-) is the most interfering ion and it had a deleterious effect on the recovery in the pH range studied. Fluoride did not affect uranium removal.

  15. Revegetation of an abandoned uranium millsite on the Colorado Plateau, Arizona.

    PubMed

    Glenn, E P; Waugh, W J; Moore, D; McKeon, C; Nelson, S G

    2001-01-01

    We attempted to restore native plants on disturbed sites at a former uranium mill on the Colorado Plateau near Tuba City, AZ. Four-wing saltbush [Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.] was successfully established in compacted caliche soil and in unconsolidated dune soil when transplants were irrigated through the first summer with 20 L/plant/wk. The caliche soil was ripped before planting to improve water-holding capacity. The diploid saltbush variety, angustifolia, had higher survival and growth than the common tetraploid variety, occidentalis, especially on dune soil. The angustifolia variety grew to 0.3 to 0.4 m3 per plant over 3 yr even though irrigation was provided only during the establishment year. By contrast, direct seeding of a variety of native forbs, grasses, and shrubs yielded poor results, despite supplemental irrigation throughout the first summer. In this arid environment (precipitation = 100 to 200 mm/yr), the most effective revegetation strategy is to establish keystone native shrubs, such as four-wing saltbush, using transplants and irrigation during the establishment year, rather than attempting to establish a diverse plant community all at once.

  16. Evaluation of the environmental contamination at an abandoned mining site using multivariate statistical techniques--the Rodalquilar (Southern Spain) mining district.

    PubMed

    Bagur, M G; Morales, S; López-Chicano, M

    2009-11-15

    Unsupervised and supervised pattern recognition techniques such as hierarchical cluster analysis, principal component analysis, factor analysis and linear discriminant analysis have been applied to water samples recollected in Rodalquilar mining district (Southern Spain) in order to identify different sources of environmental pollution caused by the abandoned mining industry. The effect of the mining activity on waters was monitored determining the concentration of eleven elements (Mn, Ba, Co, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Sb, Hg, Au and Pb) by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The Box-Cox transformation has been used to transform the data set in normal form in order to minimize the non-normal distribution of the geochemical data. The environmental impact is affected mainly by the mining activity developed in the zone, the acid drainage and finally by the chemical treatment used for the benefit of gold.

  17. Predictive analysis of shaft station radon concentrations in underground uranium mine: A case study.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guoyan; Hong, Changshou; Li, Xiangyang; Lin, Chunping; Hu, Penghua

    2016-07-01

    This paper presented a method for predicting shaft station radon concentrations in a uranium mine of China through theoretical analysis, mathematical derivation and Monte-Carlo simulation. Based upon the queuing model for tramcars, the average waiting time of tramcars and average number of waiting tramcars were determined, which were further used in developing the predictive model for calculating shaft station radon concentrations. The results exhibit that the extent of variation of shaft station radon concentration in the case study mine is not significantly affected by the queuing process of tramcars, and is always within the allowable limit of 200 Bq m(-3). Thus, the empirical limit of 100,000 T annual ore-hoisting yields has no value in ensuring radiation safety for this mine. Moreover, the developed model has been validated and proved useful in assessing shaft station radon levels for any uranium mine with similar situations.

  18. Groundwater Restoration at Uranium In-Situ Recovery Mines, South Texas Coastal Plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Susan

    2009-01-01

    This talk was presented by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geologist Susan Hall on May 11, 2009, at the Uranium 2009 conference in Keystone, Colorado, and on May 12, 2009, as part of an underground injection control track presentation at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Environmental Trade Fair and Conference in Austin, Texas. Texas has been the location of the greatest number of uranium in-situ recovery (ISR) mines in the United States and was the incubator for the development of alkaline leach technology in this country. For that reason, the author chose to focus on the effectiveness of restoration at ISR mines by examining legacy mines developed in Texas. The best source for accurate information about restoration at Texas ISR mines is housed at the TCEQ offices in Austin. The bulk of this research is an analysis of those records.

  19. Underground Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity using Abandoned Works (open pits and deep mines)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pujades, E.; Willems, T.; Bodeux, S.; Orban, P.; Dassargues, A.

    2015-12-01

    Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity (PSH) is a good alternative to increase the efficiency of power plants, which cannot regulate the amount of electricity generated according to the demand (wind, solar or even nuclear power plants). PSH plants, which consist in two reservoirs located at different heights (upper and lower), can store energy during low demand periods (pumping water from the lower to the upper reservoir) and generate electricity during the high demand peaks (falling water from the upper to the lower reservoir). Given that the two reservoirs must be located at different heights, PSH plants cannot be constructed in flat regions. Nevertheless, in these regions, an alternative could be to use abandoned underground works (open pits or deep mines) as lower reservoirs to construct Underground Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity (UPSH) plants. To select the best place to construct a plant, two considerations must be taken into account regarding the interaction between UPSH plants and groundwater: 1) the alteration of the natural conditions of aquifers and 2), the efficiency of the plant since the electricity generated depends on the hydraulic head inside the underground reservoir. Obviously, a detailed numerical model must be necessary before to select a location. However, a screening methodology to reject the most disadvantageous sites in a short period of time would be useful. Groundwater flow impacts caused by UPSH plants are analyzed numerically and the main variables involved in the groundwater evolution are identified. The most noticeable effect consists in an oscillation of the groundwater. The hydraulic head around which groundwater oscillates, the magnitude of the oscillations and the time to achieve a "dynamic steady state" depend on the boundaries, the parameters of the aquifer and the characteristics of the underground reservoir. A screening methodology is proposed to assess the main impacts caused in aquifers by UPSH plants. Finally, the efficiency

  20. Field inoculation rates of mycorrhizal fungi in revegetation of abandoned coal mine lands

    SciTech Connect

    Noyd, R.K.; Pfleger, F.L.

    1996-12-31

    Abandoned coal mine land (AML) sites in southern Illinois and western North Dakota contain areas that are difficult to revegetate due to low fertility (1-3 mg kg-1 N and P), little organic matter, and acidic (3-4, Illinois) or alkaline ({approximately}8, North Dakota) pH. Areas such as these may benefit from inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to assist in the establishment of vegetative cover. Potential sources of adapted mycorrhizal inoculum were found in reclaimed overburden sites with large AM fungal spore densities (100 and 33 spores g{sup -1} Illinois and North Dakota, respectively). Soils from these locations were used to determine an infective inoculation rate by a mycorrhizal inoculum potential (MIP) bioassy. Inoculum, consisting of rhizosphere soil and dried roots, was mixed into overburden in proportions of 0, 1, 2.5, 25, 50 and 100% (w/w), placed into containers, and sown with a single 12-day old seedling of Andropogon gerardii Vitm. (big bluestem), a native prairie species known to respond favorably to AM fungi. After 14 days, shoots were dried and weighed and the root system was collected, cleared, stained, and assessed for percent root length colonized by AM fungi. An inoculum proportion of 1% in Illinois and 2.5% in North Dakota overburden produced moderate (16%) root colonization. These inoculum proportions were selected for rates of field inoculation because they were the lowest proportions that were both infective and effective in increasing shoot biomass of A. gerardii. In both soils, this level of root colonization was about one-third of the maximum colonization (50%) obtained with 25, 50, and 100% proportions of inoculum. Using adapted AM fungi and A. gerardii, MIP bioassays can be used to determine a field inoculation rate that has the potential to establish populations of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi and enhance chances of successful revegetation.

  1. Rheological characteristics of waste rock materials in abandoned mine deposit and debris flow hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Sueng-Won; Lee, Choonoh; Cho, Yong-Chan; Wu, Ying-Hsin

    2015-04-01

    In Korea, approximately 5,000 metal mines are spread, but 50% of them are still abandoned without any proper remediation and cleanup. Summer heavy rainfall can result in the physicochemical modification of waste rock materials in the mountainous. From the geotechnical monitoring and field investigation, there are visible traces of mass movements every year. Soil erosion is one of severe phenomena in the study area. In particular, study area is located in the upper part of the Busan Metropolitan City and near the city's water supply. With respect to the supply of drinking water and maintenance of ecological balance, proper disposal of waste rock materials is required. For this reason, we examine the rheological properties of waste rock materials as a function of solid content using a ball- and vane-penetrated rheometer. In the flow curves, which are the relationship between the shear stress and shear rate of waste rock materials, we found that the soil samples exhibited a shear thinning beahivor regardless of solid content. The Bingham, Herschel-Bulkley, Power-law, and Papanastasiou models are used to determine the rheological properties. Assuming that the soil samples behaved as the viscoplastic behavior, the yield stress and viscosity are determined for different water contents. As a result, there are clear relationships between the solid content and rheological values (i.e., Bingham yield stress and plastic viscosity). From these relationships, the maximum and minimum of Bingham yield stresses are ranged from 100 to 2000 Pa. The debris flow mobilization is analysed using a 1D BING and 2D Debris flow models. In addition, the effect of wall slip and test apparatus are discussed.

  2. Abandoned coal mine drainage and its remediation: impacts on stream ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Bott, Thomas L; Jackson, John K; McTammany, Matthew E; Newbold, J Denis; Rier, Steven T; Sweeney, Bernard W; Battle, Juliann M

    2012-12-01

    The effects of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streams and responses to remediation efforts were studied using three streams (AMD-impacted, remediated, reference) in both the anthracite and the bituminous coal mining regions of Pennsylvania (USA). Response variables included ecosystem function as well as water chemistry and macroinvertebrate community composition. The bituminous AMD stream was extremely acidic with high dissolved metals concentrations, a prolific mid-summer growth of the filamentous alga, Mougeotia, and > 10-fold more chlorophyll than the reference stream. The anthracite AMD stream had a higher pH, substrata coated with iron hydroxide(s), and negligible chlorophyll. Macroinvertebrate communities in the AMD streams were different from the reference streams, the remediated streams, and each other. Relative to the reference stream, the AMD stream(s) had (1) greater gross primary productivity (GPP) in the bituminous region and undetectable GPP in the anthracite region, (2) greater ecosystem respiration in both regions, (3) greatly reduced ammonium uptake and nitrification in both regions, (4) lower nitrate uptake in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, (5) more rapid phosphorus removal from the water column in both regions, (6) activities of phosphorus-acquiring, nitrogen-acquiring, and hydrolytic-carbon-acquiring enzymes that indicated extreme phosphorus limitation in both regions, and (7) slower oak and maple leaf decomposition in the bituminous region and slower oak decomposition in the anthracite region. Remediation brought chlorophyll concentrations and GPP nearer to values for respective reference streams, depressed ecosystem respiration, restored ammonium uptake, and partially restored nitrification in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, reduced nitrate uptake to an undetectable level, restored phosphorus uptake to near normal rates, and brought enzyme activities more in line with the reference stream in the bituminous

  3. Amphibian acoustic data from the Arizona 1, Pinenut, and Canyon breccia pipe uranium mines in Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinck, Jo E.; Hossack, Blake R.; Honeycutt, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The data consists of a summary of amphibian acoustic recordings at Canyon, Arizona 1, and Pinenut mines near the Grand Canyon. USGS is currently conducting biological surveys associated with uranium mines on federal lands in Arizona. These surveys include determining the composition of the local amphibian community. Original raw acoustic recordings used to create this summary data table are archived at Columbia Environmental Research Center.

  4. Effect of Soil Ameliorators on Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities that Colonize Seedlings of Pinus densiflora in Abandoned Coal Mine Spoils.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun-Hwa; Eo, Ju-Kyeong; Lee, Chang-Seok; Eom, Ahn-Heum

    2012-09-01

    In this study, the effect of soil ameliorators on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in coal mine spoils was investigated. Organic fertilizers and slaked lime were applied as soil ameliorators in 3 abandoned coal mine spoils. One year after the initial treatment, roots of Pinus densiflora seedlings were collected and the number of ECM species, colonization rate, and species diversity were assessed. The results showed that the soil ameliorators significantly increased ECM colonization on the roots of P. densiflora. The results suggest that soil ameliorators can have a positive effect on ECM fungi in terms of growth of host plants and show the potential use of soil ameliorator treatment for revegetation with ECM-colonized pine seedlings in the coal mine spoils.

  5. Investigation of radon-222 emissions from underground uranium mines. Progress report No. 2

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, P.O.; Glissmeyer, J.A.; Enderlin, W.I.; Schwendiman, L.C.; Wogman, N.A.; Perkins, R.W.

    1980-02-01

    A reliable estimate of radon emissions to the environment from underground uranium mines was obtained through measurements of radon in ventilation exhaust air at 24 uranium mines and estimates of radon release from ore piles and waste piles at mines and in water pumped from mines. Three additional mines sampled in 1978 but not in 1979 were included in the overall results. Total production of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ from the mines thus far sampled represent about 63% of total 1978 US production from underground mines. Wide variation in radon emission per unit of production was shown from mine to mine; hence, it became necessary to sum all radon from all mines measured and divide by the sum of all U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production in 1978 from these mines to arrive at a valid estimate of Ci per ton of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/. This value was found to be 26.7 per ton or 5400 Ci/RRY (182 metric tons). The radon emitted in mine ventilation air was by far the dominant source, with other than ventilation exhaust sources accounting for less than three percent of radon in ventilation exhaust. Other observations of interest in this study were the diurnal fluctuations of radon with barometric pressure and the statistically significant relationship between radon released per year from a mine and the cumulative ore production at the time of radon measurement. The linear relationship between Ci/yr of radon and cumulative ore accounted for about half the variability.Several sources of random errors and possible biases were evaluated using some simple descriptive statistics insofar as the current data permitted. Errors in air flow rate in the vents sampled, fluctuations in radon emission with time of day, counting instrument calibration and production rate were estimated and combined to give an uncertainty of about +- 24 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

  6. Recovery of uranium from mine waste by leaching with carbonate-based reagents.

    PubMed

    Santos, Elizângela A; Ladeira, Ana C Q

    2011-04-15

    Waste materials, stored in inappropriate places, are one of the most significant environmental issues concerning mining activities. In Brazil, one closed uranium mine has faced such a problem. The waste, produced during the neutralization of acid drainage and containing several metals including uranium, has been disposed into the mine opening as a temporary alternative for over 20 years. The present work aimed at the recovery of the uranium present in the aforementioned waste. The effect of the following parameters on the leaching procedure was investigated: solid/liquid ratio, time, temperature, extracting agents, concentration of reagents, and the use of oxidants. The chemical characterization showed that the main constituents of the sample are Ca, S, Mn, and Al. Uranium is around 0.25%. The crystallized phases are ettringite (Ca(6)Al(2)(SO(4))(3)·(OH)(12)·26H(2)O) as the major phase followed by gypsum (CaSO(4)·2H(2)O), calcite (CaCO(3)), and bassanite (CaSO(4)·0.5H(2)O). Carbonate and bicarbonate were observed to be effective extractants for the uranium. However, a combination of both reagents proved to be a better option than their individual use, and extractions around 100% were achieved. The optimum experimental condition for attaining the maximum dissolution is 0.11 solid/liquid ratio, 0.50 mol L(-1) Na(2)CO(3), 1.00 mol L(-1) NaHCO(3), 20 h, and room temperature.

  7. Aquifer restoration at in-situ leach uranium mines: evidence for natural restoration processes

    SciTech Connect

    Deutsch, W.J.; Serne, R.J.; Bell, N.E.; Martin, W.J.

    1983-04-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory conducted experiments with aquifer sediments and leaching solution (lixiviant) from an in-situ leach uranium mine. The data from these laboratory experiments and information on the normal distribution of elements associated with roll-front uranium deposits provide evidence that natural processes can enhance restoration of aquifers affected by leach mining. Our experiments show that the concentration of uranium (U) in solution can decrease at least an order of magnitude (from 50 to less than 5 ppM U) due to reactions between the lixiviant and sediment, and that a uranium solid, possibly amorphous uranium dioxide, (UO/sub 2/), can limit the concentration of uranium in a solution in contact with reduced sediment. The concentrations of As, Se, and Mo in an oxidizing lixiviant should also decrease as a result of redox and precipitation reactions between the solution and sediment. The lixiviant concentrations of major anions (chloride and sulfate) other than carbonate were not affected by short-term (less than one week) contact with the aquifer sediments. This is also true of the total dissolved solids level of the solution. Consequently, we recommend that these solution parameters be used as indicators of an excursion of leaching solution from the leach field. Our experiments have shown that natural aquifer processes can affect the solution concentration of certain constituents. This effect should be considered when guidelines for aquifer restoration are established.

  8. Effects of uranium mining discharges on water quality in the Puerco River basin, Arizona and New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, P.C.; Gray, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    From 1967 until 1986, uranium mine dewatering increased dissolved gross alpha, gross beta, uranium and radium activities and dissolved selenium and molybdenum concentrations in the Puerco River as indicated by time trends, areal patterns involving distance from the mines and stream discharge. Additionally, increased dissolved uranium concentrations were identified in groundwater under the Puerco River from where mine discharges entered the river to approximately the Arizona-New Mexico State line about 65 km downstream. Total mass of uranium and gross alpha activity released to the Puerco River by mine dewatering were estimated as 560 Mg (560 × 106 g) and 260 Ci, respectively. In comparison, a uranium mill tailings pond spill on 16 July 1979, released an estimated 1.5 Mg of uranium and 46 Ci of gross alpha activity. Mass balance calculations for alluvial ground water indicate that most of the uranium released did not remain in solution. Sorption of uranium on sediments and uptake of uranium by plants probably removed the uranium from solution.

  9. Evaluation of the water quality related to the acid mine drainage of an abandoned mercury mine (Alaşehir, Turkey).

    PubMed

    Gemici, Unsal

    2008-12-01

    Mobility of metals in water, mine wastes, and stream sediments around the abandoned Alaşehir mercury mine was investigated to evaluate the environmental effects around the area. Mine waters are dominantly acidic with pH values of 2.55 in arid season and 2.70 in wet season and are sulfate rich. Acidity is caused mainly by the oxidation of sulfide minerals. Pyrite is the main acid-producing mineral in the Alaşehir area. Of the major ions, SO(4) shows a notable increase reaching 3981 mg/l, which exceeds the WHO (WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, vol. 2. Health criteria and other supporting information, 1993) and TS (Sular-Içme ve kullanma sulari. Ankara: Türk Standartlari Enstitüsü, 1997) drinking water standard of 250 mg/L. Mine waters have As, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Al with concentrations higher than drinking water standards. Hg concentrations of adit water samples and surface waters draining the mine area are between 0.25 and 0.274 microg/L and are below the WHO (WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, vol. 2. Health criteria and other supporting information, 1993) drinking water standard of 1.0 microg/L. However, the concentrations are above the 0.012 microg/L standard (EPA, Water quality standards. Establishment of numeric criteria for priority toxic pollutants, states' compliance, final rule. Fed. Reg., 40 CFR, Part 131, 57/246, 60847-60916, 1992) used to protect aquatic life. Stream sediment samples have abnormally high values of especially Hg, As, Ni, and Cr metals. Geoaccumulation (Igeo) and pollution index (PI) values are significantly high and denote heavy contamination in stream sediments. The stream sediments derived from the mining area with the surface waters are potentially hazardous to the environment adjacent to the abandoned Hg mine and are in need of remediation.

  10. Environmental geochemistry of a Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit at the abandoned Valzinco mine, Virginia, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seal, R.R.; Hammarstrom, J.M.; Johnson, A.N.; Piatak, N.M.; Wandless, G.A.

    2008-01-01

    The abandoned Valzinco mine, which worked a steeply dipping Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit in the Virginia Au-pyrite belt, contributed significant metal-laden acid-mine drainage to the Knight's Branch watershed. The host rocks were dominated by metamorphosed felsic volcanic rocks, which offered limited acid-neutralizing potential. The ores were dominated by pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and chalcopyrite, which represented significant acid-generating potential. Acid-base accounting and leaching studies of flotation tailings - the dominant mine waste at the site - indicated that they were acid generating and therefore, should have liberated significant quantities of metals to solution. Field studies of mine drainage from the site confirmed that mine drainage and the impacted stream waters had pH values from 1.1 to 6.4 and exceeded aquatic ecosystem toxicity limits for Fe, Al, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. Stable isotope studies of water, dissolved SO42 -, and primary and secondary sulfate and sulfide minerals indicated that two distinct sulfide oxidation pathways were operative at the site: one dominated by Fe(III) as the oxidant, and another by molecular O2 as the oxidant. Reaction-path modeling suggested that geochemical interactions between tailings and waters approached a steady state within about a year. Both leaching studies and geochemical reaction-path modeling provided reasonable predictions of the mine-drainage chemistry.

  11. Uranium deposits at the Jomac mine, White Canyon area, San Juan County, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trites, A.F.; Hadd, G.A.

    1955-01-01

    azurite, and chalcanthite occur locally with the uranium minerals. Principal ore guides at the Jomac mine are channels, and scours at the bottom of these channels coal-bearing sandstone or conglomerate at the base of the Shinarump conglomerate, coal, and jarosite.

  12. Environmental control technology for mining and milling low-grade uranium resources

    SciTech Connect

    Weakley, S.A.; Blahnik, D.E.; Long, L.W.; Bloomster, C.H.

    1981-04-01

    This study examined the type and level of wastes that would be generated in the mining and milling of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ from four potential domestic sources of uranium. The estimated costs of the technology to control these wastes to different degrees of stringency are presented.

  13. Breccia-pipe uranium mining in northern Arizona; estimate of resources and assessment of historical effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bills, Donald J.; Brown, Kristin M.; Alpine, Andrea E.; Otton, James K.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Tillman, Fred D

    2011-01-01

    About 1 million acres of Federal land in the Grand Canyon region of Arizona were temporarily withdrawn from new mining claims in July 2009 by the Secretary of the Interior because of concern that increased uranium mining could have negative impacts on the land, water, people, and wildlife. During a 2-year interval, a Federal team led by the Bureau of Land Management is evaluating the effects of withdrawing these lands for extended periods. As part of this team, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a series of short-term studies to examine the historical effects of breccia-pipe uranium mining in the region. The USGS studies provide estimates of uranium resources affected by the possible land withdrawal, examine the effects of previous breccia-pipe mining, summarize water-chemistry data for streams and springs, and investigate potential biological pathways of exposure to uranium and associated contaminants. This fact sheet summarizes results through December 2009 and outlines further research needs.

  14. Port Radium Canada's Original Radium/Uranium Mine, The Complete Story of Canada's Historic Radium/Uranium Mine, 1932 to 2012 - 13159

    SciTech Connect

    Chambers, Doug; Wiatzka, Gerd; Brown, Steve

    2013-07-01

    This paper provides the life story of Canada's original radium/uranium mine. In addition to the history of operations, it discusses the unique and successful approach used to identify the key issues and concerns associated with the former radium, uranium and silver mining property and the activities undertaken to define the remedial actions and subsequent remedial plan. The Port Radium Mine site, situated approximately 275 km north of Yellowknife on the east shore of Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, was discovered in 1930 and underground mining began in 1932. The mine operated almost continuously from 1932 to 1982, initially for recovery of radium, then uranium and finally, for recovery of silver. Tailings production totaled an estimated 900,000 tons and 800,000 tons from uranium and silver processing operations respectively. In the early days of mining, Port Radium miners were exposed to radon and associated decay product levels (in Working Level Months of exposure - WLM) hundreds of times greater than modern standards. The experience of the Port Radium miners provides important contribution to understanding the risks from radon. While the uranium mine was originally decommissioned in the early 1960's, to the standards of the day, the community of Deline (formerly Fort Franklin) had concerns about residual contamination at the mine site and the potential effects arising from use of traditional lands. The Deline people were also concerned about the possible risks to Deline Dene arising from their work as ore carriers. In the late 1990's, the community of Deline brought these concerns to national attention and consequently, the Government of Canada and the community of Deline agreed to move forward in a collaborative manner to address these concerns. The approach agreed to was to establish the Canada-Deline Uranium Table (CDUT) to provide a joint process by which the people of Deline could have their concerns expressed and addressed. A great deal of work was

  15. Investigation and risk assessment modeling of As and other heavy metals contamination around five abandoned metal mines in Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ju-Yong; Kim, Kyoung-Woong; Ahn, Joo Sung; Ko, Ilwon; Lee, Cheol-Hyo

    2005-04-01

    Tailings, agricultural soils, vegetables and groundwater samples were collected from abandoned metal mines (Duckum, Dongil, Dongjung, Myoungbong and Songchun mines) in Korea. Total concentrations of arsenic (As) and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) were analyzed to investigate the contamination level. Several digestion methods (Toxicity characteristics leaching procedure (TCLP), synthetic precipitation leaching procedure (SPLP), 0.1 N/1 N HCl) and sequential extraction analysis for mine tailings were conducted to examine the potential leachability of As and heavy metals from the tailings. The order of urgent remediation for the studied mines based on the risk assessment and remedial goals was suggested. The Songchun mine tailings were most severely contaminated by As and heavy metals. Total concentrations of As and Pb in the tailings were 38,600-58,700 mg/kg (av. 47,400 mg/kg) and 11,800-16,800 mg/kg (av. 14,600 mg/kg), respectively. Agricultural soils having high As concentrations were found at the all mines. Average concentrations of Cd in the vegetables exceeded the normal value at all mines areas, while As only at the Dongjung, Myoungbong, and Songchun mine area. One groundwater sample each from the Dongil and Myoungbong mines, and 4 groundwater samples from the Songchun mine had values above 10 mug/L of As concentration. The TCLP method revealed that only Pb in the Songchun tailings, 6.49 mg/L, exceeded the regulatory level (5 mg/L). Employing the 1-N HCl digestion method, the concentration of As in the Songchun mine tailings, 4,250 mg/kg, was up to 3,000 times higher than its Korean countermeasure standard. Results from the sequential extraction of As in the tailings showed that the easily releasable fraction in the Myoungbong and Songchun mine tailings was more than 30% and the residual fraction was less than 40%. Based on results showing the exposure health risk employing the hazard quotient and cancer risk of As, Cd and Zn, the Dongil mine needs the most

  16. The uptake of uranium by Eleocharis dulcis (Chinese water chestnut) in the Ranger Uranium Mine constructed wetland filter.

    PubMed

    Overall, Robyn A; Parry, David L

    2004-11-01

    Eleocharis dulcis has proliferated in a constructed wetland used to treat uranium mine runoff water, where it rapidly accumulates significant quantities of uranium (U) in its roots and relatively little in its stems. We investigated the mechanism of U uptake and accumulation by E. dulcis using field-sampling techniques and microcosm test work. Results from the microcosm trials and outcomes from statistical tests of field sampled macrophyte, water and sediment indicate that the primary source of U for E. dulcis is the water column. Basipetal translocation of U to the plant's roots was indicated by significant correlations between the U content of stems, taproots and rhizomes and XPS detection of U inside root segments. U sequestering from sediment interstitial water by Fe hydroxides on root surfaces was also evident. No basipetal translocation was evident following the 28-day duration of the microcosm experiments, indicating that it is a longer-term process.

  17. Quantifying uranium transport rates and storage of fluvially eroded mine tailings from a historic mine site in the Grand Canyon Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skalak, K.; Benthem, A. J.; Walton-Day, K. E.; Jolly, G.

    2015-12-01

    The Grand Canyon region contains a large number of breccia pipes with economically viable uranium, copper, and silver concentrations. Mining in this region has occurred since the late 19th century and has produced ore and waste rock having elevated levels of uranium and other contaminants. Fluvial transport of these contaminants from mine sites is a possibility, as this arid region is susceptible to violent storms and flash flooding which might erode and mobilize ore or waste rock. In order to assess and manage the risks associated with uranium mining, it is important to understand the transport and storage rates of sediment and uranium within the ephemeral streams of this region. We are developing a 1-dimensional sediment transportation model to examine uranium transport and storage through a typical canyon system in this region. Our study site is Hack Canyon Mine, a uranium and copper mine site, which operated in the 1980's and is currently experiencing fluvial erosion of its waste rock repository. The mine is located approximately 40km upstream from the Colorado River and is in a deep, narrow canyon with a small watershed. The stream is ephemeral for the upper half of its length and sediment is primarily mobilized during flash flood events. We collected sediment samples at 110 locations longitudinally through the river system to examine the distribution of uranium in the stream. Samples were sieved to the sand size and below fraction (<2mm) and uranium was measured by gamma-ray spectroscopy. Sediment storage zones were also examined in the upper 8km of the system to determine where uranium is preferentially stored in canyon systems. This information will quantify the downstream transport of constituents associated with the Hack Canyon waste rock and contribute to understanding the risks associated with fluvial mobilization of uranium mine waste.

  18. Assessment of nonpoint source chemical loading potential to watersheds containing uranium waste dumps and human health hazards associated with uranium exploration and mining, Red, White, and Fry Canyons, southeastern Utah, 2007

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beisner, Kimberly R.; Marston, Thomas M.; Naftz, David L.; Snyder, Terry; Freeman, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    During May, June, and July 2007, 58 solid-phase samples were collected from abandoned uranium mine waste dumps, background sites, and adjacent streambeds in Red, White, and Fry Canyons in southeastern Utah. The objectives of this sampling program were to (1) assess the nonpoint-source chemical loading potential to ephemeral and perennial drainage basins from uranium waste dumps and (2) assess potential effects on human health due to recreational activities on and around uranium waste dumps on Bureau of Land Management property. Uranium waste-dump samples were collected using solid-phase sampling protocols. After collection, solid-phase samples were homogenized and extracted in the laboratory using a leaching procedure. Filtered (0.45 micron) water samples were obtained from the field leaching procedure and were analyzed for major and trace elements at the Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry Metals Analysis Laboratory at the University of Utah. A subset of the solid-phase samples also were digested with strong acids and analyzed for major ions and trace elements at the U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Division Laboratory in Denver, Colorado. For the initial ranking of chemical loading potential for uranium waste dumps, results of leachate analyses were compared with existing aquatic-life and drinking-water-quality standards. To assess potential effects on human health, solid-phase digestion values for uranium were compared to soil screening levels (SSL) computed using the computer model RESRAD 6.5 for a probable concentration of radium. One or more chemical constituents exceeded aquatic life and drinking-water-quality standards in approximately 64 percent (29/45) of the leachate samples extracted from uranium waste dumps. Most of the uranium waste dump sites with elevated trace-element concentrations in leachates were located in Red Canyon. Approximately 69 percent (31/45) of the strong acid digestible soil concentration values were greater than a calculated

  19. Uranium in the Copper King Mine, Black Hawk No. 1 Claim, Larimer County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Granger, Harry Clifford; King, Robert Ugstad

    1951-01-01

    Radioactive rock was discovered on the dump of the Copper King mine, sec. 8, T. 10 N., R. 72 W., Larirrier County, Colo., in the summer of 1949. The mine had been prospected intermittently for copper and zinc since 1,916, but there is no record that ore was produced. The country rock is pre-Cambrian granite containing many schist inclusions and narrow pegmatite dikes. Pitchblende disseminated in chlorite and sulfides was deposited in an obscure vein system during an intermediate stage of mineralization. This stage was preceded by biotitic alteration of amphiboles and sulfide deposition. The latest stage of mineralization is represented-by the limonitic dense quartz vein followed during mining. The uranium-bearing vein is about 2-3 feet wide and the dense quartz vein is less than 6 inches wide. Both veins are bordered by 1-3 feet of biotite- and sulfide-bearing granite and arriphibole schist. The uranium content of 26 samples taken in the mine and on the dump ranges from 0.002 to 1.40 percent. These samples contained as much as 2.97 percent copper and 5.96 percent zinc. The general outlook for further prospecting near the Copper King shaft is not favorable, because much of the 'immediately surrounding area has been thoroughly investigated without finding abnormal radioactivity. The most favorable environment for concentration of uranium minerals appears to have been in or near schist inclusions in granite, and further exploration in nearby prospects may result in the discovery of other uranium-bearing deposits. In the Copper King mine, additional exploration would aid in determining the extent of the uranium-bearing material.

  20. Mitigation of adverse effects at the Lezama-Leguizamon abandoned open-pit mine (Bilbao, northern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saiz de Omeñaca, J.; Ereño, I.; Atxabal, K.; Azurmendi, I.

    1993-09-01

    Solid fills arranged in 1-m-thick layers were prepared with stone blocks and pebbles of a drainage bed every 8 m. Runoff gathering in a well and the use of silts and mud lands for bordering and sealing the limestones are the main techniques employed for minimizing unfavorable effects at the Lezama-Leguizamon abandoned open-pit mine. Since there were waste disposal problems in the area, the rate of disposal has made the activity profitable. No significant faults have been detected by control studies, and the objectives are being achieved without problems.

  1. Spatial-based assessment of metal contamination in agricultural soils near an abandoned copper mine of eastern China.

    PubMed

    Qin, Chun; Luo, Chunling; Chen, Yahua; Shen, Zhenguo

    2012-07-01

    An investigation about metal contamination on agricultural soils was carried out near an abandoned copper mine in eastern China. Results showed the average concentrations of Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd in the 155 soil samples were 147, 53.8, 158, 0.32 mg kg(-1) respectively, which were 4.6-, 2.2-, 2-, 1.7-fold of the corresponding background value. According to the Chinese Farmland Environmental Quality Evaluation Standards for Edible Agricultural Products, it was found 18.4 % of the soils belonged to heavily and moderately contaminated soils.

  2. Arsenic input into the catchment of the River Caudal (Northwestern Spain) from abandoned Hg mining works: effect on water quality.

    PubMed

    Ordoñez, A; Silva, V; Galán, P; Loredo, J; Rucandio, I

    2014-04-01

    In Asturias (NW Spain) there are many abandoned mines, of which Hg mines are of particular significance from an environmental point of view, due to the presence of Hg and particularly As, which is found either in the form of specific (orpiment and realgar) or non-specific minerals (As-rich pyrite). The instability of these minerals leads to the presence of As-rich mine drainage and spoils heap leachates that enter surface waters or groundwaters. A study including the three most important Hg mines in the region (La Soterraña, Los Rueldos and El Terronal) has been conducted. Watercourses flowing through these mining areas are tributaries of the River Caudal, one of the most important rivers in the area. High concentrations of As were found in some of these waters, which were monitored over a period of three hydrological years and classified according to a water quality index. Those waters sampled close to the mines are generally of poor-to-bad quality, with low alkalinity and in some cases high metal content, but the quality of these waters improves with distance from the mines. The average mass load of As entering the River Caudal has been evaluated as: 200, 12 and 9,800 kg year(-1) from La Soterraña, Los Rueldos and El Terronal mine sites, respectively. Despite the constant input of about 10 tonnes of As per year, the total As concentration remains below analytical detection thresholds on account of the river's high water flow. Nevertheless, an important part of this As load is presumably retained in the river sediments, representing a potential risk of pollution of the aquatic ecosystems.

  3. Potential Impacts of Legacy and Current Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon Region of Northern Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bills, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    The Grand Canyon region in Northern Arizona contains high grade uranium resources hosted in geologic features called breccia pipes that represent an important component of the Nation's energy resource base. The exploration and extraction of uranium ore from these deposits poses potential risks to humans and biota of the Grand Canyon watershed. These issues led the Secretary of the Interior to a Record of Decision in January 2012 to withdraw over a million acres of federal lands in the region from mineral entry for the next 20 years. Dissolved uranium and other major ions and trace elements occur naturally in surface water and in groundwater as a result of precipitation infiltrating from the surface to perched water-bearing zones in contact with mineralized breccia pipes or in contact with sandstones with high trace element content, and to underlying regional aquifers. Discharge from these water-bearing zones and aquifers occur as seeps and springs throughout the region and provide valuable habitat and water sources for plants and animals. Runoff and groundwater flow in the Grand Canyon region is also a component of the water supply for over 25 million people in the Southwestern United States. Soil and sediment in the region can naturally contain as much a 5.6 micrograms per gram of uranium and naturally occurring dissolved uranium in groundwater is about 5.0 μg/L or less, except in proximity to uranium ore bodies where it tends to be greater. The current discharge of dissolved uranium from the Grand Canyon region to Lake Mead have concentrations of 4.0 μg/L or less resulting in a total annual load of uranium delivered to Lake Mead of about 60 tons per year. Increased amounts of radioactive materials and trace metals on the surface and in groundwater are related to uranium mining activity in the watershed in the 1970s and 1980s. Monitoring and data collection from 2010 to 2012 confirm this legacy impact in some parts of the Grand Canyon watershed, but have yet to

  4. Impact of fresh tailing deposition on the evolution of groundwater hydrogeochemistry at the abandoned Manitou mine site, Quebec, Canada.

    PubMed

    Maqsoud, Abdelkabir; Neculita, Carmen Mihaela; Bussière, Bruno; Benzaazoua, Mostafa; Dionne, Jean

    2016-05-01

    The abandoned Manitou mine site has produced acid mine drainage (AMD) for several decades. In order to limit the detrimental environmental impacts of AMD, different rehabilitation scenarios were proposed and analyzed. The selected rehabilitation scenario was to use fresh tailings from the neighboring Goldex gold mine as monolayer cover and to maintain an elevated water table. In order to assess the impact of the Goldex tailing deposition on the hydrogeochemistry of the Manitou mine site, a network of 30 piezometers was installed. These piezometers were used for continuous measurement of the groundwater level, as well as for water sampling campaigns for chemical quality monitoring, over a 3-year period. Hydrochemical data were analyzed using principal component analysis. Results clearly showed the benefic impact of fresh tailing deposition on the groundwater quality around the contaminated area. These findings were also confirmed by the evolution of electrical conductivity. In addition to the improvement of the physicochemical quality of water on the Manitou mine site, new tailing deposition induced an increase of water table level. However, at this time, the Manitou reactive tailings are not completely submerged and possible oxidation might still occur, especially after ceasing of the fresh tailing deposition. Therefore, complementary rehabilitation scenarios should still be considered.

  5. Evaluation of Metal Toxicity in Streams Affected by Abandoned Mine Lands, Upper Animas River Watershed, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Besser, John M.; Allert, Ann L.; Hardesty, Douglas K.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; May, Thomas W.; Wang, Ning; Leib, Kenneth J.

    2001-01-01

    Acid drainage from abandoned mines and from naturally-acidic rocks and soil in the upper Animas River watershed of Colorado generates elevated concentrations of acidity and dissolved metals in stream waters and deposition of metal-contaminated particulates in streambed sediments, resulting in both toxicity and habitat degradation for stream biota. High concentrations of iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) occur in acid streams draining headwaters of the upper Animas River watershed, and high concentrations of some metals, especially Zn, persist in circumneutral reaches of the Animas River and Mineral Creek, downstream of mixing zones of acid tributaries. Seasonal variation of metal concentrations is reflected in variation in toxicity of stream water. Loadings of dissolved metals to the upper Animas River and tributaries are greatest during summer, during periods of high stream discharge from snowmelt and monsoonal rains, but adverse effects on stream biota may be greater during winter low-flow periods, when stream flows are dominated by inputs of groundwater and contain greatest concentrations of dissolved metals. Fine stream-bed sediments of the upper Animas River watershed also contain elevated concentrations of potentially toxic metals. Greatest sediment metal concentrations occur in the Animas River upstream from Silverton, where there are extensive deposits of mine and mill tailings, and in mixing zones in the Animas River and lower Mineral Creek, where precipitates of Fe and Al oxides also contain high concentrations of other metals. This report summarizes the findings of a series of toxicity studies in streams of the upper Animas River watershed, conducted on-site and in the laboratory between 1998 and 2000. The objectives of these studies were: (1) to determine the relative toxicity of stream water and fine stream-bed sediments to fish and invertebrates; (2) to determine the seasonal range of toxicity in stream

  6. Environmental impact of uranium mining and milling: an American view

    SciTech Connect

    Momeni, M.H.

    1981-08-18

    The radiation dose rates to man from uranium milling activities are discussed. The sources of radiation, the radioisotopes involved, and the environmental exposure pathways are described. Risks of cancer to exposed individuals are presented and recommendations made for mitigation of contamination. (ACR)

  7. The influence of biofilms on the migration of uranium in acid mine drainage (AMD) waters.

    PubMed

    Krawczyk-Bärsch, E; Lünsdorf, H; Arnold, T; Brendler, V; Eisbein, E; Jenk, U; Zimmermann, U

    2011-07-15

    The uranium mine in Königstein (Germany) is currently in the process of being flooded. Huge mass of Ferrovum myxofaciens dominated biofilms are growing in the acid mine drainage (AMD) water as macroscopic streamers and as stalactite-like snottites hanging from the ceiling of the galleries. Microsensor measurements were performed in the AMD water as well as in the biofilms from the drainage channel on-site and in the laboratory. The analytical data of the AMD water was used for the thermodynamic calculation of the predominance fields of the aquatic uranium sulfate (UO(2)SO(4)) and UO(2)(++) speciation as well as of the solid uranium species Uranophane [Ca(UO(2))(2)(SiO(3)OH)(2)∙5H(2)O] and Coffinite [U(SiO(4))(1-x)(OH)(4x)], which are defined in the stability field of pH>4.8 and Eh<960 mV and pH>0 and Eh<300 mV, respectively. The plotting of the measured redox potential and pH of the AMD water and the biofilm into the calculated pH-Eh diagram showed that an aqueous uranium(VI) sulfate complex exists under the ambient conditions. According to thermodynamic calculations a retention of uranium from the AMD water by forming solid uranium(VI) or uranium(IV) species will be inhibited until the pH will increase to >4.8. Even analysis by Energy-filtered Transmission Electron Microscopy (EF-TEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) within the biofilms did not provide any microscopic or spectroscopic evidence for the presence of uranium immobilization. In laboratory experiments the first phase of the flooding process was simulated by increasing the pH of the AMD water. The results of the experiments indicated that the F. myxofaciens dominated biofilms may have a substantial impact on the migration of uranium. The AMD water remained acid although it was permanently neutralized with the consequence that the retention of uranium from the aqueous solution by the formation of solid uranium species will be inhibited.

  8. Factoring Uncertainty into Restoration Modeling of In-Situ Leach Uranium Mines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Raymond H.; Friedel, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    Postmining restoration is one of the greatest concerns for uranium in-situ leach (ISL) mining operations. The ISL-affected aquifer needs to be returned to conditions specified in the mining permit (either premining or other specified conditions). When uranium ISL operations are completed, postmining restoration is usually achieved by injecting reducing agents into the mined zone. The objective of this process is to restore the aquifer to premining conditions by reducing the solubility of uranium and other metals in the ground water. Reactive transport modeling is a potentially useful method for simulating the effectiveness of proposed restoration techniques. While reactive transport models can be useful, they are a simplification of reality that introduces uncertainty through the model conceptualization, parameterization, and calibration processes. For this reason, quantifying the uncertainty in simulated temporal and spatial hydrogeochemistry is important for postremedial risk evaluation of metal concentrations and mobility. Quantifying the range of uncertainty in key predictions (such as uranium concentrations at a specific location) can be achieved using forward Monte Carlo or other inverse modeling techniques (trial-and-error parameter sensitivity, calibration constrained Monte Carlo). These techniques provide simulated values of metal concentrations at specified locations that can be presented as nonlinear uncertainty limits or probability density functions. Decisionmakers can use these results to better evaluate environmental risk as future metal concentrations with a limited range of possibilities, based on a scientific evaluation of uncertainty.

  9. Natural decrease of dissolved arsenic in a small stream receiving drainages of abandoned silver mines in Guanajuato, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Arroyo, Yann Rene Ramos; Muñoz, Alma Hortensia Serafín; Barrientos, Eunice Yanez; Huerta, Irais Rodriguez; Wrobel, Kazimierz; Wrobel, Katarzyna

    2013-11-01

    Arsenic release from the abandoned mines and its fate in a local stream were studied. Physicochemical parameters, metals/metalloids and arsenic species were determined. One of the mine drainages was found as a point source of contamination with 309 μg L(-1) of dissolved arsenic; this concentration declined rapidly to 10.5 μg L(-1) about 2 km downstream. Data analysis confirmed that oxidation of As(III) released from the primary sulfide minerals was favored by the increase of pH and oxidation reduction potential; the results obtained in multivariate approach indicated that self-purification of water was due to association of As(V) with secondary solid phase containing Fe, Mn, Ca.

  10. Ground water contamination with (238)U, (234)U, (235)U, (226)Ra and (210)Pb from past uranium mining: cove wash, Arizona.

    PubMed

    Dias da Cunha, Kenya Moore; Henderson, Helenes; Thomson, Bruce M; Hecht, Adam A

    2014-06-01

    The objectives of the study are to present a critical review of the (238)U, (234)U, (235)U, (226)Ra and (210)Pb levels in water samples from the EPA studies (U.S. EPA in Abandoned uranium mines and the Navajo Nation: Red Valley chapter screening assessment report. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Francisco, 2004, Abandoned uranium mines and the Navajo Nation: Northern aum region screening assessment report. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Francisco, 2006, Health and environmental impacts of uranium contamination, 5-year plan. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Franciso, 2008) and the dose assessment for the population due to ingestion of water containing (238)U and (234)U. The water quality data were taken from Sect. "Data analysis" of the published report, titled Abandoned Uranium Mines Project Arizona, New Mexico, Utah-Navajo Lands 1994-2000, Project Atlas. Total uranium concentration was above the maximum concentration level for drinking water (7.410-1 Bq/L) in 19 % of the water samples, while (238)U and (234)U concentrations were above in 14 and 17 % of the water samples, respectively. (226)Ra and (210)Pb concentrations in water samples were in the range of 3.7 × 10(-1) to 5.55 × 102 Bq/L and 1.11 to 4.33 × 102 Bq/L, respectively. For only two samples, the (226)Ra concentrations exceeded the MCL for total Ra for drinking water (0.185 Bq/L). However, the (210)Pb/(226)Ra ratios varied from 0.11 to 47.00, and ratios above 1.00 were observed in 71 % of the samples. Secular equilibrium of the natural uranium series was not observed in the data record for most of the water samples. Moreover, the (235)U/(total)U mass ratios ranged from 0.06 to 5.9 %, and the natural mass ratio of (235)U to (total)U (0.72 %) was observed in only 16 % of the water samples, ratios above or below the natural ratio could not be explained based on data reported by U.S. EPA. In addition, statistical evaluations showed no correlations among the distribution of the radionuclide concentrations

  11. Uranium in Surface Waters and Sediments Affected by Historical Mining in the Denver West 1:100,000 Quadrangle, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zielinski, Robert A.; Otton, James K.; Schumann, R. Randall; Wirt, Laurie

    2008-01-01

    Geochemical sampling of 82 stream waters and 87 stream sediments within mountainous areas immediately west of Denver, Colorado, was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in October 1994. The primary purpose was to evaluate regionally the effects of geology and past mining on the concentration and distribution of uranium. The study area contains uranium- and thorium-rich bedrock, numerous noneconomic occurrences of uranium minerals, and several uranium deposits of variable size and production history. During the sampling period, local streams had low discharge and were more susceptible to uranium-bearing acid drainage originating from historical mines of base- and precious-metal sulfides. Results indicated that the spatial distribution of Precambrian granites and metamorphic rocks strongly influences the concentration of uranium in stream sediments. Within-stream transport increases the dispersion of uranium- and thorium rich mineral grains derived primarily from granitic source rocks. Dissolved uranium occurs predominantly as uranyl carbonate complexes, and concentrations ranged from less than 1 to 65 micrograms per liter. Most values were less than 5 micrograms per liter, which is less than the current drinking water standard of 30 micrograms per liter and much less than locally applied aquatic-life toxicity standards of several hundred micrograms per liter. In local streams that are affected by uranium-bearing acid mine drainage, dissolved uranium is moderated by dilution and sorptive uptake by stream sediments. Sorbents include mineral alteration products and chemical precipitates of iron- and aluminum-oxyhydroxides, which form where acid drainage enters streams and is neutralized. Suspended uranium is relatively abundant in some stream segments affected by nearby acid drainage, which likely represents mobilization of these chemical precipitates. The 234U/238U activity ratio of acid drainage (0.95-1.0) is distinct from that of local surface waters (more than 1

  12. 30 CFR 902.20 - Approval of Alaska abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... available at: (a) Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining and Water Management, 3601 C Street... reclamation plan. 902.20 Section 902.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROGRAMS FOR THE CONDUCT OF SURFACE MINING OPERATIONS WITHIN EACH STATE...

  13. Characterization of cores from an in-situ recovery mined uranium deposit in Wyoming: Implications for post-mining restoration

    DOE PAGES

    WoldeGabriel, G.; Boukhalfa, H.; Ware, S. D.; ...

    2014-10-08

    In-situ recovery (ISR) of uranium (U) from sandstone-type roll-front deposits is a technology that involves the injection of solutions that consist of ground water fortified with oxygen and carbonate to promote the oxidative dissolution of U, which is pumped to recovery facilities located at the surface that capture the dissolved U and recycle the treated water. The ISR process alters the geochemical conditions in the subsurface creating conditions that are more favorable to the migration of uranium and other metals associated with the uranium deposit. There is a lack of clear understanding of the impact of ISR mining on themore » aquifer and host rocks of the post-mined site and the fate of residual U and other metals within the mined ore zone. We performed detailed petrographic, mineralogical, and geochemical analyses of several samples taken from about 7 m of core of the formerly the ISR-mined Smith Ranch–Highland uranium deposit in Wyoming. We show that previously mined cores contain significant residual uranium (U) present as coatings on pyrite and carbonaceous fragments. Coffinite was identified in three samples. Core samples with higher organic (> 1 wt.%) and clay (> 6–17 wt.%) contents yielded higher 234U/238U activity ratios (1.0–1.48) than those with lower organic and clay fractions. The ISR mining was inefficient in mobilizing U from the carbonaceous materials, which retained considerable U concentrations (374–11,534 ppm). This is in contrast with the deeper part of the ore zone, which was highly depleted in U and had very low 234U/238U activity ratios. This probably is due to greater contact with the lixiviant (leaching solution) during ISR mining. EXAFS analyses performed on grains with the highest U and Fe concentrations reveal that Fe is present in a reduced form as pyrite and U occurs mostly as U(IV) complexed by organic matter or as U(IV) phases of carbonate complexes. Moreover, U–O distances of ~ 2.05 Å were noted, indicating the

  14. Evolution of uranium distribution and speciation in mill tailings, COMINAK Mine, Niger.

    PubMed

    Déjeant, Adrien; Galoisy, Laurence; Roy, Régis; Calas, Georges; Boekhout, Flora; Phrommavanh, Vannapha; Descostes, Michael

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated the evolution of uranium distribution and speciation in mill tailings from the COMINAK mine (Niger), in production since 1978. A multi-scale approach was used, which combined high resolution remote sensing imagery, ICP-MS bulk rock analyses, powder X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Focused Ion Beam--Transmission Electron Microscopy and X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy. Mineralogical analyses showed that some ore minerals, including residual uraninite and coffinite, undergo alteration and dissolution during tailings storage. The migration of uranium and other contaminants depends on (i) the chemical stability of secondary phases and sorbed species (dissolution and desorption processes), and (ii) the mechanical transport of fine particles bearing these elements. Uranium is stabilized after formation of secondary uranyl sulfates and phosphates, and adsorbed complexes on mineral surfaces (e.g. clay minerals). In particular, the stock of insoluble uranyl phosphates increases with time, thus contributing to the long-term stabilization of uranium. At the surface, a sulfate-cemented duricrust is formed after evaporation of pore water. This duricrust limits water infiltration and dust aerial dispersion, though it is enriched in uranium and many other elements, because of pore water rising from underlying levels by capillary action. Satellite images provided a detailed description of the tailings pile over time and allow monitoring of the chronology of successive tailings deposits. Satellite images suggest that uranium anomalies that occur at deep levels in the pile are most likely former surface duricrusts that have been buried under more recent tailings.

  15. Non-radiological contaminants from uranium mining and milling at Ranger, Jabiru, Northern Territory, Australia.

    PubMed

    Noller, B N

    1991-10-01

    Protection from the hazards from radioactivity is of prime importance in the management of uranium mine and mill wastes. Such wastes also contain non-radiological contaminants (heavy metals, acids and neutralising agents) which give rise to potential long-term health and environmental hazards and short-term hazards to the aquatic ecosystem, e.g. as a result of release of waste water. This study seeks to identify non-radiological contaminants (elements) transferred to waste water at the Ranger uranium mine/mill complex at Jabiru, which are likely to hazardous to the aquatic environment.The two principal sources of contaminants are: (i) ore and waste rock mobilised from mining; and (ii) process reagents used in the milling and mineral extraction process. These substances may or may not already be present in the natural environment but may lead to deleterious effects on the aquatic environment if increased above threshold levels.Rhenium, derived from the ore body, was found to be significantly enriched in waste water from Ranger, indicating its suitability as an indicator element for water originating from the mining and milling process, but only uranium, likewise derived from the ore, and magnesium, manganese and sulfur (as sulfate) from the milling process were found to be significant environmental contaminants.

  16. Uranium occurrences at the Moonlight Mine and Granite Point claims, Humboldt County, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taylor, Allen O.; Powers, James Farl

    1955-01-01

    The Moonlight mine and Granite Foint claims are on the western flank of the Double H Mountains between the Kings River and Quinn, River valleys in northern Humboldt County, Nev. Uranium minerals at the Moonlight mine occur in a vein in intensely altered Tertiary volcanic rocks. The knovm uranium mineralization is spotty and erratic, but ore-grade material is present in the vein. Samples of the vein taken along its outcrop and in the mine shaft contain from less than 0.02 percent to 0.40 percent U308. The uranium minerals change from autunite at the surface to torbernite, 'gummite(?)' and pitchblende below the 90-foot level of the shaft. The Granite Point claims are two miles north of the Moonlight mine at the base of a rhyolite cliff. Radioactivity traverses made along the base and slope of the rhyolite cliff indicate that a large part of the rhyolite is abnormally radioactive. Radioactivity ranges from 0.013 to 0.3 mr/hr and averaged 0.10 mr/hr. in the vicinity of the claims. A sample taken at the base of the rhyolite cliff, at the point of highest radioactivity c6ntains 0.02 percent U3O8.

  17. Application of Multivariate Analysis in Understanding Anions in Soils Close to an Abandoned Manganese Oxide Ore Mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekosse, Georges-Ivo E.

    Multivariate Analysis (MVA) was used in elucidating on the relationships and environmental implications of anions (particularly chloride, sulphate and carbonate which generally affect bioavailability of soil nutrients) in soils within the proximity of an abandoned Mn oxide ore mine in Southeastern Botswana. Four hundred soil samples were obtained from a 4 km2 area close to the abandoned mine and analysed for their anionic contents and pH. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used for data processing. Anion concentrations in the soil samples were: chloride = 0.2 to 11.9 mg kg-1, with a mean of 7.63 mg kg-1, sulphate = 2.1 to 47.5 mg kg-1, with a mean of 19.36 mg kg-1 and carbonate = 5.1 g kg-1 to 59.1 g kg-1, with a mean of 40.98 g kg-1. Correlation coefficients depicted strong positive associations. Two clusters were produced: cluster one had the three anions with SO42¯ being the most important; and cluster two equally had all three anions but with negative t-statistic values. The anions have been continuously displaced as result of their very high mobility as reflected in lower concentrations than those from the control site.

  18. Strontium isotope quantification of siderite, brine and acid mine drainage contributions to abandoned gas well discharges in the Appalachian Plateau

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, Elizabeth C.; Capo, Rosemary C.; Stewart, Brian W.; Hedin, Robert S.; Weaver, Theodore J.; Edenborn, Harry M.

    2013-04-01

    Unplugged abandoned oil and gas wells in the Appalachian region can serve as conduits for the movement of waters impacted by fossil fuel extraction. Strontium isotope and geochemical analysis indicate that artesian discharges of water with high total dissolved solids (TDS) from a series of gas wells in western Pennsylvania result from the infiltration of acidic, low Fe (Fe < 10 mg/L) coal mine drainage (AMD) into shallow, siderite (iron carbonate)-cemented sandstone aquifers. The acidity from the AMD promotes dissolution of the carbonate, and metal- and sulfate-contaminated waters rise to the surface through compromised abandoned gas well casings. Strontium isotope mixing models suggest that neither upward migration of oil and gas brines from Devonian reservoirs associated with the wells nor dissolution of abundant nodular siderite present in the mine spoil through which recharge water percolates contribute significantly to the artesian gas well discharges. Natural Sr isotope composition can be a sensitive tool in the characterization of complex groundwater interactions and can be used to distinguish between inputs from deep and shallow contamination sources, as well as between groundwater and mineralogically similar but stratigraphically distinct rock units. This is of particular relevance to regions such as the Appalachian Basin, where a legacy of coal, oil and gas exploration is coupled with ongoing and future natural gas drilling into deep reservoirs.

  19. Effects of uranium-mining releases on ground-water quality in the Puerco River Basin, Arizona and New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Wirt, Laurie; Lopes, T.J.; Ferguson, S.A.

    1997-01-01

    Shallow ground water beneath the Puerco River of Arizona and New Mexico was studied to determine the effects of uranium-mining releases on water quality. Ground-water samples collected from 1989 to 1991 indicate that concentrations of dissolved uranium have decreased. Most samples from the alluvial aquifer downstream from Gallup, New Mexico, met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant levels for gross alpha, gross beta, and radium and the proposed maximum contaminant level for uranium.

  20. Environmental and human exposure assessment monitoring of communities near an abandoned mercury mine in the Philippines: a toxic legacy.

    PubMed

    Maramba, Nelia P C; Reyes, Jose Paciano; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Panganiban, Lynn Crisanta R; Dioquino, Carissa; Dando, Nerissa; Timbang, Rene; Akagi, Hirokatsu; Castillo, Ma Teresa; Quitoriano, Carmela; Afuang, Maredith; Matsuyama, Akito; Eguchi, Tomomi; Fuchigami, Youko

    2006-10-01

    Abandoned mines are an important global concern and continue to pose real or potential threats to human safety and health including environmental damage/s. Very few countries had government mine regulation and reclamation policies until the latter part of the century where legal, financial and technical procedures were required for existing mining operations. Major reasons for mine closure may be mainly due to poor economies of the commodity making mining unprofitable, technical difficulties and national security. If the mine is abandoned, more often than not it is the government that shoulders the burden of clean-up, monitoring and remediation. The topic of abandoned mines is complex because of the associated financial and legal liability implications. Abandoned mercury mines have been identified as one of the major concerns because of their significant long-term environmental problems. Primary mercury production is still ongoing in Spain, Kyrgzystan, China, Algeria, Russia and Slovakia while world production declined substantially in the late 1980s. In the Philippines, the mercury mine located southeast of Manila was in operation from 1955 to 1976, before ceasing operation because of the decline in world market price for the commodity. During this time, annual production of mercury was estimated to be about 140,000 kg of mercury yearly. Approximately 2,000,000 t of mine-waste calcines (retorted ore) were produced during mining and roughly 1,000,000 t of these calcines were dumped into nearby Honda Bay to construct a jetty to facilitate mine operations where about 2000 people reside in the nearby three barangays. In October, 1994 the Department of Health received a request from the Provincial Health Office for technical assistance relative to the investigation of increasing complaints of unusual symptoms (e.g. miscarriages, tooth loss, muscle weakness, paralysis, anemia, tremors, etc.) among residents of three barangays. Initial health reports revealed significant

  1. Effects of long-term radionuclide and heavy metal contamination on the activity of microbial communities, inhabiting uranium mining impacted soils.

    PubMed

    Boteva, Silvena; Radeva, Galina; Traykov, Ivan; Kenarova, Anelia

    2016-03-01

    Ore mining and processing have greatly altered ecosystems, often limiting their capacity to provide ecosystem services critical to our survival. The soil environments of two abandoned uranium mines were chosen to analyze the effects of long-term uranium and heavy metal contamination on soil microbial communities using dehydrogenase and phosphatase activities as indicators of metal stress. The levels of soil contamination were low, ranging from 'precaution' to 'moderate', calculated as Nemerow index. Multivariate analyses of enzyme activities revealed the following: (i) spatial pattern of microbial endpoints where the more contaminated soils had higher dehydrogenase and phosphatase activities, (ii) biological grouping of soils depended on both the level of soil contamination and management practice, (iii) significant correlations between both dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase activities and soil organic matter and metals (Cd, Co, Cr, and Zn, but not U), and (iv) multiple relationships between the alkaline than the acid phosphatase and the environmental factors. The results showed an evidence of microbial tolerance and adaptation to the soil contamination established during the long-term metal exposure and the key role of soil organic matter in maintaining high microbial enzyme activities and mitigating the metal toxicity. Additionally, the results suggested that the soil microbial communities are able to reduce the metal stress by intensive phosphatase synthesis, benefiting a passive environmental remediation and provision of vital ecosystem services.

  2. Untreated abandoned mercury mining works in a scenic area of Asturias (Spain).

    PubMed

    Loredo, Jorge; Pereira, Alberto; Ordóñez, Almudena

    2003-07-01

    Mercury mining was a large and thriving industry during the last century in Asturias (NW Spain). At Brañalamosa, mining activity introduced significant quantities of wastes in spoil heaps located close to the mining operations. In these mining wastes, in addition to mercury, high concentrations of other potentially dangerous elements like As have been found. As a consequence, pollution and dereliction of the local environment occurred. This paper focuses on the environmental impact of these old mining operations and describes a preliminary assessment of the extent of contamination. This includes analytical data from systematic sampling of soils, stream sediments, wastes from spoil heaps, water and herbaceous plants in areas affected by mining activities. The potential risk that spoil materials imply for human health and the environment is documented on the basis of the application of EPA Risk Assessment methodology.

  3. Radon exposure, cigarette smoking, and other mining experience in the beaverlodge uranium miners cohort

    SciTech Connect

    L'Abbe, K.A.; Howe, G.R.; Burch, J.D.; Miller, A.B.; Abbatt, J.; Band, P.; Choi, W.; Du, J.; Feather, J.; Gallagher, R. )

    1991-04-01

    A nested case-control study within the Beaverlodge Uranium Miners Cohort was undertaken to assess any possible contribution of confounding by smoking and other mining experience to the risk estimate derived from the original cohort study. Next of kin have been interviewed for 46 lung cancer cases and 95 controls enrolled in the Beaverlodge Uranium Miners Cohort Study who died between 1950 and 1980. Confounding by cigarette smoking and other mining experience appears unlikely to have contributed to the relative risk coefficient for exposure to Rn decay products derived in the parent study. Data for smoking and exposure to Rn decay products are consistent with a multiplicative model, although considerable caution must be applied to this interpretation.

  4. An improved mathematical model for prediction of air quantity to minimise radiation levels in underground uranium mines.

    PubMed

    Panigrahi, Durga Charan; Sahu, Patitapaban; Mishra, Devi Prasad

    2015-02-01

    Ventilation is the primary means of controlling radon and its daughter concentrations in an underground uranium mine environment. Therefore, prediction of air quantity is the vital component for planning and designing of ventilation systems to minimise the radiation exposure of miners in underground uranium mines. This paper comprehensively describes the derivation and verification of an improved mathematical model for prediction of air quantity, based on the growth of radon daughters in terms of potential alpha energy concentration (PAEC), to reduce the radiation levels in uranium mines. The model also explains the prediction of air quantity depending upon the quality of intake air to the stopes. This model can be used to evaluate the contribution of different sources to radon concentration in mine atmosphere based on the measurements of radon emanation and exhalation. Moreover, a mathematical relationship has been established for quick prediction of air quantity to achieve the desired radon daughter concentration in the mines.

  5. An estimation of radiation doses to benthic invertebrates from sediments collected near a Canadian uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Thomas, P; Liber, K

    2001-10-01

    A new method is described for calculating radiation doses to benthic invertebrates from radionuclide concentrations in freshwater sediment. Both internal and external radiation doses were estimated for all 14 principal radionuclides of the uranium-238 decay series. Sediments were collected from three sites downstream of a uranium mining operation in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Sediments from two sites, located approximately 1.6 and 4.4 km downstream from mining operations, yielded absorbed doses to both larval midges, Chironomus tentans, and adult amphipods, Hyalella azteca, of 59-60 and 19 mGy/year, respectively, compared to 3.2 mGy/year for a nearby control site. External beta radiation from protactinium-234 (234Pa) and alpha radiation from uranium (U) contributed most of the dose at the impacted sites, whereas polonium-210 (210Po) was most important at the control site. If a weighting factor of 20 was employed for the greater biological effect of alpha vs. beta and gamma radiation, then total equivalent doses rose to 540-560 mGy/year at the site closest to uranium operations. Such equivalent doses are above the 360-mGy/year no-observed-effect level for reproductive effects in vertebrates from gamma radiation exposure. Data are not available to determine the effect of such doses on benthic organisms, but they are high enough to warrant concern. Detrimental effects have been observed in H. azteca at similar uranium concentration in laboratory toxicity tests, but it remains unclear whether the radiotoxicity or the chemotoxicity of uranium is responsible for these effects.

  6. Geology of the Shinarump No. 1 uranium mine, Seven Mile Canyon area, Grand County, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finch, Warren Irvin

    1954-01-01

    The geology of the Shinarump No. 1 uranium mine, located about 12 miles northwest of Moab, Utah, in the Seven Mile Canyon area, Grand County, Utah, was studied to determine the habits, ore controls, and possible origin of the deposit. Rocks of Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic age crop out in the area mapped, and uranium deposits are found in three zones in the lower 25 feet of the Chinle formation of Late Triassic age. The Shinarump No. 1 mine, which is in the lowermost zone, is located on the west flank of the Moab anticline near the Moab fault. The Shinarump No. 1 uranium deposit consists of discontinuous lenticular layers of mineralized rock, irregular in outline, that, in general, follow the bedding. Ore minerals, mainly uraninite, impregnate the rock. High-grade ore seams of uraninite and chalcocite occur along bedding planes. Uraninite formed later than, or simultaneous with, most sulfides, and the chalcocite may be of two ages, with some being later than uraninite. Uraninite and chalcocite are concentrated in the more poorly sorted parts of siltstones. In the Seven Mile Canyon area guides to ore inferred from the study of the Shinarump No. 1 deposit are the presence of bleached siltstone, carbonaceous matter, and copper sulfides. Results of spectrographic analysis indicate that the mineralizing solutions contained important amounts of barium, vanadium, uranium, and copper, as well as lesser amounts of strontium, chromium, boron, yttrium, lead, and zinc. The origin of the Shinarump No. 1 deposit is thought to be hydrothermal.

  7. Exposure pathways and biological receptors: baseline data for the canyon uranium mine, Coconino County, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinck, Jo E.; Linder, Greg L.; Darrah, Abigail J.; Drost, Charles A.; Duniway, Michael C.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Méndez-Harclerode, Francisca M.; Nowak, Erika M.; Valdez, Ernest W.; Van Riper, Charles; Wolff, S.W.

    2014-01-01

    Recent restrictions on uranium mining within the Grand Canyon watershed have drawn attention to scientific data gaps in evaluating the possible effects of ore extraction to human populations as well as wildlife communities in the area. Tissue contaminant concentrations, one of the most basic data requirements to determine exposure, are not available for biota from any historical or active uranium mines in the region. The Canyon Uranium Mine is under development, providing a unique opportunity to characterize concentrations of uranium and other trace elements, as well as radiation levels in biota, found in the vicinity of the mine before ore extraction begins. Our study objectives were to identify contaminants of potential concern and critical contaminant exposure pathways for ecological receptors; conduct biological surveys to understand the local food web and refine the list of target species (ecological receptors) for contaminant analysis; and collect target species for contaminant analysis prior to the initiation of active mining. Contaminants of potential concern were identified as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, thallium, uranium, and zinc for chemical toxicity and uranium and associated radionuclides for radiation. The conceptual exposure model identified ingestion, inhalation, absorption, and dietary transfer (bioaccumulation or bioconcentration) as critical contaminant exposure pathways. The biological survey of plants, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals is the first to document and provide ecological information on .200 species in and around the mine site; this study also provides critical baseline information about the local food web. Most of the species documented at the mine are common to ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa and pinyon–juniper Pinus–Juniperus spp. forests in northern Arizona and are not considered to have special conservation status by state or federal agencies; exceptions

  8. Vertical distribution and mobility of arsenic and heavy metals in and around mine tailings of an abandoned mine.

    PubMed

    Kim, Myoung-Jin; Jung, Yejin

    2004-01-01

    In the present study, the vertical distributions (0-220 cm) of arsenic and heavy metals in mine tailings and nearby paddy fields, and their mobility through water-leach experiments were investigated. For the study, the area of Jingok mine located in Bongwha, Korea has been selected. The concentrations of arsenic and heavy metals in the mine tailings were extremely high compared to the paddy fields and control sites, i.e., up to 6675 mg/kg for As, 25 mg/kg for Cd, 22 mg/kg for Cr, 383 mg/kg for Cu, 11,135 mg/kg for Pb, 3600 mg/kg for Zn, 5.73 wt% for Fe, and 3.05 wt% for Mn. The concentrations of As and heavy metals in the paddy fields decreased sharply with increasing distance from the mine tailings, with values still higher than those in the control sites, indicating the contamination of the paddy fields by heavy metals released from the mine tailings. The vertical distributions of Cd, Cu, Pb, Al, Fe, and Mn showed the following common pattern: the highest values in the upper part of mine tailings (0-20 cm), rapid decrease with increasing depth, and then nearly constant values below the depth of 50 cm. Significant correlations were found between total Fe and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, and Pb), and between total Mn and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in the mine tailings, indicating that minerals containing Fe and Mn play an important role in the mobility of heavy metals such as Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. The fraction of As(V) ranged from 63 to 100% of total arsenic in the samples of the mine tailings. The high concentrations of total As, heavy metals, sulfate. hydrogen ion, and As(V) in the leachates of mine tailings suggest that sulfide minerals containing arsenic and heavy metals in the mine tailings were actively oxidized.

  9. Field Evaluation of the Restorative Capacity of the Aquifer Downgradient of a Uranium In-Situ Recovery Mining Site

    SciTech Connect

    Reimus, Paul William

    2015-05-22

    A two-part field study was conducted in Smith Ranch-Highland in-situ recovery (ISR) near Douglas, Wyoming, to evaluate the restorative capacity of the aquifer downgradient (i.e., hydrologically downstream) of a Uranium ISR mining site with respect to the transport of uranium and other potential contaminants in groundwater after mining has ceased. The study was partially conducted by checking the Uranium content and the alkalinity of separate wells, some wells had been restored and others had not. A map and in-depth procedures of the study are included.

  10. 78 FR 8821 - Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program; Limited Liability for Noncoal Reclamation by Certified...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-06

    ..., entrances to open mines, water-filled pits, unreclaimed or inadequately reclaimed refuse piles and minesites... surface instability resulting from mine fires and burning coal refuse. Restoration activities under the.... 879.15(h) to specify that moneys received from disposal of land by certified states and...

  11. Source and Fate of Inorganic Soil Contamination Around the Abandoned Phillips Sulfide Mine Hudson Highlands New York

    SciTech Connect

    S Gilchrist; A Gates; E Elzinga; M Gorring; z Szabo

    2011-12-31

    The abandoned Phillips sulfide mine in the critical Highlands watershed in New York has been shown to produce strongly acidic mine drainage (AMD) with anomalous metal contaminants in first-order streams that exceeded local water standards by up to several orders of magnitude (Gilchrist et al., 2009). The metal-sulfide-rich tailings also produce contaminated soils with pH < 4, organic matter < 2.5% and trace metals sequestered in soil oxides. A geochemical transect to test worst-case soil contamination showed that Cr, Co and Ni correlated positively with Mn, (r = 0.72, r = 0.89, r = 0.80, respectively), suggesting Mn-oxide sequestration and that Cu and Pb correlated with Fe (r = 0.76, r = 0.83, respectively), suggesting sequestration in goethite. Ubiquitous, yellow coating on the mine wastes, including jarosite and goethite, is a carrier of the metals. Geochemical and {mu}-SXRF analyses determined Cu to be the major soil contaminant, {mu}-SXRF also demonstrated that the heterogeneous nature of the soil chemistry at the micro-meter scale is self-similar to those in the bulk soil samples. Generally metals decreased, with some fluctuations, rapidly downslope through suspension of fines and dissolution in AMD leaving the area of substantial contamination << 0.5 km from the source.

  12. Source and fate of inorganic soil contamination around the abandoned Phillips sulfide mine, hudson Highlands, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilchrist, S.; Gates, A.; Elzinga, E.; Gorring, M.; Szabo, Z.

    2011-01-01

    The abandoned Phillips sulfide mine in the critical Highlands watershed in New York has been shown to produce strongly acidic mine drainage (AMD) with anomalous metal contaminants in first-order streams that exceeded local water standards by up to several orders of magnitude (Gilchrist et al., 2009). The metal-sulfide-rich tailings also produce contaminated soils with pH < 4, organic matter < 2.5% and trace metals sequestered in soil oxides. A geochemical transect to test worst-case soil contamination showed that Cr, Co and Ni correlated positively with Mn, (r = 0.72, r= 0.89, r = 0.80, respectively), suggesting Mn-oxide sequestration and that Cu and Pb correlated with Fe (r = 0.76, r = 0.83, respectively), suggesting sequestration in goethite. Ubiquitous, yellow coating on the mine wastes, including jarosite and goethite, is a carrier of the metals. Geochemical and μ-SXRF analyses determined Cu to be the major soil contaminant. μ-SXRF also demonstrated that the heterogeneous nature of the soil chemistry at the micro-meter scale is self-similar to those in the bulk soil samples. Generally metals decreased, with some fluctuations, rapidly downslope through suspension of fines and dissolution in AMD leaving the area of substantial contamination << 0.5 km from the source.

  13. Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Uranium Mining and Milling in Canada.

    PubMed

    Parker, David J; McNaughton, Cameron S; Sparks, Gordon A

    2016-09-06

    Life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production of nuclear power (in g CO2e/kWh) are uncertain due partly to a paucity of data on emissions from individual phases of the nuclear fuel cycle. Here, we present the first comprehensive life cycle assessment of GHG emissions produced from the mining and milling of uranium in Canada. The study includes data from 2006-2013 for two uranium mine-mill operations in northern Saskatchewan (SK) and data from 1995-2010 for a third SK mine-mill operation. The mine-mill operations were determined to have GHG emissions intensities of 81, 64, and 34 kg CO2e/kg U3O8 at average ore grades of 0.74%, 1.54%, and 4.53% U3O8, respectively. The production-weighted average GHG emission intensity is 42 kg CO2e/kg U3O8 at an average ore grade of 3.81% U3O8. The production-weighted average GHG emission intensity drops to 24 kg CO2e/kg U3O8 when the local hydroelectric GHG emission factor (7.2 g CO2e/kWh) is substituted for the SK grid-average electricity GHG emission factor (768 g CO2e/kWh). This results in Canadian uranium mining-milling contributing only 1.1 g CO2e/kWh to total life cycle GHG emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle (0.7 g CO2e/kWh using the local hydroelectric emission factor).

  14. An evaluation of health risk to the public as a consequence of in situ uranium mining in Wyoming, USA

    DOE PAGES

    Ruedig, Elizabeth; Johnson, Thomas E.

    2015-08-30

    In the United States there is considerable public concern regarding the health effects of in situ recovery uranium mining. These concerns focus principally on exposure to contaminants mobilized in groundwater by the mining process. However, the risk arising as a result of mining must be viewed in light of the presence of naturally occurring uranium ore and other constituents which comprise a latent hazard. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed new guidelines for successful restoration of an in situ uranium mine by limiting concentrations of thirteen groundwater constituents: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, nitrate (asmore » nitrogen), molybdenum, radium, total uranium, and gross α activity. We investigated the changes occurring to these constituents at an ISR uranium mine in Wyoming, USA by comparing groundwater quality at baseline measurement to that at stability (post-restoration) testing. Of the groundwater constituents considered, only uranium and radium-226 showed significant (p < 0.05) deviation from site-wide baseline conditions in matched-wells. Uranium concentrations increased by a factor of 5.6 (95% CI 3.6–8.9 times greater) while radium-226 decreased by a factor of about one half (95% CI 0.42–0.75 times less). Change in risk was calculated using the RESRAD (onsite) code for an individual exposed as a resident-farmer; total radiation dose to a resident farmer decreased from pre-to post-mining by about 5.2 mSv y–1. As a result, higher concentrations of uranium correspond to increased biomarkers of nephrotoxicity, however the clinical significance of this increase is unclear.« less

  15. An evaluation of health risk to the public as a consequence of in situ uranium mining in Wyoming, USA.

    PubMed

    Ruedig, Elizabeth; Johnson, Thomas E

    2015-12-01

    In the United States there is considerable public concern regarding the health effects of in situ recovery uranium mining. These concerns focus principally on exposure to contaminants mobilized in groundwater by the mining process. However, the risk arising as a result of mining must be viewed in light of the presence of naturally occurring uranium ore and other constituents which comprise a latent hazard. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed new guidelines for successful restoration of an in situ uranium mine by limiting concentrations of thirteen groundwater constituents: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, nitrate (as nitrogen), molybdenum, radium, total uranium, and gross α activity. We investigated the changes occurring to these constituents at an ISR uranium mine in Wyoming, USA by comparing groundwater quality at baseline measurement to that at stability (post-restoration) testing. Of the groundwater constituents considered, only uranium and radium-226 showed significant (p < 0.05) deviation from site-wide baseline conditions in matched-wells. Uranium concentrations increased by a factor of 5.6 (95% CI 3.6-8.9 times greater) while radium-226 decreased by a factor of about one half (95% CI 0.42-0.75 times less). Change in risk was calculated using the RESRAD (onsite) code for an individual exposed as a resident-farmer; total radiation dose to a resident farmer decreased from pre-to post-mining by about 5.2 mSv y(-1). Higher concentrations of uranium correspond to increased biomarkers of nephrotoxicity, however the clinical significance of this increase is unclear.

  16. Alteration and arenization processes of granitic waste rock piles from former uranium Mines in Limousin, France.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanzari, Aisha; Boekhout, Flora; Gérard, Martine; Galoisy, Laurence; Phrommavanh, Vannapha; Descostes, Michael

    2014-05-01

    France counts approximately 200 former uranium mines, 50 of which are located in the Limousin region. Mining activities between 1945 and 2001 have generated close to 200 000 tons of waste rocks in the Limousin, with uranium levels corresponding essentially to the geological background. Waste rock piles from three former mining sites in this region, were selected according to their age, uranium content and petrological signature. These sites are part of the two-mica granitic complex of St Sylvestre massif, formed 324 million years ago. Granitic blocks that build up the waste rock piles have experienced different processes and intensities of alteration before their emplacement at the surface. These processes are responsible for the petrological heterogeneity throughout the waste rock pile at the time of construction. It is important to make a distinction within waste rocks between natural-cut-off waste rocks and economic-cut-off waste rocks. The latter represents a minority and is linked to stock prices. Natural-cut-off waste rocks contain about 20 ppm of uranium; economic-cut-off waste rocks contain about 100 to 300 ppm of uranium. The aims of this study are to 1) assess the neo-formation of U-bearing minerals hosted by these rocks, and 2) to characterize the weathering processes since the construction of the rock piles, including both mechanical and chemical processes. The structure of the waste rocks piles, from metric blocks to boulders of tens centimeters, induces an enhanced weathering rate, compared to a granitic massif. Mechanical fracturing and chemical leaching by rainwater (arenization) of the waste rocks produce a sandy-silty alteration phase. Silty-clay weathering aureoles of submetric-granitic blocks evolving into technic soil are mainly located below growing birch trees. Sampling on the rock piles was restricted to surface rocks. Samples collected consist mainly of granites, and rare lamprophyres with a high radiometric signal, thereby especially

  17. 75 FR 60373 - Louisiana Regulatory Program/Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-30

    ..., 135 Gemini Circle, Suite 215, Homewood, Alabama 35209. Fax: (205) 290-7280. Federal eRulemaking Portal... Surface Mining ] Reclamation and Enforcement, 135 Gemini Circle, Suite 215, Homewood, Alabama...

  18. 30 CFR 756.16 - Approval of the Hopi Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 86039, Telephone: (520) 734-2441. (b) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Albuquerque Field Office, 505 Marquette Ave., NW., Suite 1200, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Telephone: (505) 248-5070....

  19. 77 FR 55430 - Arkansas Regulatory Program and Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-10

    ...; Disposal of Excess Spoil; Road Systems; and Support Facilities. PART 782--UNDERGROUND MINING PERMIT...: Records of Blasting Operations; Disposal of Excess Spoil: General Requirements; Contemporaneous... Explosives: Seismographic Measurements; Use of Explosives: Records of Blasting Operations; Disposal of...

  20. Community Structures of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Soils and Plant Roots Inhabiting Abandoned Mines of Korea

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hyeok; Lee, Eun-Hwa; Ka, Kang-Hyeon

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we collected rhizosphere soils and root samples from a post-mining area and a natural forest area in Jecheon, Korea. We extracted spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) from rhizospheres, and then examined the sequences of 18S rDNA genes of the AMF from the collected roots of plants. We compared the AMF communities in the post-mining area and the natural forest area by sequence analysis of the AMF spores from soils and of the AMF clones from roots. Consequently, we confirmed that the structure of AMF communities varied between the post-mining area and the natural forest area and showed significant relationship with heavy metal contents in soils. These results suggest that heavy metal contamination by mining activity significantly affects the AMF community structure. PMID:28154485

  1. 30 CFR 756.17 - Approval of the Hopi Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... projects and Table I, Comprehensive/Problem Evaluation Matrix—Description of needs, proposed construction... draft Hopi Code Mining Ordinance; Hopi Tribal Council Resolution H-134-89, adopted August 29, 1989;...

  2. 30 CFR 916.25 - Approval of Kansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    .... House Bill 3009 eliminated the Kansas Mined Land Conservation and Reclamation Board and transferred its functions and staff to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. September 30, 1988 January 10,...

  3. 30 CFR 944.20 - Approval of Utah abandoned mine plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... subsequently revised, is approved effective June 3, 1983. Copies of the approved program are available at: (a... Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84180-1203, Telephone: (801)538-5340. (b) Office of Surface Mining...

  4. 30 CFR 944.20 - Approval of Utah abandoned mine plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... subsequently revised, is approved effective June 3, 1983. Copies of the approved program are available at: (a... Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84180-1203, Telephone: (801)538-5340. (b) Office of Surface Mining...

  5. Community Structures of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Soils and Plant Roots Inhabiting Abandoned Mines of Korea.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyeok; Lee, Eun-Hwa; Ka, Kang-Hyeon; Eom, Ahn-Heum

    2016-12-01

    In this study, we collected rhizosphere soils and root samples from a post-mining area and a natural forest area in Jecheon, Korea. We extracted spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) from rhizospheres, and then examined the sequences of 18S rDNA genes of the AMF from the collected roots of plants. We compared the AMF communities in the post-mining area and the natural forest area by sequence analysis of the AMF spores from soils and of the AMF clones from roots. Consequently, we confirmed that the structure of AMF communities varied between the post-mining area and the natural forest area and showed significant relationship with heavy metal contents in soils. These results suggest that heavy metal contamination by mining activity significantly affects the AMF community structure.

  6. The effect of remediation on water from a former Portuguese uranium mine area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neiva, Ana; Carvalho, Paula; Antunes, Isabel; Santos, António; Cabral-Pinto, Marina

    2016-04-01

    The old Senhora das Fontes uranium mine consists of quartz veins containing autunite down to a depth of 40 m. But below, uraninite, Fe-saleeite and black uranium oxides occur in small veinlets or forming elongated nodules. The mine was exploited underground and was closed down in 1971. However, the ores from this mine and two others were treated by the heap-leach process in this area until 1982. Seven dumps containing 33,800 m3 of material were left in the area. The remediation process was carried out from May 2010 to January 2011. During this process, the relocation of the material deposited in dumps took place and was covered with erosion resisting covers. Groundwater and surface water were collected just before the remediation at November of 2009 and February 2010, in the wet season, at the beginning of the remediation, at May and June of 2010, and also after the remediation, at May and June of 2011, in the dry season. Ten wells, four springs and seven streams were chosen to collect water samples. However, some points were occasionally dry and a total of 113 water samples were obtained. The pH of groundwater and surface water was acid-to-alkaline, before, at the beginning and after the remediation, but decreased with the remediation, whereas Eh increased. In general, the uranium concentration was up to 116 μg/L in groundwater and up to 83 μg/L in surface water, before the remediation, in the wet season. The uranium water concentration increased up to 272 μg/L and 183 μg/L in the former and the latter, respectively, at the beginning of the remediation, in the dry season of 2010, due to remobilization of mine dumps and pyrite and chalcopyrite exposures, which caused the pH decrease. However, the uranium concentration decreased in groundwater and surface water at the north part of the mine area, after the remediation, in the dry season of 2011, but increased in both, particularly in groundwater up to 774 μg/L in the south and southwest parts of the area, due

  7. Evaluation of surface water quality in aquatic bodies under the influence of uranium mining (MG, Brazil).

    PubMed

    Rodgher, Suzelei; de Azevedo, Heliana; Ferrari, Carla Rolim; Roque, Cláudio Vítor; Ronqui, Leilane Barbosa; de Campos, Michelle Burato; Nascimento, Marcos Roberto Lopes

    2013-03-01

    The quality of the water in a uranium-ore-mining area located in Caldas (Minas Gerais State, Brazil) and in a reservoir (Antas reservoir) that receives the neutralized acid solution leaching from the waste heaps generated by uranium mining was investigated. The samples were collected during four periods (October 2008, January, April and July 2009) from six sampling stations. Physical and chemical analyses were performed on the water samples, and the data obtained were compared with those of the Brazilian Environmental Standards and WHO standard. The water samples obtained from waste rock piles showed high uranium concentrations (5.62 mg L(-1)), high manganese values (75 mg L(-1)) and low average pH values (3.4). The evaluation of the water quality at the point considered the limit between the Ore Treatment Unit of the Brazilian Nuclear Industries and the environment (Consulta Creek) indicated contamination by fluoride, manganese, uranium and zinc. The Antas reservoir showed seasonal variations in water quality, with mean concentrations for fluoride (0.50 mg L(-1)), sulfate (16 mg L(-1)) and hardness (20 mg L(-1)) which were low in January, evidencing the effect of rainwater flowing into the system. The concentrations for fluoride, sulfate and manganese were close or above to the limits established by current legislation at the point where the treated mining effluent was discharged and downstream from this point. This study demonstrated that the effluent discharged by the UTM affected the quality of the water in the Antas reservoir, and thus the treatments currently used for effluent need to be reviewed.

  8. Geology of the Shinarump No. 1 uranium mine, Seven Mile Canyon area, Grand County, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finch, Warren Irvin

    1953-01-01

    The Shinarump No. 1 uranium mine is located about 12 miles northwest of Moab, Utah, in the Seven Mile Canyon area, Grand County, Utah. A study was made of the geology of the Shinarump No. 1 mine in order to determine the habits, ore controls, and possible origin of the deposit. Rocks of Permain, Triassic, and Jurassic age crop out in the area mapped. Uranium deposits are found in three zones in the lower 25 feet of the Upper Triassic Chinle formation. The Shinarump No. 1 mine, which is in the lowermost zone, is located on the west flank of the Moab anticline near the Moab fault. The Shinarump No. 1 uranium deposit consists of discontinuous lenticular layers of mineralized rock, irregular in outline, that, in general, follow the bedding. Ore minerals, mainly uranite, impregnate the rock. High-grade seams of uranite and chalcocite occur along bedding planes. Formation of unraninite is later than or simultaneous with most sulfides. Chalcocite may be of two ages, with some being later than uraninite. Uraninite and chalcocite are concentrated in the poorer sorted parts of siltstones. Guides to ore in the Seven Mile Canyon area inferred from the study of the Shinarump No. 1 deposit are the presence of bleached siltstone, copper sulfides, and carbonaceous matter. Results of spectrographic analysis indicated that the mineralizing solutions contained important amounts of barium, vanadium, uranium, and copper as well as lesser amounts of strontium, chromium, boron, yttrium, lead, and zinc. The origin of the Shinarump No. 1 deposit is thought to be hydrothermal, dated as later or early.

  9. Variations in heavy metal contamination of stream water and groundwater affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Yong; Choi, Jung-Chan; Lee, Kang-Kun

    2005-09-01

    This study evaluated variations in heavy metal contamination of stream waters and groundwaters affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine, where a rockfill dam for water storage will be built 11 km downstream. For these purposes, a total of 10 rounds of stream and groundwater samplings and subsequent chemical analyses were performed during 2002-2003. Results of an exploratory investigation of stream waters in 2000 indicated substantial contamination with heavy metals including zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and arsenic (As) for at least 6 km downstream from the mine. Stream waters near the mine showed metal contamination as high as arsenic (As) 8,923 microg L(-1), copper (Cu) 616 microg L(-1), cadmium (Cd) 223 microg L(-1) and lead (Pb) 10,590 microg L(-1), which greatly exceeded the Korean stream water guidelines. Remediation focused on the mine tailing piles largely improved the stream water qualities. However, there have still been quality problems for the waters containing relatively high concentrations of As (6-174 microg L(-1)), Cd (1-46 microg L(-1)) and Pb (2-26 microg L(-1)). Rainfall infiltration into the mine tailing piles resulted in an increase of heavy metals in the stream waters due to direct discharge of waste effluent, while dilution of the contaminated stream waters improved the water quality due to mixing with metal free rain waters. Levels of As, Cu and chromium (Cr) largely decreased after heavy rain but that of Pb was rather elevated. The stream waters were characterized by high concentrations of calcium (Ca) and sulfate (SO(4)), which were derived from dissolution and leaching of carbonate and sulfide minerals. It was observed that the proportions of Ca and SO(4) increased while those of bicarbonate (HCO(3)) and sodium and potassium (Na+K) decreased after a light rainfall event. Most interestingly, the reverse was generally detected for the groundwaters. The zinc, being the metal mined, was the most dominant heavy metal in the groundwaters (1758

  10. Radon release and dispersion from an open pit uranium mine

    SciTech Connect

    Kisieleski, W.E.

    1980-06-01

    Radon-222 flux from representative sections of the United Nuclear St. Anthony open-pit mine complex was measured. The collected radon was adsorbed on activated charcoal and the radon activity was measured by gamma spectroscopy. System design, calibration, and the procedure to determine radon flux density (pCi/m/sup 2/.s) are described. A continuous series of radon flux densities were measured over a 5-month period at a control point in the mine. The average flux density at the control point was 1.9 pCi/m/sup 2/.s. A close correlation between radon flux density variations and changes in barometric pressure was observed by a comparison of meteorological data and average daily radon flux density measured at the control point. The release rate from each section of the mine was calculated from the average radon flux density and the area of the section, as determined from enlarged aerial photographs. The average radon flux density for eight locations over the ore-bearing section was 7.3 pCi/m/sup 2/.s. The average flux density for four locations over undisturbed topsoil was 0.17 pCi/m/sup 2/.s. The average Ra-226 content of ten samples taken from the ore-bearing region was 102 pCi/g ore. The ratio of radon flux density to radium content (specific flux) was 0.072. The release rate from the entire St. Anthony open pit was determined to be 3.5 x 10/sup 5/ pCi/s. This rate is comparable to the natural release of radon from one square mile of undisturbed topsoil. 16 refs., 31 figs., 11 tabs.

  11. Trace elements and activity of antioxidative enzymes in Cistus ladanifer L. growing on an abandoned mine area.

    PubMed

    Santos, Erika S; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Nabais, Cristina; Saraiva, Jorge A

    2009-10-01

    The Mediterranean shrub Cistus ladanifer grows naturally in São Domingos (Portugal), an abandoned copper mine. High levels of trace elements in plants can generate oxidative stress increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes. The aim of this work was to evaluate and compare As, Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations and the activity of the soluble and cell wall ionically bounded forms of the enzymes catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase in leaves of C. ladanifer, collected in spring and summer, growing on São Domingos mine and on a non-contaminated area (Pomarão). São Domingos soils showed high total concentrations of As (2.6 g kg(-1)) and Pb (7.3 g kg(-1)) however the available fraction represented less than 1.5% of the total. C. ladanifer population from mine showed tolerance to Pb and Zn, which attain in leaves concentrations considered toxic for plants. The enzymatic activity of catalase, peroxidise and superoxide dismutase varied with plant populations and seasons, although with no particular trend, being specific to each trace element and enzyme cell localization. Catalase activity was evenly distributed between the soluble and ionically bounded forms, whereas the ionically bounded form of peroxidase predominated relatively to total activity, and the opposite was observed for superoxide dismutase. Spring and summer leaves from the two areas presented enzymatic activities in both fractions except to peroxidase soluble activities in leaves collected in summer. C. ladanifer enzymatic activity seems to be related with the co-existence of different stress factors (trace elements concentration, temperature, UV radiation and drought). The survival and growth of this species on contaminated mining soils is due to the presence of effective antioxidant enzyme-based defence systems.

  12. Land application of mine water causes minimal uranium loss offsite in the wet-dry tropics: Ranger Uranium Mine, Northern Territory, Australia.

    PubMed

    Mumtaz, Saqib; Streten, Claire; Parry, David L; McGuinness, Keith A; Lu, Ping; Gibb, Karen S

    2015-11-01

    Ranger Uranium Mine (RUM) is situated in the wet-dry tropics of Northern Australia. Land application (irrigation) of stockpile (ore and waste) runoff water to natural woodland on the mine lease is a key part of water management at the mine. Consequently, the soil in these Land Application Areas (LAAs) presents a range of uranium (U) and other metals concentrations. Knowledge of seasonal and temporal changes in soil U and physicochemical parameters at RUM LAAs is important to develop suitable management and rehabilitation strategies. Therefore, soil samples were collected from low, medium, high and very high U sites at RUM LAAs for two consecutive years and the effect of time and season on soil physicochemical parameters particularly U and other major solutes applied in irrigation water was measured. Concentrations of some of the solutes applied in the irrigation water such as sulphur (S), iron (Fe) and calcium (Ca) showed significant seasonal and temporal changes. Soil S, Fe and Ca concentration decreased from year 1 to year 2 and from dry to wet seasons during both years. Soil U followed the same pattern except that we recorded an increase in soil U concentrations at most of the RUM LAAs after year 2 wet season compared to year 2 dry season. Thus, these sites did not show a considerable decrease in soil U concentration from year 1 to year 2. Sites which contained elevated U after wet season 2 also had higher moisture content which suggests that pooling of U containing rainwater at these sites may be responsible for elevated U. Thus, U may be redistributed within RUM LAAs due to surface water movement. The study also suggested that a decrease in U concentrations in LAA soils at very high U (>900 mg kg(-1)) sites is most likely due to transport of particulate matter bound U by surface runoff and U may not be lost from the surface soil due to vertical movement through the soil profile. Uranium attached to particulate matter may reduce its potential for environmental

  13. Cancer mortality in a Texas county with prior uranium mining and milling activities, 1950-2001.

    PubMed

    Boice, John D; Mumma, Michael; Schweitzer, Sarah; Blot, William J

    2003-09-01

    Uranium was discovered in Karnes County, Texas, in 1954 and the first uranium mill began operating in 1961 near Falls City. Uranium milling and surface and in situ mining continued in Karnes County until the early 1990s. Remediation of uranium tailings ponds was completed in the 1990s. There were three mills and over 40 mines operating in Karnes County over these years and potential exposure to the population was from possible environmental releases into the air and ground water. From time to time concerns have been raised in Karnes County about potential increased cancer risk from these uranium mining and milling activities. To evaluate the possibility of increased cancer deaths associated with these uranium operations, a mortality survey was conducted. The numbers and rates of cancer deaths were determined for Karnes County and for comparison for four 'control' counties in the same region with similar age, race, urbanisation and socioeconomic distributions reported in the 1990 US Census. Comparisons were also made with US and Texas general population rates. Following similar methods to those used by the National Cancer Institute, standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed as the ratio of observed numbers of cancers in the study and control counties compared to the expected number derived from general population rates for the United States. Relative risks (RRs) were computed as the ratios of the SMRs for the study and the control counties. Overall, 1223 cancer deaths occurred in the population residing in Karnes County from 1950 to 2001 compared with 1392 expected based on general population rates for the US. There were 3857 cancer deaths in the four control counties during the same 52 year period compared with 4389 expected. There was no difference between the total cancer mortality rates in Karnes County and those in the control counties (RR = 1.0; 95% confidence interval 0.9-1.1). There were no significant increases in Karnes County for any cancer when

  14. Uranium mining industry views on ICRP statement on radon.

    PubMed

    Takala, J

    2012-01-01

    In 2009, the International Commission on Radiological Protection issued a statement on radon which stated that the dose conversion factor for radon progeny would likely double, and the calculation of risk from radon should move to a dosimetric approach, rather than the longstanding epidemiological approach. Through the World Nuclear Association, whose members represent over 90% of the world's uranium production, industry has been examining this issue with a goal of offering expertise and knowledge to assist with the practical implementation of these evolutionary changes to evaluating the risk from radon progeny. Industry supports the continuing use of the most current epidemiological data as a basis for risk calculation, but believes that further examination of these results is needed to better understand the level of conservatism in the potential epidemiological-based risk models. With regard to adoption of the dosimetric approach, industry believes that further work is needed before this is a practical option. In particular, this work should include a clear demonstration of the validation of the dosimetric model which includes how smoking is handled, the establishment of a practical measurement protocol, and the collection of relevant data for modern workplaces. Industry is actively working to address the latter two items.

  15. Chemical Data for Rock, Sediment, Biological, Precipitate, and Water Samples from Abandoned Copper Mines in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koski, Randolph A.; Munk, LeeAnn

    2007-01-01

    In the early 20th century, approximately 6 million metric tons of copper ore were mined from numerous deposits located along the shorelines of fjords and islands in Prince William Sound, Alaska. At the Beatson, Ellamar, and Threeman mine sites (fig. 1), rocks containing Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb sulfide minerals are exposed to chemical weathering in abandoned mine workings and remnant waste piles that extend into the littoral zone. Field investigations in 2003 and 2005 as well as analytical data for rock, sediment, precipitate, water, and biological samples reveal that the oxidation of sulfides at these sites is resulting in the generation of acid mine drainage and the transport of metals into the marine environment (Koski and others, 2008; Stillings and others, 2008). At the Ellamar and Threeman sites, plumes of acidic and metal-enriched water are flowing through beach gravels into the shallow offshore environment. Interstitial water samples collected from beach sediment at Ellamar have low pH levels (to ~3) and high concentrations of metals including iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, lead, and mercury. The abundant precipitation of the iron sulfate mineral jarosite in the Ellamar gravels also signifies a low-pH environment. At the Beatson mine site (the largest copper mine in the region) seeps containing iron-rich microbial precipitates drain into the intertidal zone below mine dumps (Foster and others, 2008). A stream flowing down to the shoreline from underground mine workings at Beatson has near-neutral pH, but elevated levels of zinc, copper, and lead (Stillings and others, 2008). Offshore sediment samples at Beatson are enriched in these metals. Preliminary chemical data for tissue from marine mussels collected near the Ellamar, Threeman, and Beatson sites reveal elevated levels of copper, zinc, and lead compared to tissue in mussels from other locations in Prince William Sound (Koski and others, 2008). Three papers presenting results of this ongoing investigation of

  16. Chemical Data for Rock, Sediment, Biological, Precipitate, and Water Samples from Abandoned Copper Mines in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koski, Randolph A.; Munk, LeeAnn

    2007-01-01

    Introduction In the early 20th century, approximately 6 million metric tons of copper ore were mined from numerous deposits located along the shorelines of fjords and islands in Prince William Sound, Alaska. At the Beatson, Ellamar, and Threeman mine sites (fig. 1), rocks containing Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb sulfide minerals are exposed to chemical weathering in abandoned mine workings and remnant waste piles that extend into the littoral zone. Field investigations in 2003 and 2005 as well as analytical data for rock, sediment, precipitate, water, and biological samples reveal that the oxidation of sulfides at these sites is resulting in the generation of acid mine drainage and the transport of metals into the marine environment (Koski and others, 2008; Stillings and others, 2008). At the Ellamar and Threeman sites, plumes of acidic and metal-enriched water are flowing through beach gravels into the shallow offshore environment. Interstitial water samples collected from beach sediment at Ellamar have low pH levels (to ~3) and high concentrations of metals including iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, lead, and mercury. The abundant precipitation of the iron sulfate mineral jarosite in the Ellamar gravels also signifies a low-pH environment. At the Beatson mine site (the largest copper mine in the region) seeps containing iron-rich microbial precipitates drain into the intertidal zone below mine dumps (Foster and others, 2008). A stream flowing down to the shoreline from underground mine workings at Beatson has near-neutral pH, but elevated levels of zinc, copper, and lead (Stillings and others, 2008). Offshore sediment samples at Beatson are enriched in these metals. Preliminary chemical data for tissue from marine mussels collected near the Ellamar, Threeman, and Beatson sites reveal elevated levels of copper, zinc, and lead compared to tissue in mussels from other locations in Prince William Sound (Koski and others, 2008). Three papers presenting results of this ongoing

  17. Cadmium Accumulation in Periphyton from an Abandoned Mining District in the Buffalo National River, Arkansas.

    PubMed

    McCauley, Jacob R; Bouldin, Jennifer L

    2016-06-01

    The Rush Mining District along the Buffalo River in Arkansas has a significant history of zinc and lead mining operations. The tails and spoils of these operations deposit heavy amounts of raw ore into streams. One element commonly found in the earth's crust that becomes a minor constituent of the deposition is cadmium. Periphyton samples from Rush Creek and Clabber Creek, two creeks within the Rush Mining District were measured for cadmium as well as two creeks with no history of mining, Spring Creek and Water Creek. Periphyton samples from Rush and Clabber Creek contained mean cadmium concentrations of 436.6 ± 67.3 and 93.38 ± 8.67 µg/kg, respectively. Spring Creek and Water Creek had a mean cadmium concentration of 40.49 ± 3.40 and 41.78 ± 3.99 µg/kg within periphyton. The results indicate increased metal concentrations in algal communities from mined areas. As periphyton is the base of the aquatic food chain, it acts as a conduit for movement of cadmium in the food web.

  18. Dispersion of Metals from Abandoned Mines and their Effects on Biota in the Methow River, Okanogan County, Washington : Annual Report 3/15/00-3/14/01.

    SciTech Connect

    Peplow, Dan; Edmonds, Robert

    2001-06-01

    The University of Washington, College of Forest Resources and the Center for Streamside Studies in Seattle, Washington, is being funded by the Bonneville Power Administration to conduct a three-year research project to measure the watershed scale response of stream habitat to abandoned mine waste, the dispersion of metals, and their effects on biota in the Methow River basin. The purpose of this project is to determine if there are processes and pathways that result in the dispersion of metals from their source at abandoned mines to biological receptors in the Methow River. The objectives of this study are the following: (1) Assess ecological risk due to metal contamination from mines near the Methow; (2) Measure impact of metals from mines on groundwater and sediments in Methow River; (3) Measure response of organisms in the Methow River to excess metals in the sediments of the Methow River; (4) Recommend restoration guidelines and biological goals that target identified pathways and processes of metal pollution affecting salmon habitat in the Methow basin; and (5) Submit peer review journal publications. When concluded, this study will contribute to the advancement of current best management practices by describing the processes responsible for the release of metals from small abandoned mine sites in an arid environment, their dispersal pathways, and their chemical and biological impacts on the Methow River. Based on these processes and pathways, specific remediation recommendations will be proposed.

  19. Lung cancer excess in an abandoned lead-zinc mining and smelting area.

    PubMed

    Neuberger, J S; Hollowell, J G

    1982-11-01

    Analysis of cancer mortality in whites has revealed a significant excess in both males and females in an old lead/zinc mining and smelting area. This area consists of three rural contiguous counties: Cherokee County, Kansas, Jasper County, Missouri, and Ottawa County, Oklahoma. The lung cancer excess has persisted for at least 28 years for males and 5 years for females. A pilot case/control study is underway in Cherokee County to assess the influence of cigarette smoking, occupation, and residence on the lung cancer excess. Analysis will incorporate the histologic findings. From an environmental perspective, there are numerous mine tailings containing lead, zinc, cadmium, sulfur, germanium, and other chemicals. Considerable dust is airborne. Numerous openings (sink holes and bore holes) connect the old mines with the surface. Radium 226 has been detected in the untreated groundwater.

  20. Colour and toxic characteristics of metakaolinite–hematite pigment for integrally coloured concrete, prepared from iron oxide recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine

    SciTech Connect

    Sadasivam, Sivachidambaram Thomas, Hywel Rhys

    2016-07-15

    A metakaolinite-hematite (KH) red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine. The KH pigment was prepared by heating the kaolinite and the iron oxide sludge at kaolinite's dehydroxylation temperature. Both the raw sludge and the KH specimen were characterised for their colour properties and toxic characteristics. The KH specimen could serve as a pigment for integrally coloured concrete and offers a potential use for the large volumes of the iron oxide sludge collected from mine water treatment plants. - Graphical abstract: A kaolinite based red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from an abandoned coal mine water treatment plant. Display Omitted - Highlights: • A red pigment was prepared by heating a kaolinite and an iron oxide sludge. • The iron oxide and the pigment were characterised for their colour properties. • The red pigment can be a potential element for integrally coloured concrete.

  1. Chemical quality of water in abandoned zinc mines in northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Playton, Stephen J.; Davis, Robert E.; McClaflin, Roger G.

    1980-01-01

    Onsite measurements of pH, specific conductance, and water temperature show that water in seven mine shafts in northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas is stratified. With increasing sampling depth, specific conductance and water temperature tend to increase, and pH tends to decrease. Concentrations of dissolved solids and chemical constituents in mine-shaft water, such as total and dissolved metals and dissolved sulfate also increase with depth. The apparently unstable condition created by cooler, denser water overlying warmer, less dense water is offset by the greater density of the lower water strata due to higher dissolved solids content.

  2. Geophysical investigations of near-surface materials and groundwater quality at abandoned mine land site No. 1087, Pike County, Indiana

    SciTech Connect

    Spindler, K.M.; Olyphant, G.A.; Harper, D.

    1998-12-31

    Reclamation of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Site No. 1087 (Midwestern) includes extensive use of coal-combustion byproducts such as fly ash and fixated scrubber sludge (FSS) as fill and cover materials. Prior to reclamation, a deposit of coarse-grained pyritic refuse in the central part of the site was the primary source for acidic mine drainage. The FSS tends to have a low permeability, so it was applied over the refuse to serve as a barrier to vertical recharge and thereby inhibit generation and mobilization of additional acidity. Repeated post-reclamation measurements of soil-water content using a neutron moisture gauge provide evidence that vertical recharge is, in fact, not occurring through the FSS. However, a previously existing plume of acidic water extends beyond the area of the refuse into adjacent areas of disturbed overburden (spoil). Electrical resistivity profiles using the offset Wenner method were used to delineate the horizontal extent of the refuse and to quantify spatial variability of groundwater chemistry within the refuse and adjacent spoil. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used to precisely determine the thickness and extent of the FSS layer and its relation to the refuse and to the surrounding plume of acidic water. Together, these techniques provide a complete three-dimensional representation of the FSS, refuse, spoil, and plume of acidic groundwater.

  3. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence and energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis of runoff water and vegetation from abandoned mining of Pb Zn ores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, A. F.; Queralt, I.; Carvalho, M. L.; Bordalo, M.

    2003-12-01

    The present work reports on the heavy metal content: Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd and Pb in running waters and vegetation around abandoned mining areas. Two species of mosses ( Dicranum sp. and Pleurocarpus sp.) and three different species of wild grass ( Bromus sp., Rumex sp. and Pseudoavena sp.) growing on the surrounding areas of old lead-zinc mines (Aran Valley, Pyrenees, NE Spain) have been analyzed. Both water and vegetation were collected in two different sampling places: (a) near the mine gallery water outlets and (b) on the landfill close to the abandoned mineral concentration factories. For the heavy metal content determination, two different techniques were used: total reflection X-ray fluorescence for water analysis and energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence for vegetation study. Surface waters around mine outlets exhibit anomalous content of Co, Ni, Zn, Cd. Stream waters running on mining landfills exhibit higher Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb than those of the waters at the mine gallery outlets. The results allow us to assess the extent of the environmental impact of the mining activities on the water quality. The intake of these elements by vegetation was related with the sampling place, reflecting the metal water content and the substrate chemistry. Accumulation of metals in mosses is higher than those exhibited in wild grasses. Furthermore, different levels of accumulation were found in different wild grass. Rumex sp. presented the lowest metal concentrations, while Pseudoavena sp. reported the highest metal content.

  4. Environmental impact assessment of tailings dispersal from a uranium mine using toxicity testing protocols

    SciTech Connect

    Rippon, G.D.; Riley, S.J.

    1996-12-01

    Toxicity testing is a means of establishing the environmental risk of uranium tailings release. It is valuable in designing tailings containment structures because it assists in setting acceptable levels of risk of the design. This paper presents details of toxicity tests of the tailings from Ranger Uranium Mine, Northern Territory, Australia. The results suggest that the non-radiological toxicity of the tailings is low. The environmental risk of a tailings release is more likely to be related to the physical impacts of the tailings, including infilling of billabongs and changes in the sedimentology of riparian ecosystems rather than their biogeochemical impact. Two major results were: (1) water from treatment with washed tailing fines was not toxic to Hydra viridissima, and (2) mixtures of washed tailings fines and natural floodplain sediment (overlying water or elutriates) were not toxic to Hydra viridissima or Moinodaphnia macleayi. 33 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. 30 CFR 756.14 - Approval of amendments to the Navajo Nation's abandoned mine land plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... Fees Section 403—Objectives of Fund Section 404—Eligible Lands and Water Section 405—Reclamation... Past Mining Practices Section 408—Liens Section 409—Filling Voids and Sealing Tunnels Section 410... Water Subsequent to Certification II(O) (1)—Exclusion of Noncoal Reclamation Sites II(P) (1), (2),...

  6. 30 CFR 756.14 - Approval of amendments to the Navajo Nation's abandoned mine land plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Fees Section 403—Objectives of Fund Section 404—Eligible Lands and Water Section 405—Reclamation... Past Mining Practices Section 408—Liens Section 409—Filling Voids and Sealing Tunnels Section 410... Water Subsequent to Certification II(O) (1)—Exclusion of Noncoal Reclamation Sites II(P) (1), (2),...

  7. 30 CFR 916.20 - Approval of Kansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ..., 1982. He fully approved the Kansas plan, as amended by Kansas House Bill No. 2994 on April 14, 1982, and Kansas House Bill No. 2516 on May 2, 1983, and removed all conditions prohibiting the funding of... available at: (a) Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Surface Mining Section, 4033 Parkview...

  8. Geochemical and mineralogical characterization of the abandoned Valzinco (lead-zinc) and Mitchell (gold) mine sites prior to reclamation, Spotsylvania County, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hammarstrom, Jane M.; Johnson, Adam N.; Seal, Robert R., II; Meier, Allen L.; Briggs, Paul L.; Piatak, Nadine M.

    2006-01-01

    The Virginia gold-pyrite belt, part of the central Virginia volcanic-plutonic belt, hosts numerous abandoned metal mines. The belt extends from about 50 km south of Washington, D.C., for approximately 175 km to the southwest into central Virginia. The rocks that comprise the belt include metamorphosed volcanic and clastic (noncarbonate) sedimentary rocks that were originally deposited during the Ordovician). Deposits that were mined can be classified into three broad categories: 1. volcanic-associated massive sulfide deposits, 2. low-sulfide quartz-gold vein deposits, 3. gold placer deposits, which result from weathering of the vein deposits The massive sulfide deposits were historically mined for iron and pyrite (sulfur), zinc, lead, and copper but also yielded byproduct gold and silver. The most intensely mineralized and mined section of the belt is southwest of Fredericksburg, in the Mineral district of Louisa and Spotsylvania counties. The Valzinco Piatak lead-zinc mine and the Mitchell gold prospect are abandoned sites in Spotsylvania County. As a result of environmental impacts associated with historic mining, both sites were prioritized for reclamation under the Virginia Orphaned Land Program administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (VDMME). This report summarizes geochemical data for all solid sample media, along with mineralogical data, and results of weathering experiments on Valzinco tailings and field experiments on sediment accumulation in Knights Branch. These data provide a framework for evaluating water-rock interactionsand geoenvironmental signatures of long-abandoned mines developed in massive sulfide deposits and low-sulfide gold-quartz vein deposits in the humid temperate ecosystem domain in the eastern United States.

  9. Radon exposure in uranium mining industry vs. exposure in tourist caves.

    PubMed

    Quindós Poncela, L; Fernández Navarro, P; Sainz Fernández, C; Gómez Arozamena, J; Bordonoba Perez, M

    2004-01-01

    There is a fairly general consensus among health physicists and radiation professionals that exposure to radon progeny is the largest and most variable contribution to the population's exposure to natural sources of radiation. However, this exposure is the subject of continuing debate concerning the validity of risk assessment and recommendations on how to act in radon-prone areas. The purpose of this contribution is to situate the radon issue in Spain in two very different settings. The first is a uranium mining industry located in Saelices el Chico (Salamanca), which is under strict control of the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN). We have measured radon concentrations in different workplaces in this mine over a five-year period. The second setting comprises four tourist caves, three of which are located in the province of Cantabria and the fourth on the Canary Island of Lanzarote. These caves are not subject to any administrative control of radiation exposure. Measured air 222Rn concentrations were used to estimate annual effective doses due to radon inhalation in the two settings, and dose values were found to be from 2 to 10 times lower in the uranium mine than in the tourist caves. These results were analysed in the context of the new European Basic Safety Standards Directive (EU-BSS, 1996).

  10. Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Abandoned Mine Lands as Signifcant Contamination Problem in Hungary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csuhanics, Balazs; Jordan, G.; Foldessy, J.; Szakall, S.

    2010-05-01

    The accurate survey of the home mineral raw material resources in Hungary has been an emphasised research achievement since the early 1950's. In the early 1960's, the ore deposit explorations have begun in the Mátra Mountains which area had a long history of ore mining and the scientific attendance focused on this area such as the polimetallic veins of Parádsasvár. During the field works and in situ surveys , explorers used trenches and exploration adits to heading through the supposed ore veins. The problem is that the exploration areas' land reclamation has not befallen yet. This plight can characterize as mining-related environmental contamination which is a global problem. The associated mining waste is known to be among the largest waste streams in, for example, the European Union, where it is estimated to be 400 Mt, which amounts to about 29% of total waste generated in the European Union (EU) (Jordan, 2004a). Mine site (including exploration areas, as well) remediation have become the major activities of the mining industry according to EU standards by improving environmental and waste legislation (Charbonnier, 2001; Jordan, 2004; Jordan and D'Alessandro, 2004), which gave actuality of this thesis. The disarrayed metallic tailings were deposed onsite without proper pretreatment. These tailings mean not only the anthropogenic effect on natural environment to this day but also a particular environmental danger because they are characterized by a lack of control and a lack of data and information. The objective of this thesis is to define the heavy metal anomalies of the exploration area (Tulk and Tucker, 1998), characterize the connection between the background geochemical values with the tailings' values, evaluate the correlations and give solution to mitigate the undesirable effects. By the recent explorations it can be noticeable that the tailings from the last century's surveys have direct toxic affects on the ecosystems adding to naturally high

  11. Blood biomonitoring of metals in subjects living near abandoned mining and active industrial areas.

    PubMed

    Madeddu, Roberto; Tolu, Paola; Asara, Yolande; Farace, Cristiano; Forte, Giovanni; Bocca, Beatrice

    2013-07-01

    A human blood biomonitoring campaign to detect the environmental exposure to metals (Cd, Cu, Cr, Mn, Pb and Zn) in 265 subjects was performed in the South-Western part of Sardinia (an Italian island) that is a particular area with a great history of coal and metal mining (Pb/Zn mainly) activities and large industrial structures (as metallurgy). Subjects living near the industrial plant area had geometric means (GM) of blood Cd (0.79 μg/l), Cu (971 μg/l), Mn (12.2 μg/l), and Pb (55.7 μg/l) significantly higher than controls (Cd, 0.47 μg/l; Cu, 900 μg/l; Mn 9.98 μg/l; Pb, 26.5 μg/l) and than people living nearby the past mining sites. Subjects living next to one dismissed mine were statistically higher in blood Cu (GM, 1,022 μg/l) and Pb (GM, 41.4 μg/l) concentrations than controls. No differences were observed in people living in the different mining sites, and this might be related to the decennial disclosure of mines and the adoption of environmental remediation programmes. Some interindividual variables influenced blood biomonitoring data, as smoke and age for Cd, gender for Cu, age, sex and alcohol for Pb, and age for Zn. Moreover, blood metal levels of the whole population were similar to reference values representative of the Sardinian population and acceptably safe according to currently available health guidelines.

  12. Performance of a wetland/anoxic limestone drain treatment system at the Douglas abandoned mine land project

    SciTech Connect

    Sterner, P.L.; Cliff, J.B.; Skousen, J.G.; Sexstone, A.J.

    1996-12-31

    Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) exiting West Virginia`s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) sites often is remediated using passive treatment systems. A new passive treatment technology which employs a combination wetland/anoxic limestone drain (WALD) is currently being evaluated at one AML site near Thomas, WV. The WALD utilizes a three cell design to complete treatment. Cell 1 (dimensions 365.8m x 2.5m x 1.8m- L x W x D) employs a 0.6m base of limestone overlain by 1.2m of organic material. Cell 2 (dimensions 457.2m x 9.1m x 2.4m) employs a 1.5m limestone base overlain by 0.9m of organic material. Cell 3 (dimensions 25m x 9.1 in x 1.2m) is a sedimentation basin which allows deposition of precipitating metals. Thirteen polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cylinders with multiple ports were installed throughout the system so that water sampling at various locations and depths can be conducted. The working hypotheses to be tested is whether microbial iron reduction in organic sediments is sufficient to prevent limestone coating by iron oxyhydroxides, thus allowing continuous limestone dissolution and subsequent pH increase of the treated AMD. Influent water enters the system via surface flow at a rate of approximately 240 gpm from pipes draining an underground coal mine. Average influent AMD parameters over the study period were: pH = 3.0, total acidity = 426 mg/L, total alkalinity = 0 mg/L, total iron = 20 mg/L, total manganese = 6 mg/L and aluminum = 31 mg/L. Results based on effluent water quality indicate that AMD is being treated by the WALD.

  13. Radio-Ecological Conditions of Groundwater in the Area of Uranium Mining and Milling Facility - 13525

    SciTech Connect

    Titov, A.V.; Semenova, M.P.; Seregin, V.A.; Isaev, D.V.; Metlyaev, E.G.; Glagolev, A.V.; Klimova, T.I.; Sevtinova, E.B.; Zolotukhina, S.B.; Zhuravleva, L.A.

    2013-07-01

    Manmade chemical and radioactive contamination of groundwater is one of damaging effects of the uranium mining and milling facilities. Groundwater contamination is of special importance for the area of Priargun Production Mining and Chemical Association, JSC 'PPMCA', because groundwater is the only source of drinking water. The paper describes natural conditions of the site, provides information on changes of near-surface area since the beginning of the company, illustrates the main trends of contaminators migration and assesses manmade impact on the quality and mode of near-surface and ground waters. The paper also provides the results of chemical and radioactive measurements in groundwater at various distances from the sources of manmade contamination to the drinking water supply areas. We show that development of deposits, mine water discharge, leakages from tailing dams and cinder storage facility changed general hydro-chemical balance of the area, contributed to new (overlaid) aureoles and flows of scattering paragenetic uranium elements, which are much smaller in comparison with natural ones. However, increasing flow of groundwater stream at the mouth of Sukhoi Urulyungui due to technological water infiltration, mixing of natural water with filtration streams from industrial reservoirs and sites, containing elevated (relative to natural background) levels of sulfate-, hydro-carbonate and carbonate- ions, led to the development and moving of the uranium contamination aureole from the undeveloped field 'Polevoye' to the water inlet area. The aureole front crossed the southern border of water inlet of drinking purpose. The qualitative composition of groundwater, especially in the southern part of water inlet, steadily changes for the worse. The current Russian intervention levels of gross alpha activity and of some natural radionuclides including {sup 222}Rn are in excess in drinking water; regulations for fluorine and manganese concentrations are also in excess

  14. The future of Yellowcake: a global assessment of uranium resources and mining.

    PubMed

    Mudd, Gavin M

    2014-02-15

    Uranium (U) mining remains controversial in many parts of the world, especially in a post-Fukushima context, and often in areas with significant U resources. Although nuclear proponents point to the relatively low carbon intensity of nuclear power compared to fossil fuels, opponents argue that this will be eroded in the future as ore grades decline and energy and greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) intensity increases as a result. Invariably both sides fail to make use of the increasingly available data reported by some U mines through sustainability reporting - allowing a comprehensive assessment of recent trends in the energy and GGE intensity of U production, as well as combining this with reported mineral resources to allow more comprehensive modelling of future energy and GGEs intensity. In this study, detailed data sets are compiled on reported U resources by deposit type, as well as mine production, energy and GGE intensity. Some important aspects included are the relationship between ore grade, deposit type and recovery, which are crucial in future projections of U mining. Overall, the paper demonstrates that there are extensive U resources known to meet potential short to medium term demand, although the future of U mining remains uncertain due to the doubt about the future of nuclear power as well as a range of complex social, environmental, economic and some site-specific technical issues.

  15. Effects of historical coal mining and drainage from abandoned mines on streamflow and water quality in Bear Creek, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania-March 1999-December 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaplin, Jeffrey J.

    2005-01-01

    More than 100 years of anthracite coal mining has changed surface- and ground-water hydrology and contaminated streams draining the Southern Anthracite Coal Field in east-central Pennsylvania. Bear Creek drains the western prong of the Southern Anthracite Coal Field and is affected by metals in drainage from abandoned mines and streamwater losses. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) developed for dissolved iron of about 5 lb/d (pounds per day) commonly are exceeded in the reach downstream of mine discharges. Restoration of Bear Creek using aerobic ponds to passively remove iron in abandoned mine drainage is under consideration (2004) by the Dauphin County Conservation District. This report, prepared in cooperation with the Dauphin County Conservation District, evaluates chemical and hydrologic data collected in Bear Creek and its receiving waters prior to implementation of mine-drainage treatment. The data collected represent the type of baseline information needed for documentation of water-quality changes following passive treatment of mine drainage in Pennsylvania and in other similar hydrogeologic settings. Seven surface-water sites on Bear Creek and two mine discharges were monitored for nearly three years to characterize the chemistry and hydrology of the following: (1) Bear Creek upstream of the mine discharges (BC-UMD), (2) water draining from the Lykens-Williamstown Mine Pool at the Lykens Water-Level Tunnel (LWLT) and Lykens Drift (LD) discharges, (3) Bear Creek after mixing with the mine discharges (BC-DMD), and (4) Bear Creek prior to mixing with Wiconisco Creek (BCM). Two sites on Wiconisco Creek, upstream and downstream of Bear Creek (WC-UBC and WC-DBC, respectively), were selected to evaluate changes in streamflow and water quality upon mixing with Bear Creek. During periods of below-normal precipitation, streamwater loss was commonly 100 percent upstream of site BC-UMD (streamflow range = 0 to 9.7 ft3/s (cubic feet per second)) but no loss was detected

  16. The New Generation of Uranium In Situ Recovery Facilities: Design Improvements Should Reduce Radiological Impacts Relative to First Generation Uranium Solution Mining Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, S.H.

    2008-07-01

    In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the demand for Uranium as historical inventories have been consumed and new reactor orders are being placed. Numerous mineralized properties around the world are being evaluated for Uranium recovery and new mining / milling projects are being evaluated and developed. Ore bodies which are considered uneconomical to mine by conventional methods such as tunneling or open pits, can be candidates for non-conventional recovery techniques, involving considerably less capital expenditure. Technologies such as Uranium In Situ Leaching / In Situ Recovery (ISL / ISR - also referred to as 'solution mining'), have enabled commercial scale mining and milling of relatively small ore pockets of lower grade, and are expected to make a significant contribution to overall world wide uranium supplies over the next ten years. Commercial size solution mining production facilities have operated in the US since the mid 1970's. However, current designs are expected to result in less radiological wastes and emissions relative to these 'first' generation plants (which were designed, constructed and operated through the 1980's). These early designs typically used alkaline leach chemistries in situ including use of ammonium carbonate which resulted in groundwater restoration challenges, open to air recovery vessels and high temperature calcining systems for final product drying vs the 'zero emissions' vacuum dryers as typically used today. Improved containment, automation and instrumentation control and use of vacuum dryers in the design of current generation plants are expected to reduce production of secondary waste byproduct material, reduce Radon emissions and reduce potential for employee exposure to uranium concentrate aerosols at the back end of the milling process. In Situ Recovery in the U.S. typically involves the circulation of groundwater, fortified with oxidizing (gaseous oxygen e.g) and complexing agents (carbon

  17. Abandoned mines, mountain sports, and climate variability: Implications for the Colorado tourism economy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, Andrew; McKnight, Diane; Wyatt, Lane

    Until recently, the allure of the mountains in the American West was primarily extractive, for commodities like timber, water, and precious metals [Baron et. al., 2000]. Now, the effective marketing and management of the regions “white gold” by the ski industry has stimulated significant recreation-related growth and development in the last several decades. Under an uncertain climatic future, however, these burgeoning industries, and the communities that have grown up in relation to them, are facing water quality constraints inherited from historical mining practices, causing mountain water to become a limited resource more valuable than the precious metals of the past. Further, the current lack of proven, in-situ approaches for addressing distributed, mining waste pollution of fresh water complicates potential remediation efforts.

  18. The ethical issues in uranium mining research in the Navajo Nation.

    PubMed

    Panikkar, Bindu; Brugge, Doug

    2007-01-01

    We explore the experience of Navajo communities living under the shadow of nuclear age fallout who were subjects of five decades of research. In this historical analysis of public health (epidemiological) research conducted in the Navajo lands since the inception of uranium mining from the 1950s untill the end of the 20th century, we analyze the successes and failures in the research initiatives conducted on Navajo lands, the ethical breaches, and the harms and benefits that this research has brought about to the community. We discuss how scientific and moral uncertainty, lack of full stakeholder participation and community wide outreach and education can impact ethical decisions made in research.

  19. Screening of metal uptake by plant colonizers growing on abandoned copper mine in Kapunda, South Australia.

    PubMed

    Nirola, Ramkrishna; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Aryal, Rupak; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Systematic site survey for sample collection and analysis was conducted at a derelict copper (Cu) mine at Kapunda, South Australia. Cu concentrations in the soils at this former mine ranged from 65-10107 mg kg(-1). The pH and EC varied widely in the 3.9-8.4 and 152-7311 µS ranges, respectively. Nine plant species growing over the copper mine site were selected to screen for metal uptake to determine their suitability for phytoremediation. The Australian native tree species Eucalyptus camaldulensis indicated enrichment factor (EF) of 2.17, 1.89, and 1.30 for Cu, Zn, and Pb, respectively, suggesting that this species of tree can accumulate these metals to some degree. The stress-resistant exotic olive, Olea europaea exhibited EF of ≤ 0.01 for Cu, Cd, and Pb, and 0.29 for Zn, which is characteristic of an excluder plant. Acacia pycnantha, the Australian pioneer legume species with EF 0.03, 0.80, 0.32, and 0.01 for Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb, respectively, emerged as another strong metal excluder and consequently as an ideal metal stabilizer.

  20. Characterization of a Bacterial Community in an Abandoned Semiarid Lead-Zinc Mine Tailing Site▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, Monica O.; Neilson, Julia W.; Maier, Raina M.

    2008-01-01

    Bacterial diversity in mine tailing microbial communities has not been thoroughly investigated despite the correlations that have been observed between the relative microbial diversity and the success of revegetation efforts at tailing sites. This study employed phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA genes to compare the bacterial communities present in highly disturbed, extremely (pH 2.7) and moderately (pH 5.7) acidic lead-zinc mine tailing samples from a semiarid environment with those from a vegetated off-site (OS) control sample (pH 8). Phylotype richness in these communities decreased from 42 in the OS control to 24 in the moderately acidic samples and 8 in the extremely acidic tailing samples. The clones in the extremely acidic tailing sample were most closely related to acidophiles, none of which were detected in the OS control sample. The comparison generated by this study between the bacteria present in extremely acidic tailing and that in moderately acidic tailing communities with those in an OS control soil provides a reference point from which to evaluate the successful restoration of mine tailing disposal sites by phytostabilization. PMID:18424534

  1. Characterization of a bacterial community in an abandoned semiarid lead-zinc mine tailing site.

    PubMed

    Mendez, Monica O; Neilson, Julia W; Maier, Raina M

    2008-06-01

    Bacterial diversity in mine tailing microbial communities has not been thoroughly investigated despite the correlations that have been observed between the relative microbial diversity and the success of revegetation efforts at tailing sites. This study employed phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA genes to compare the bacterial communities present in highly disturbed, extremely (pH 2.7) and moderately (pH 5.7) acidic lead-zinc mine tailing samples from a semiarid environment with those from a vegetated off-site (OS) control sample (pH 8). Phylotype richness in these communities decreased from 42 in the OS control to 24 in the moderately acidic samples and 8 in the extremely acidic tailing samples. The clones in the extremely acidic tailing sample were most closely related to acidophiles, none of which were detected in the OS control sample. The comparison generated by this study between the bacteria present in extremely acidic tailing and that in moderately acidic tailing communities with those in an OS control soil provides a reference point from which to evaluate the successful restoration of mine tailing disposal sites by phytostabilization.

  2. A top-down assessment of energy, water and land use in uranium mining, milling, and refining

    SciTech Connect

    E. Schneider; B. Carlsen; E. Tavrides; C. van der Hoeven; U. Phathanapirom

    2013-11-01

    Land, water and energy use are key measures of the sustainability of uranium production into the future. As the most attractive, accessible deposits are mined out, future discoveries may prove to be significantly, perhaps unsustainably, more intensive consumers of environmental resources. A number of previous attempts have been made to provide empirical relationships connecting these environmental impact metrics to process variables such as stripping ratio and ore grade. These earlier attempts were often constrained by a lack of real world data and perform poorly when compared against data from modern operations. This paper conditions new empirical models of energy, water and land use in uranium mining, milling, and refining on contemporary data reported by operating mines. It shows that, at present, direct energy use from uranium production represents less than 1% of the electrical energy produced by the once-through fuel cycle. Projections of future energy intensity from uranium production are also possible by coupling the empirical models with estimates of uranium crustal abundance, characteristics of new discoveries, and demand. The projections show that even for the most pessimistic of scenarios considered, by 2100, the direct energy use from uranium production represents less than 3% of the electrical energy produced by the contemporary once-through fuel cycle.

  3. Evolution of vegetation and soil nutrients after uranium mining in Los Ratones mine (Cáceres, Spain).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Fernández, María A; Vera-Tomé, Feliciano; Blanco-Rodríguez, María P; Lozano, Juan C

    2014-06-01

    The evolution of vegetation structure following mine rehabilitation is rather scarce in the literature. The concentration of long-lived radionuclides of the (238)U series might have harmful effects on living organisms. We studied soil properties and the natural vegetation occurring along a gradient in Los Ratones, an area rehabilitated after uranium mining located in Cáceres, Spain. Soil and vegetation were sampled seasonally and physical and chemical properties of soil were analysed, including natural isotopes of (238)U, (230)Th, (226)Ra and (210)Pb. Species richness, diversity, evenness and plant cover were estimated and correlated in relation to soil physical and chemical variables. The location of the sampling sites along a gradient had a strong explanatory effect on the herbaceous species, as well as the presence of shrubs and trees. Seasonal effects of the four natural isotopes were observed in species richness, species diversity and plant cover; these effects were directly related to the pH values in the soil, this being the soil property that most influences the plant distribution. Vegetation in the studied area resembles that of the surroundings, thus proving that the rehabilitation carried out in Los Ratones mine was successful in terms of understorey cover recovery.

  4. Phylogenetic Diversity of Archaea and the Archaeal Ammonia Monooxygenase Gene in Uranium Mining-Impacted Locations in Bulgaria

    PubMed Central

    Radeva, Galina; Kenarova, Anelia; Bachvarova, Velina; Popov, Ivan; Selenska-Pobell, Sonja

    2014-01-01

    Uranium mining and milling activities adversely affect the microbial populations of impacted sites. The negative effects of uranium on soil bacteria and fungi are well studied, but little is known about the effects of radionuclides and heavy metals on archaea. The composition and diversity of archaeal communities inhabiting the waste pile of the Sliven uranium mine and the soil of the Buhovo uranium mine were investigated using 16S rRNA gene retrieval. A total of 355 archaeal clones were selected, and their 16S rDNA inserts were analysed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) discriminating 14 different RFLP types. All evaluated archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences belong to the 1.1b/Nitrososphaera cluster of Crenarchaeota. The composition of the archaeal community is distinct for each site of interest and dependent on environmental characteristics, including pollution levels. Since the members of 1.1b/Nitrososphaera cluster have been implicated in the nitrogen cycle, the archaeal communities from these sites were probed for the presence of the ammonia monooxygenase gene (amoA). Our data indicate that amoA gene sequences are distributed in a similar manner as in Crenarchaeota, suggesting that archaeal nitrification processes in uranium mining-impacted locations are under the control of the same key factors controlling archaeal diversity. PMID:24711725

  5. Phylogenetic diversity of archaea and the archaeal ammonia monooxygenase gene in uranium mining-impacted locations in Bulgaria.

    PubMed

    Radeva, Galina; Kenarova, Anelia; Bachvarova, Velina; Flemming, Katrin; Popov, Ivan; Vassilev, Dimitar; Selenska-Pobell, Sonja

    2014-01-01

    Uranium mining and milling activities adversely affect the microbial populations of impacted sites. The negative effects of uranium on soil bacteria and fungi are well studied, but little is known about the effects of radionuclides and heavy metals on archaea. The composition and diversity of archaeal communities inhabiting the waste pile of the Sliven uranium mine and the soil of the Buhovo uranium mine were investigated using 16S rRNA gene retrieval. A total of 355 archaeal clones were selected, and their 16S rDNA inserts were analysed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) discriminating 14 different RFLP types. All evaluated archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences belong to the 1.1b/Nitrososphaera cluster of Crenarchaeota. The composition of the archaeal community is distinct for each site of interest and dependent on environmental characteristics, including pollution levels. Since the members of 1.1b/Nitrososphaera cluster have been implicated in the nitrogen cycle, the archaeal communities from these sites were probed for the presence of the ammonia monooxygenase gene (amoA). Our data indicate that amoA gene sequences are distributed in a similar manner as in Crenarchaeota, suggesting that archaeal nitrification processes in uranium mining-impacted locations are under the control of the same key factors controlling archaeal diversity.

  6. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO RADON IN DIFFERENT KINDS OF NON-URANIUM MINES.

    PubMed

    Fan, D; Zhuo, W; Zhang, Y

    2016-09-01

    For more accurate assessments of the occupational exposure to radon for miners, the individual monitoring was conducted by using an improved passive integrating (222)Rn monitor. A total of 120 miners in 3 different kinds of mines were monitored throughout a year. The results showed that the individual exposure to radon significantly varied with types of mines and work. Compared with the exposure to coal miners, the exposure to copper miners was much higher. Furthermore, it was found that the exposure might be overestimated if the environmental (222)Rn monitored by the passive integrating monitors was used for assessment. The results indicate that the individual monitoring of radon is necessary for an accurate assessment of radon exposure to miners, and radon exposure to non-uranium miners should also be assessed from the viewpoint of radiation protection.

  7. Environmental impact of uranium mining and ore processing in the Lagoa Real District, Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Ilson G; Cidu, Rosa; Fanfani, Luca; Pitsch, Helmut; Beaucaire, Catherine; Zuddas, Pierpaolo

    2005-11-15

    Uranium mining and processing at Lagoa Real (Bahia, Brazil) started in 2000. Hydrogeochemical monitoring carried out from 1999 to 2001 revealed generally good quality of the water resources outside and inside the mineralized area. No chemical contamination in waters for domestic uses was observed. Hydrochemical characteristics did not vary significantly after 1 year of U exploitation, as compared to premining conditions. Due to the short time of mining, the results cannot exclude future variations in water quality. Leaching experiments helped to describe processes of ore and waste degradation. Sulfate was identified as an indicator for different types of contamination. Potential hazards related to local climate (hot rainy season) were identified. They indicate that tailings derived from the ore processing, destabilized by sulfuric acid attack, may induce acidification and salinization in the surrounding environment. Another potential source of environmental impact could be linked to local radium-rich mineralization, originating radon emission.

  8. Effects of Historical Coal Mining and Drainage from Abandoned Mines on Streamflow and Water Quality in Newport and Nanticoke Creeks, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, 1999-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaplin, Jeffrey J.; Cravotta, Charles A.; Weitzel, Jeffrey B.; Klemow, Kenneth M.

    2007-01-01

    This report characterizes the effects of historical mining and abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streamflow and water quality and evaluates potential strategies for AMD abatement in the 14-square-mile Newport Creek Basin and 7.6-square-mile Nanticoke Creek Basin. Both basins are mostly within the Northern Anthracite Coal Field and drain to the Susquehanna River in central Luzerne County, Pa. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Earth Conservancy, conducted an assessment from April 1999 to September 2000 that included (1) continuous stage measurement at 7 sites; (2) synoptic water-quality and flow sampling at 21 sites on June 2-4, 1999, and at 24 sites on October 7-8, 1999; and (3) periodic measurement of flow and water quality at 26 additional sites not included in the synoptic sampling effort. Stream water and surface runoff from the unmined uplands drain northward to the valley, where most of the water is intercepted and diverted into abandoned underground mines. Water that infiltrates into the mine workings becomes loaded with acidity, metals, and sulfate and later discharges as AMD at topographically low points along lower reaches of Newport Creek, Nanticoke Creek, and their tributaries. Differences among streamflows in unmined and mined areas of the watersheds indicated that (1) intermediate stream reaches within the mined area but upgradient of AMD sites generally were either dry or losing reaches, (2) ground water flowing to AMD sites could cross beneath surface-drainage divides, and (3) AMD discharging to the lower stream reaches restored volumes lost in the upstream reaches. The synoptic data for June and October 1999, along with continuous stage data during the study period, indicated flows during synoptic surveys were comparable to average values. The headwaters upstream of the mined area generally were oxygenated (dissolved oxygen range was 4.7 to 11.0 mg/L [milligrams per liter]), near-neutral (pH range was 5.8 to 7.6), and net

  9. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil

    PubMed Central

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10−4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10−2 and 4×10−2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10−3 and 4×10−3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already

  10. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10-4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10-2 and 4×10-2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10-3 and 4×10-3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already compromised by

  11. Antimony and arsenic behaviours in soils from three abandoned gold mining areas in northern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvalho, Paula; Neiva, Ana; Silva, Maria

    2013-04-01

    The Valongo anticline located 18 km at East of Porto is characterized by the occurrence of several gold deposits, which were exploited until the end of the nineteenth century. This anticline comprises Cambrian to Carboniferous metasediments. The Cambrian schist-graywacke complex crops out in the western limb of the anticline and is intersected by several Sb-Au quartz veins, mainly Montalto and Tapada. At the eastern limb of the anticline, As-Au quartz veins cut Ordovician black slates and were exploited at the Banjas mine. The Sb-Au quartz veins contain mainly quartz, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, pyrite, marcasite, sphalerite, chalcophyrite, galena, gold, tetrahedrite, jamesonite, plagionite, berthierite, stibnite, antimony and carbonates. The As-Au quartz veins consist of quartz, arsenopyrite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, cobaltite, glaucodote, sphalerite, boulangerite, tetrahedrite and siderite. Stibnite and arsenopyrite are the most abundant sulphides in Sb-Au and As-Au quartz veins, respectively. Therefore, antimony and arsenic are potential contaminants in the surrounding environments of these old mines. The principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to organic matter, pH, cation exchange capacity, clay size particle and reducible, oxidizable and aqua regia Fe, Mn, As and Sb concentrations obtained by the BCR method in 29 soil samples. The PCA shows a substantial distinction between Sb and As behaviours in soils from the old mining areas of Montalto, Tapada and Banjas. The arsenic concentration ranges between 16.98 mg/kg and 1116 mg/kg, whereas the Sb concentration ranges from 6.4 mg/kg to 21775 mg/kg. The antimony is statistically more correlated with Fe and Mn in the oxides fraction, whereas As in the reducible fraction dependents on pH values. Moreover, Fe and Mn concentrations in the oxidizable fraction are highly correlated with the organic matter, suggesting that pyrite, the main host mineral of Fe, was probably totally altered. However, the As concentration in

  12. Uranium aqueous speciation in the vicinity of the former uranium mining sites using the diffusive gradients in thin films and ultrafiltration techniques.

    PubMed

    Drozdzak, Jagoda; Leermakers, Martine; Gao, Yue; Elskens, Marc; Phrommavanh, Vannapha; Descostes, Michael

    2016-03-24

    The performance of the Diffusive Gradients in Thin films (DGT) technique with Chelex(®)-100, Metsorb™ and Diphonix(®) as binding phases was evaluated in the vicinity of the former uranium mining sites of Chardon and L'Ecarpière (Loire-Atlantique department in western France). This is the first time that the DGT technique with three different binding agents was employed for the aqueous U determination in the context of uranium mining environments. The fractionation and speciation of uranium were investigated using a multi-methodological approach using filtration (0.45 μm, 0.2 μm), ultrafiltration (500 kDa, 100 kDa and 10 kDa) coupled to geochemical speciation modelling (PhreeQC) and the DGT technique. The ultrafiltration data showed that at each sampling point uranium was present mostly in the 10 kDa truly dissolved fraction and the geochemical modelling speciation calculations indicated that U speciation was markedly predominated by CaUO2(CO3)3(2-). In natural waters, no significant difference was observed in terms of U uptake between Chelex(®)-100 and Metsorb™, while similar or inferior U uptake was observed on Diphonix(®) resin. In turn, at mining influenced sampling spots, the U accumulation on DGT-Diphonix(®) was higher than on DGT-Chelex(®)-100 and DGT-Metsorb™, probably because their performance was disturbed by the extreme composition of the mining waters. The use of Diphonix(®) resin leads to a significant advance in the application and development of the DGT technique for determination of U in mining influenced environments. This investigation demonstrated that such multi-technique approach provides a better picture of U speciation and enables to assess more accurately the potentially bioavailable U pool.

  13. Impact of uranium mining activity on cave deposit (stalagmite) and pine trees (S-Hungary)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siklosy, Z.; Kern, Z.; Demeny, A.; Pilet, S.; Leel-Ossy, Sz.; Lin, K.; Shen, C.-C.; Szeles, E.

    2009-04-01

    Speleothems are well known paleoclimate archives but their potential for monitoring environmental pollution has not been fully explored. This study deals with an actively growing stalagmite whose trace-element concentration suggests anthropogenic contamination, rather then natural forcing. Paralell, as a potential independent chemo-enviromental archive, living pine (Pinus sylvestis) trees were also involved into investigation. U production in S-Hungary started in 1957 and was expanded closer to the cave site in 1965, covering a mining plot area of ca. 65 km2. The deep-level ore production ended in 1997 and remediation of the mine site has since been completed. Our objective was to determine the possible effect of the four-decade-long uranium (U) ore mining activity on the environment, as recorded by a cave deposit and the pine trees. The Trio Cave is located in the Mecsek Mts (S-Hungary), ca. 1.5-3 km east from the nearest air-shaft and entrance of the uranium mine. A stalagmite located about 150 m away from the cave entrance was drilled and the core investigated for stable isotope and trace element compositions. Pine trees were sampled by increment borer. Continuous flow mass spectrometry was applied on carbonate samples and laser ablation ICP-MS was applied for trace element analysis of both stalagmite (Siklosy et al., 2009) and pine samples. The youngest 1 cm of the drill core was selected for this study that may represent the last cca. 100 years (based on MC-ICP-MS age dating of older parts of the core) that covers the uranium mining period. The pre-mining period is characterized by systematic co-variations of trace elements (U, P, Si, Al, Ba, Mg, etc.) that can be related to soil activity and precipitation amount. The youngest 1.3 mm, however, records a sudden change in U content uncorrelated with any other variables. Starting from a background value of 0.2-0.3 ppm, the concentration gradually increases to about 2 ppm (within about 1 mm), remains constant for

  14. Stable isotopes of nitrogen in plants of contaminated soils and sediments by an abandoned gold mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, O. F.; Sanchez, A.; Marmolejo, A. J.; Magallanes, V. R.

    2013-05-01

    Mining industry is an economic activity which generates high ecological impact. In the mining district "El Triunfo", the concentration of potential toxic elements (PTE: As, Cd, Hg, Sb) have exceeded 50 times allowable limits. Nowadays, environmental pollution levels can be evaluated through the use of stable isotopes of N. For this, isotopic analysis of nitrogen and concentrations of metals and metalloids were considered in the area where plants are exposed (Prosopis spp., Parkinsonia spp. and Salicornia spp.) Polluted sediments were collected over 48 km of the Las Gallinas-El Hondo-El Carrizal arroyo. PTE concentrations, with a previous acidic digestion (HF, HCl, HNO3 and H2SO4) were determined by ICP-MS. As and Sb were determined by NAA. For N isotopes, obtained samples were grounded to fine powder in an agate mortar with an acetone rinse between samples then analyzed by an EA-IRMS. Results showed that plants growing on the tailings decreased their δ15N proportionally to the metal concentration in the area.

  15. Mineralogical and microtextural characterization of ``gel-zircon`` from the Manibay uranium mine, Kazakhstan

    SciTech Connect

    Helean, K.B.; Ewing, R.C.; Burakov, B.E.; Anderson, E.B.; Strykanova, E.E.; Ushakov, S.V.

    1997-12-31

    Gel-zircon, an unusual Zr-silicate phase from the Manibay uranium mine, northern Kazakhstan, was studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron microprobe energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). XRD results indicate that gel-zircon is mostly amorphous and occurs with numerous impurity phases. Microprobe EDS results indicate a UO{sub 2} content up to 9.14 wt.% HRTEM images revealed that the microtexture of gel-zircon consists of nanocrystallites of zircon, 2--10 nm in size, in a dominantly amorphous matrix. Despite the U-Pb age of 420 {+-} 25 my and the lack of significant crystallinity, the gel-zircon is an apparently chemically durable phase. Leaching of uranium ores which contain gel-zircon as the major U-bearing phase is impossible using existing uranium plant technologies. The alpha-decay dose, 2.64 displacements per atom (dpa), corresponding to the age of gel-zircon is much higher than that (0.5 dpa) required to cause metamictization of crystalline zircon. However, the morphology of gel-zircon which occurs as veins up to 5 mm thick and tens of mm long does not indicate initial crystallinity. Initially crystalline natural zircons often preserve their crystal morphology after metamictization. This amorphous phase is analogous to the highly damaged state characteristic of zircon proposed as a waste form for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium.

  16. Heavy metal impact on bacterial biomass based on DNA analyses and uptake by wild plants in the abandoned copper mine soils.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhaohui; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Beer, Michael; Ming, Hui; Mahmudur Rahman, Mohammad; Wu, Weihong; Naidu, Ravi

    2009-09-01

    The metals contamination in surface soils and their accumulation in wild plants from the abandoned Burra and Kapunda copper mines located in South Australia were assessed, and the predominant bacterial diversity in the contaminated surface soils from these two abandoned copper mine sites were evaluated through polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis. The results showed the average concentration of Cu in soils was 3821.59 mg/kg while wild plants accumulated up to 173.44 mg/kg. The concentration of Cu in shoots of spear grass (Stipa uitida) and berry saltbush (Afriplex semibaccata) was higher than that of roots. The concentration of total and extractable As, Cd, Cu and Pb in soils slightly correlated with of these elements in the corresponding wild plants. The toxicity of Cu in heavily contaminated soils impacted on the quantities of specific microbial populations and no significant change in the microbial diversity of highly contaminated soils.

  17. Field study on the accumulation of trace elements by vegetables produced in the vicinity of abandoned pyrite mines.

    PubMed

    Alvarenga, Paula; Simões, Isabel; Palma, Patrícia; Amaral, Olga; Matos, João Xavier

    2014-02-01

    To evaluate the accumulation of trace elements (TE) by vegetables produced in the vicinity of abandoned pyrite mines, eighteen different small farms were selected near three mines from the Portuguese sector of the Iberian Pyrite Belt (São Domingos, Aljustrel and Lousal). Total and bioavailable As, Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations were analyzed in the soils, and the same TE were analyzed in three different vegetables, lettuce (Lactuca sativa), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), and cabbage (Brassica oleracea), collected at the same locations. The soils were contaminated with As, Cu, Pb, and Zn, since their total concentrations exceeded the considered soil quality guideline values for plant production in the majority of the sampling sites. The maximum total concentrations for those TE were extremely high in some of the sampling sites (e.g. 1,851 mg As kg(-1) in São Domingos, 1,126 mg Cu kg(-1) in Aljustrel, 4,946 mg Pb kg(-1) in São Domingos, and 1,224 mg Zn kg(-1) in Aljustrel). However, the soils were mainly circumneutral, a factor that contributes to their low bioavailable fractions. As a result, generally, the plants contained levels of these elements characteristic of uncontaminated plants, and accumulation factors for all elements <1, typical of excluder plants. Furthermore, the estimated daily intake (EDI) for Cu and Zn, through the consumption of these vegetables, falls below the recommended upper limit for daily intake of these elements. The sampling site that stood out from the others was located at São João de Negrilhos (Aljustrel), where bioavailable Zn levels were higher, a consequence of the slight acidity of the soil. Therefore, the Zn content in vegetables was also higher, characteristic of contaminated plants, emphasizing the risk of Zn entering the human food chain via the consumption of crops produced on those soils.

  18. Antimony in the soil-water-plant system at the Su Suergiu abandoned mine (Sardinia, Italy): strategies to mitigate contamination.

    PubMed

    Cidu, Rosa; Biddau, Riccardo; Dore, Elisabetta; Vacca, Andrea; Marini, Luigi

    2014-11-01

    This study was aimed to implement the understanding of the Sb behavior in near-surface environments, as a contribution to address appropriate mitigation actions at contaminated sites. For this purpose, geochemical data of soil (8 sites), water (29 sites), and plant (12 sites) samples were collected. The study area is located at Su Suergiu and surroundings in Sardinia (Italy), an abandoned mine area heavily contaminated with Sb, with relevant impact on water bodies that supply water for agriculture and domestic uses. Antimony in the soil horizons ranged from 19 to 4400 mg kg(-1), with highest concentrations in soils located close to the mining-related wastes, and concentrations in the topsoil much higher than in the bedrock. The Sb readily available fraction was about 2% of the total Sb in the soil. Antimony in the pore water ranged from 23 to 1700 μg L(-1), with highest values in the Sb-rich soils. The waters showed neutral to slightly alkaline pH, redox potential values indicating oxidizing conditions, electrical conductivity in the range of 0.2 to 3.7 mS cm(-1), and dissolved organic carbon ≤2 mg L(-1). The waters collected upstream of the mine have Ca-bicarbonate dominant composition, and median concentration of Sb(tot) of 1.7 μg L(-1) (that is total antimony determined in waters filtered through 0.45 μm), a value relatively high as compared with the background value (≤0.5 μg L(-1) Sb) estimated for Sardinian waters, but below the limits established by the European Union and the World Health Organization for drinking water (5 μg L(-1) Sb and 20 μg L(-1) Sb, respectively). The waters flowing in the mine area are characterized by Ca-sulfate dominant composition, and median concentrations of 7000 μg L(-1) Sb(tot). Extreme concentrations, up to 30,000 μg L(-1) Sb(tot), were observed in waters flowing out of the slag materials derived from the processing of Sb-ore. The Sb(III) was in the range of 0.8 to 760 μg L(-1) and represented up to 6% of Sb

  19. U-Pb isotope systematics and age of uranium mineralization, Midnite mine, Washington.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludwig, K. R.; Nash, J.T.; Naeser, C.W.

    1981-01-01

    Uranium ores at the Midnite mine, near Spokane, Washington, occur in phyllites and calcsilicates of the Proterozoic Togo Formation, near the margins of an anomalously uraniferous, porphyritic quartz monzonite of Late Cretaceous age. The present geometry of the ore zones is tabular, with the thickest zones above depressions in the pluton-country rock contact. Analyses of high-grade ores from the mine define a 207 Pb/ 204 Pb- 235 U/ 204 Pb isochron indicating an age of mineralization of 51.0 + or - 0.5 m.y. This age coincides with a time of regional volcanic activity (Sanpoil Volcanics), shallow intrusive activity, erosion, and faulting. U-Th-Pb isotopic ages of zircons from the porphyritic quartz monzonite in the mine indicate an age of about 75 m.y., hence the present orebodies were formed about 24 m.y. after its intrusion. The 51-m.y. time of mineralization probably represents a period of mobilization and redeposition of uranium by supergene ground waters, perhaps aided by mild heating and ground preparation and preserved by a capping of newly accumulated, impermeable volcanic rocks. It seems most likely that the initial concentration of uranium occurred about 75 m.y. ago, probably from relatively mild hydrothermal fluids in the contact-metamorphic aureole of the U-rich porphyritic quartz monzonite.Pitchblende, coffinitc, pyrite, marcasite, and hisingerite are the most common minerals in the uranium-bearing veinlets, with minor sphalerite and chalcopyrite. Coffinitc with associated marcasite is paragenetically later than pitchblende, though textural and isotopic evidence suggests no large difference in the times of pitchblende and colfinite formation.The U-Pb isotope systematics of total ores and of pitchblende-coffinite and pyrite-marcasite separates show that whereas open system behavior for U and Pb is essentially negligible for large (200-500 g) ore samples, Pb migration has occurred on a scale of 1 to 10 mm (out of pitchblende and coffinite and into pyrite

  20. Regulatory Oversight of the Legacy Gunner Uranium Mine and Mill Site in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada - 13434

    SciTech Connect

    Stenson, Ron; Howard, Don

    2013-07-01

    As Canada's nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is responsible for licensing all aspects of uranium mining, including remediation activities at legacy sites. Since these sites already existed when the current legislation came into force in 2000, and the previous legislation did not apply, they present a special case. The Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), was written with cradle-to- grave oversight in mind. Applying the NSCA at the end of a 'facilities' life-cycle poses some challenges to both the regulator and the proponent. When the proponent is the public sector, even more challenges can present themselves. Although the licensing process for legacy sites is no different than for any other CNSC license, assuring regulatory compliance can be more complicated. To demonstrate how the CNSC has approached the oversight of legacy sites the history of the Commission's involvement with the Gunnar uranium mine and mill site provides a good case study. The lessons learned from the CNSC's experience regulating the Gunnar site will benefit those in the future who will need to regulate legacy sites under existing or new legislation. (authors)

  1. Assessment of nonpoint source chemical loading potential to watersheds containing uranium waste dumps associated with uranium exploration and mining, San Rafael Swell, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Freeman, Michael L.; Naftz, David L.; Snyder, Terry; Johnson, Greg

    2008-01-01

    During July and August of 2006, 117 solid-phase samples were collected from abandoned uranium waste dumps, geologic background sites, and adjacent streambeds in the San Rafael Swell, in southeastern Utah. The objective of this sampling program was to assess the nonpoint source chemical loading potential to ephemeral and perennial watersheds from uranium waste dumps on Bureau of Land Management property. Uranium waste dump samples were collected using solid-phase sampling protocols. After collection, solid-phase samples were homogenized and extracted in the laboratory using a field leaching procedure. Filtered (0.45 micron) water samples were obtained from the field leaching procedure and were analyzed for Ag, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, U, V, and Zn at the Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry Metals Analysis Laboratory at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah and for Hg at the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory, Denver, Colorado. For the initial ranking of chemical loading potential of suspect uranium waste dumps, leachate analyses were compared with existing aquatic life and drinking-water-quality standards and the ratio of samples that exceeded standards to the total number of samples was determined for each element having a water-quality standard for aquatic life and drinking-water. Approximately 56 percent (48/85) of the leachate samples extracted from uranium waste dumps had one or more chemical constituents that exceeded aquatic life and drinking-water-quality standards. Most of the uranium waste dump sites with elevated trace-element concentrations in leachates were along Reds Canyon Road between Tomsich Butte and Family Butte. Twelve of the uranium waste dump sites with elevated trace-element concentrations in leachates contained three or more constituents that exceeded drinking-water-quality standards. Eighteen of the uranium waste dump sites had three or more constituents that exceeded trace

  2. Wild plants as tools for the remediation of abandoned mining sites with a high arsenic content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Lopez, Salvadora; Martínez-Sanchez, MJose; Perez-Sirvent, Carmen; Martínez, Lucia B.; Bech, Jaume

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the environmental risk posed by arsenic when new vegetation types are introduced, analyzing the transfer of arsenic in different plant species that grow spontaneously in mining areas of SE Spain (Sierra Minera of Cartagena), and the contribution of such plants to the environmental risk represented by their ingestion by animals living in the same ecosystems. When dealing with remediation projects in zones affected by mining activities, the risk posed by the ingestion of the plants by fauna is often forgotten. To study the transfer to the trophic chain, two mammals, sheep and vole, were selected. The risk analysis was centered in the contribution of these natural plants to the ingestion calculated. For this study, 21 vegetal species naturally growing in the soils were collected from the Sierra Minera. The vegetal material studied is clearly associated with the Mediterranean Region (S.E. of Spain) and the plant species collected are endemisms and plants characteristic of the zone. Physico-chemical properties were obtained by means of the usual procedures. To determine the arsenic content, the soil samples and plant materials were digested in a microwave system and the arsenic concentration was determined using atomic fluorescence spectrometry with an automated continuous flow hydride generation system. A semiquantitative estimation of the mineralogical composition of the samples was made by X Ray Diffraction analysis. The soils were classified into three groups: Low (group 1) (7-35 mg/kg) medium (group 2) (35-327 mg/kg) and high (group 3) (> 327 mg/kg), according to their As content. The mineralogy and As content of the soils studied depends on the materials related with mining activity. The descriptive statistical analysis of the population of plants studied showed the As range in roots to be 0.31-150 mg/kg while leaf concentrations were lower (0.21-83.4 mg/kg). The potential risk of As entering the food chain through of the plant

  3. Underground Pumped Storage Hydropower using abandoned open pit mines: influence of groundwater seepage on the system efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pujades, Estanislao; Bodeux, Sarah; Orban, Philippe; Dassargues, Alain

    2016-04-01

    Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) plants can be used to manage the production of electrical energy according to the demand. These plants allow storing and generating electricity during low and high demand energy periods, respectively. Nevertheless, PSH plants require a determined topography because two reservoirs located at different heights are needed. At sites where PSH plants cannot be constructed due to topography requirements (flat regions), Underground Pumped Storage Hydropower (UPSH) plants can be used to adjust the electricity production. These plants consist in two reservoirs, the upper one is located at the surface (or at shallow depth) while the lower one is underground (or deeper). Abandoned open pit mines can be used as lower reservoirs but these are rarely isolated. As a consequence, UPSH plants will interact with surrounding aquifers exchanging groundwater. Groundwater seepage will modify hydraulic head inside the underground reservoir affecting global efficiency of the UPSH plant. The influence on the plant efficiency caused by the interaction between UPSH plants and aquifers will depend on the aquifer parameters, underground reservoir properties and pumping and injection characteristics. The alteration of the efficiency produced by the groundwater exchanges, which has not been previously considered, is now studied numerically. A set of numerical simulations are performed to establish in terms of efficiency the effects of groundwater exchanges and the optimum conditions to locate an UPSH plant.

  4. Leachability of major and minor elements from soils and sediments of an abandoned coal mining area in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Santos, Maria Josefa; Tarley, César Ricardo Teixeira; Cunha, Isabella; Zapelini, Iago; Galunin, Evgeny; Bleinroth, Diego; Vieira, Isadora; Abrão, Taufik

    2015-03-01

    Leachability of major and trace elements from sediment and soil samples of an abandoned coal mining area in southern Brazil was assessed by titration and pH-stat tests according to the SR002.1 and CEN/TS 14429 protocols. Major (Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, and Mn) and trace (Cu, Zn, As, Ni, Pb, Cd, and Hg) elements were quantified in aqueous extracts. Acid and base neutralizing capacity values and pH changes after the addition of certain acid/base amounts were estimated. In general, a decrease in the major metal leaching at pH < 4.0 and an increase at pH > 8.0 was observed. The response to the acid and base additions confirmed that strong acids can cause an effect on Ca- and Mg-bearing silicate phases and Mn oxides, and strong bases can only affect Ca silicates. At pH < 5.0, higher extractability was found for Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb, and Cd. Considering that the samples showed sharp pH changes after acid additions and released major and trace metal into the solution at greater rates, high metal contamination risks can be assumed for the studied area.

  5. Co-treatment of abandoned mine drainage and Marcellus Shale flowback water for use in hydraulic fracturing.

    PubMed

    He, Can; Zhang, Tieyuan; Vidic, Radisav D

    2016-11-01

    Flowback water generated during shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania is mostly reused for hydraulic fracturing operation. Abandoned mine drainage (AMD), one of the most widespread threats to water quality in Pennsylvania, can potentially serve as a make-up water source to enable flowback water reuse. This study demonstrated co-treatment of flowback water and AMD produced in northeastern Pennsylvania in a pilot-scale system consisting of rapid mix reactor, flocculation tank and sedimentation tank. Sulfate concentration in the finished water can be controlled at a desired level (i.e., below 100 mg/L) by adjusting the ratio of flowback water and AMD in the influent. Fe(3+) contained in the AMD can serve as a coagulant to enhance the removal of suspended solids, during which Fe(2+) is co-precipitated and the total iron is reduced to a desirable level. Solid waste generated in this process (i.e., barite) will incorporate over 99% of radium present in the flowback water, which offers the possibility to control the fate of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) brought to the surface by unconventional gas extraction. Sludge recirculation in the treatment process can be used to increase the size of barite particles formed by mixing flowback water and AMD to meet specifications for use as a weighting agent in drilling fluid. This alternative management approach for NORM can be used to offset the treatment cost and promote flowback water reuse, reduce environmental impacts of AMD and reduce pressure on fresh water sources.

  6. Environmental geochemistry of abandoned flotation tailing reservior from the Tonglvshan Fe-Cu sulfide mine in Daye, Central China.

    PubMed

    Guo, Y; Bao, Z Y; Deng, Y M; Ma, Z Z; Yan, S

    2011-07-01

    This study investigated metals of tailings from Tonglvshan mine in Daye and assessed the effect of metal contamination in water and sediment near the tailing reservoir. The concentration of copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, chromium and nickel was measured in deposit samples taken from a profile in an abandoned flotation tailing reservoir, as well as in water and sediment samples near the reservoir. The results of this study indicate that copper concentration ranges from 780 to 4390 mg/kg, 2-10 times higher than the limit values in soil, while the contents of other metals are below the limit values. Metal levels in water and sediments are high and varied widely in different sampling sites. The mean concentrations of copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, chromium and nickel in waters are 27.76, 2.28, 8.20, 0.12, 5.30 and 3.04 mg/L, while those in sediments are 557.65, 96.95, 285.20, 0.92, 94.30 and 4.75 mg/kg, respectively. All of the results indicate that the environment near the tailing reservoir is polluted to some extent by some kinds of metals, especially by copper, lead, zinc and cadmium, which may be caused not only by some discharge sources of metals, but also by life garbage and sewage.

  7. Radioactivity in Virgin Soils and Soils from Some Areas with Closed Uranium Mining Facilities in Bulgaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yordanova, I.; Staneva, D.; Misheva, L.; Bineva, Ts.; Banov, M.

    2012-04-01

    The soil radioecology is an important part of the environmental research in the country. Since the beginning of the 1970's regular monitoring of the content of different radionuclides in Bulgarian soils has been done. Objective of the studies were virgin soils from high mountain areas, hills and plains (the region of Kozloduy NPP and the Danube river valley). Natural and men-made radionuclides were observed. In the 25-year period after the the contamination with radionuclides due to the 1986 Chernobyl NPP accident a rich data base has been collected, recording the radiation status of the soils in Bulgaria. Special attention has been paid to the contamination with the long-lived technogenic radionuclides caesium-137 and strontium-90. This paper presents a summary of the obtained results. Caesium-137 and strontium-90 were the main men-made radionuclides detected in the examined Bulgarian soils few years after the Chernobyl NPP accident. Their content in the soils from high mountain areas (Rodopa and Rila mountains) is several times higher than that in the soils from North Bulgaria and Sofia fields. High non-homogenity in the pollution within small areas (even as small as several square meters) has been observed. Natural radioactivity was also studied. Averaged values for natural radionuclides like uranium-238, thorium-232, and radium-226 in virgin soils from different areas in the country are presented. A comparison of the dynamics of their behavior throughout the years is done. Bulgaria is a country with intensive uranium mining activities in the past years. That is why radiological monitoring of closed uranium mining facilities in different regions of the country are obligatory and of great interest. This work presents results from such investigations made in regions where remediation has been done. The results have been evaluated according to the Bulgarian radionuclide environment contamination legislation. The necessity of permanent environmental monitoring is

  8. Colour and toxic characteristics of metakaolinite-hematite pigment for integrally coloured concrete, prepared from iron oxide recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadasivam, Sivachidambaram; Thomas, Hywel Rhys

    2016-07-01

    A metakaolinite-hematite (KH) red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine. The KH pigment was prepared by heating the kaolinite and the iron oxide sludge at kaolinite's dehydroxylation temperature. Both the raw sludge and the KH specimen were characterised for their colour properties and toxic characteristics. The KH specimen could serve as a pigment for integrally coloured concrete and offers a potential use for the large volumes of the iron oxide sludge collected from mine water treatment plants.

  9. Hydrology and water-quality monitoring considerations, Jackpile uranium mine, northwestern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zehner, H.H.

    1985-01-01

    The Jackpile Uranium Mine, which is on the Pueblo of Laguna in northwestern New Mexico, was operated from 1953 to 1980. The mine and facilities have affected 3,141 acres of land, and about 2,656 acres were yet to be reclaimed by late 1980. The intended use of the restored land is stock grazing. Fractured Dakota Sandstone and Mancos Shale of Cretaceous age overlie the Jackpile sandstone and a 200-ft-thick tight mudstone unit of the Brushy Basin Member underlies the Jackpile. The hydraulic conductivity of the Jackpile sandstone probably is about 0.3 ft/day. The small storage coefficients determined from three aquifer tests indicate that the Jackpile sandstone is a confined hydrologic system throughout much of the mine area. Sediment from the Rio Paguate has nearly filled the Paguate Reservoir near Laguna since its construction in 1940. The mean concentrations of uranium, Ra-226, and other trace elements generally were less than permissible limits established in national drinking water regulations or New Mexico State groundwater regulations. No individual surface water samples collected upstream from the mine contained concentrations of Ra-226 in excess of the permissible limits. Ra-226 concentrations in many individual samples collected from the Rio Paguate from near the mouth of the Rio Moquino to the sampling sites along the downstream reach of the Rio Paguate, however, exceeded the recommended permissible concentration of Ra-226 for public drinking water supplies. Concentrations in surface water apparently are changed by groundwater inflow near the confluence of the two streams. The altitude of the water tables in the backfill of the pits will be controlled partly by the water level in the Rio Paguate. Other factors controlling the altitudes of the water tables are the recharge rate to the backfill and the hydraulic conductivities of the backfill, alluvium, Jackpile sandstone, and mudstone unit of the Brushy Basin Member. After reclamation, most of the shallow

  10. Field scale remediation of mine wastes at an abandoned gold mine, Australia II: Effects on plant growth and groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maddocks, Greg; Lin, Chuxia; McConchie, David

    2009-05-01

    This second paper reports the results of plant growth, plant mortality, plant leaf tissue metal and salt concentrations and leachate quality monitoring from lysimeters in four large field trial treatments established on sulfidic waste rock/soil that was used for haul road construction at a closed gold mine in Australia. The TerraB™, lime and clay treatments allowed good tree growth of four Eucalypt species, compared to the control. There was no statistical difference in tree growth between the TerraB™, lime or clay treatments over the 2 years of monitoring in this paper. However, the growth of one tree species was poor in the TerraB™ treatment. Leaf tissue metal and major ion data are also presented. Leachate pH in the control became increasingly acidic (pH 4.57-3.95). The addition of Ca(OH)2 and biosolids led to an initial increase in leachate pH, compared to the control; however, this has decreased over the duration of the study (pH 5.37-4.89) and may affect the sustainable growth of plants in the future. In the TerraB™ and biosolids treatment leachate pH increased to 6.92 after the first rainfall event and continued to increase over the duration of the study to pH 7.4 after 24 months. After 24 months average heavy metal leachate concentrations (mg/L) in the lysimeters for Al, Cd, Cu, Mn and Zn were, control: 32.55, 5.67, 12.71, 39.29, 121.80, TerraB™: 0.07, 0.02, 0.07, 0.57, 0.23, and lime: 2.19, 1.19, 2.33, 3.6, 28.4. No leachate was available for collection from the clay treatment indicating that this technique was functioning in terms of minimizing the infiltration of water into the mine soil.

  11. Assessment of factors related to heavy metals distribution in abandoned mining soils in Madrid, central Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Manuel; Carral, Pilar; Alvarez, Ana M.; Hernández, Zulimar; Lorena, Recio-Vázquez; Marques, Maria J.; Almendros, Gonzalo

    2013-04-01

    Exploitation of metallic mineral deposits and its subsequent abandonment in last decades has lead to significant environmental hazard for natural systems. The present study concerns the distribution and mobility of heavy metals and trace elements mainly As, Cu, Cd, Co, Mn and V, in sulphide-rich soils. The site studied (Sierra de Guadarrama, Garganta de los Montes, Madrid) is at 1200 m asl. Soils are Humic and Dystric Cambisols (WRB) developed on gneisses; the main minerals consist of sulphides and include chalcopyrite, pyrite, marcasite, galena and arsenopyrite. Concentration data of the different species of heavy metals as dependent variables in addition to a series of independent variables mainly soil organic matter were subjected to multivariate chemometric treatments including multidimensional scaling (MDS), principal component analysis (PCA) and support vector machine (SVM) for a preliminary survey on the possible role of soil organic matter in the distribution and speciation of heavy metals in soils. The soil heavy metals speciation was determined using the BCR (Community Bureau of Reference, European Commission) sequential extraction procedure and analysed by ICP-MS. The total contents of these elements were calculated as the sum of the four BCR fractions. The results showed element concentrations decreasing with the distance from the source of pollution. The highest amounts of As and Mn, and Cu, Cd, Co and V were found at 10 and 100 m respectively. These values exceed the allowed limits of the environmental regulation. The percentages of extractable elements (step one of BCR) in relation to total elements show that Cu and Cd were significantly more easily extractable than the other elements. Metal availability in soils was generally controlled by total metal concentration. Data processing techniques coincided in pointing out the association of high levels of organic matter with the concentrations of elements extracted just in the most available forms: i

  12. Lead distribution and its potential risk to the environment: lesson learned from environmental monitoring of abandon mine.

    PubMed

    Nobuntou, Wanida; Parkpian, Preeda; Oanh, Nguyen Thi Kim; Noomhorm, Athapol; Delaune, R D; Jugsujinda, Aroon

    2010-11-01

    There are many abandon and existing mines (tin, lead and zinc) in the mountainous areas of Thailand. Toxic elements including heavy metals such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) have been released and transported from the mining sites to the adjacent landscape. In Thong Pha Phum District, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand Pb contamination in the vicinity of the mine has occurred which could lead to potential health problems in downstream communities. To better understand current status of Pb contamination and accumulation in the surrounding environment and potential health impact, surface sediment, soil and plant samples were collected seasonally from representative monitoring sites along the aquatic track or flow regime. Potential health risk was determined using hazard quotient (HQ) as an index for local inhabitants who consume rice. Environmental monitoring illustrated that Pb concentrations in the surface sediment was as high as 869.4 mg kg(-1) dry weight and varied differently among stations sampled. Lead content in agricultural soil ranged between 137.8 to 613.5 mg kg(-1) dry weight and was inversely proportion to the distance from the point source. Moreover Pb was transported from the point source to down hill areas. At the highly polluted monitoring stations (S1, S2, and S3), concentrations of Pb exceeded the maximum allowable concentration for Pb in agricultural soil (300 mg kg(-1)) by 1.7-2 times. The Pb in soil was primarily associated with Fe/Mn oxides bound fraction (46-56%) followed by the organic bound fraction (25-30%). Lead uptake by plant varied and was species dependent. However root and tuber crops like cassava (19.92 mg Pb kg(-1) dry weight) and curcumin (3.25 mg Pb kg(-1) dry weight) could have removed Pb from the soil which suggest growing root crops in Pb contaminated soils should be avoided. However Cd, a co-contaminant at one of monitored stations (S4) yielded rice grain with Cd exceeding the maximum allowable concentration

  13. Dissolved metals and associated constituents in abandoned coal-mine discharges, Pennsylvania, USA. Part 1: Constituent quantities and correlations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cravotta, C.A.

    2008-01-01

    Complete hydrochemical data are rarely reported for coal-mine discharges (CMD). This report summarizes major and trace-element concentrations and loadings for CMD at 140 abandoned mines in the Anthracite and Bituminous Coalfields of Pennsylvania. Clean-sampling and low-level analytical methods were used in 1999 to collect data that could be useful to determine potential environmental effects, remediation strategies, and quantities of valuable constituents. A subset of 10 sites was resampled in 2003 to analyze both the CMD and associated ochreous precipitates; the hydrochemical data were similar in 2003 and 1999. In 1999, the flow at the 140 CMD sites ranged from 0.028 to 2210 L s-1, with a median of 18.4 L s-1. The pH ranged from 2.7 to 7.3; concentrations (range in mg/L) of dissolved (0.45-??m pore-size filter) SO4 (34-2000), Fe (0.046-512), Mn (0.019-74), and Al (0.007-108) varied widely. Predominant metalloid elements were Si (2.7-31.3 mg L-1), B ( C > P = N = Se) were not elevated in the CMD samples compared to average river water or seawater. Compared to seawater, the CMD samples also were poor in halogens (Cl > Br > I > F), alkalies (Na > K > Li > Rb > Cs), most alkaline earths (Ca > Mg > Sr), and most metalloids but were enriched by two to four orders of magnitude with Fe, Al, Mn, Co, Be, Sc, Y and the lanthanide rare-earth elements, and one order of magnitude with Ni and Zn. The ochre samples collected at a subset of 10 sites in 2003 were dominantly goethite with minor ferrihydrite or lepidocrocite. None of the samples for this subset contained schwertmannite or was Al rich, but most contained minor aluminosilicate detritus. Compared to concentrations in global average shale, the ochres were rich in Fe, Ag, As and Au, but were poor in most other metals and rare earths. The ochres were not enriched compared to commercial ore deposits mined for Au or other valuable metals. Although similar to commercial Fe ores in composition, the ochres are dispersed and

  14. Speciation of mercury in mine waste: case study of abandoned and active gold mine sites at the Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai area of South Western Ghana.

    PubMed

    Nartey, V K; Klake, R K; Doamekpor, L K; Sarpong-Kumankomah, S

    2012-12-01

    Speciation determines toxicity, transport pathways and residence time of a metal in different compartments of the environment. This study investigated the speciation of mercury in soils, derived from sites known for dumping of mine wastes in the Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai district, a gold mining community of the Western Region of Ghana. Soil samples were taken from the surface; depths of 20, 40 and 60 cm from mine waste at both abandoned and active mine sites. Each sample was analysed for total mercury, organic mercury and elemental mercury. After sample treatment, digestion and reduction with stannous chloride (SnCl(2)), total mercury content was determined using the Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emissions Spectrometer (ICP-OES). Organic mercury content was determined employing a differential technique after disposing of elemental mercury by heating. Total mercury content in samples ranged from 0.067 to 0.876 mg/kg for surface soils. The same soil of depths 20, 40 and 60 cm had total mercury from 0.102 to 1.066, 0.037 to 4.037 and 0.191 to 4.998 mg/kg, respectively. For organic mercury, concentrations range from 0.012 to 0.260 mg/kg for surface soil. Soil depths of 20, 40 and 60 cm had organic mercury concentrations from 0.016 to 0.653, 0.041 to 1.093 and 0.101 to 2.546 mg/kg respectively. Elemental mercury concentrations in surface soils, soils at depths of 20, 40 and 60 cm ranged from 0.043 to 0.780; 0.017 to 0.749; 0.014 to 2.944 and 0.009 to 2.452 mg/kg respectively. Among the sites studied, only galamsey tailings (GM) showed a trend of increasing total mercury level with increasing depth. For the other sites, trends were not defined. There has been no defined trend for elemental mercury with depth at any of the sampling sites. Just as with total mercury, it was only GM that showed an increasing trend of organic mercury concentration with depth.

  15. Abandoned coal mining sites: using ecotoxicological tests to support an industrial organic sludge amendment.

    PubMed

    Chiochetta, Claudete G; Radetski, Marilice R; Corrêa, Albertina X R; Tischer, Vinícius; Tiepo, Erasmo N; Radetski, Claudemir M

    2013-11-01

    The different stages involved in coal mining-related activities result in a degraded landscape and sites associated with large amounts of dumped waste material. Remediation of these contaminated soils can be carried out by application of industrial organic sludge if the concerns regarding the potential negative environmental impacts of this experimental practice are properly addressed. In this context, the objective of this study was to use ecotoxicological tests to determine the quantity of organic industrial sludge that is required as a soil amendment to restore soil production while avoiding environmental impact. Chemical analysis of the solids (industrial sludge and soil) and their leachates was carried out as well as a battery of ecotoxicity tests on enzymes (hydrolytic activity), bacteria, algae, daphnids, earthworms, and higher plants, according to standardized methodologies. Solid and leachate samples of coal-contaminated soil were more toxic than those of industrial sludge towards enzyme activity, bacteria, algae, daphnids, and earthworms. In the case of the higher plants (lettuce, corn, wild cabbage, and Surinam cherry) the industrial sludge was more toxic than the coal-contaminated soil, and a soil/sludge mixture (66:34% dry weight basis) had a stimulatory effect on the Surinam cherry biomass. The ecotoxicological assessment of the coal-contaminated soil remediation using sludge as an amendment is very important to determine application rates that could promote a stimulatory effect on agronomic species without negatively affecting the environment.

  16. Abandoned mine slags analysis by EPMA WDS X-ray mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guimarães, F.; Rosado, L.; Morais, C.; Candeias, A. E.; Pinto, A. P.; Mirão, J.

    2010-02-01

    Mining activity on the Iberian Pyritic Belt (Portugal and Spain) started before Phoenician times, became particularly intense during the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula (for gold), and after the industrial revolution (for gold, copper, zinc, lead and sulphur). The commonest ore of this region is a massive polymetalic sulphide accumulation, where pyrite (FeS2) is the main mineral, with variable concentrations of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), sphalerite (ZnS), galena (PbS), arsenopyrite (FeAsS2), other sulphides and sulfosalts which include minor elements like Mn, Co, Ni, Se, Cd, Sb, Te, Hg and Bi. Some of the main and minor elements of these ores are hazardous and the drainage basins of pollutant source areas often induce health concerns in the resident population. Electron probe microanalysis study followed previous optical and XRD analysis of the slags. The study focused on the identification of phases how sulphide and metallic phases are distributed within the material and infer about leachable elements during weathering. Electron probe X-ray maps show evidences of different behaviour between the elements: Ca and Zn are completely leached; iron is retained in oxyhydroxides, lead and arsenic precipitate as sulphates. Electron probe microanalysis studies are essential to understand complex materials as earth materials. Nevertheless, care is required to a correct interpretation of data and most quantitative compositional data are not trustworthy.

  17. Environmental radiological impact associated with non-uranium mining industries: a proposal for screening criteria.

    PubMed

    Pires do Rio, M A; Amaral, E C S; Fernandes, H M; Rochedo, E R R

    2002-01-01

    Niobium, phosphate, coal and gold mining facilities have been selected as case studies with the aim of identifying possible sources of radiological impact during and after cessation of industrial operations. The results have shown that acid drainage, as well as chemical processing of mineral ores, constitute relevant impact indicators for present-day and future scenarios. The possible use of solid wastes abandoned at the end of the operations represents a long-term radiological concern. Therefore, it is necessary that Brazilian legislation for environmental licensing be revised taking into account the potential environmental and radiological impacts caused by these industries and establishing remedial procedures for waste storage areas in the existing sites. The indicators developed and procedures carried out can be used in screening for decisions on the adoption of regulatory requirements for practices at such types of installations.

  18. Liver histopathology in brown trout (Salmo trutta f. fario) from the Tinhela River, subjected to mine drainage from the abandoned Jales Mine (Portugal).

    PubMed

    Carrola, J; Fontaínhas-Fernandes, A; Matos, P; Rocha, E

    2009-07-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the occurrence of toxicopathic liver lesions in brown trout (Salmo trutta fario) from Tinhela River near the Jales Mine, both before implementation (2002) and after completion of the governmental mitigation program (2006). Fish were caught in April 2002 and May 2006, using an electrofishing system at four sites: S0, reference station; S1, S2 and S3 as contaminated stations. In 2002, the hepatosomatic index (HSI) was significantly higher for trout captured at the contaminated sites S2 and S3 than in S0. After the rehabilitation program, the HSI of fish sampled at the contaminated sites did not differ from the reference group. The liver of trout caught at S0 exhibited the normal parenchymal and stromal architecture described for the species and there were no pathological abnormalities. In contrast, fish sampled at S3 and S2 sites had diverse toxicopathic alterations. Specifically, livers from the two contaminated sites showed bile duct hyperplasia, often with mild epithelial dysplasia and fibrotic adventitial sleeve, foci of smaller and more basophilic hepatocytes and foci of hepatocellular necrosis; the latter conditions were frequently associated. Compared with the reference animals, increased hepatocellular vacuolization was found in livers from the polluted sites. Histopathological examination revealed differences among sampling sites in the severity and diversity of hepatic lesions clearly related to the proximity of the tailings. No pathological alterations were observed in the livers of brown trout caught in the same four areas of the Tinhela River after the mitigation program in 2006. In conclusion, our results supported that drainage from the abandoned Jales Mine had deleterious toxicological effects in brown trout. Our data suggested that the governmental mitigation program may have reduced the impact of Jales tailings.

  19. Uranium*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grenthe, Ingmar; Drożdżyński, Janusz; Fujino, Takeo; Buck, Edgar C.; Albrecht-Schmitt, Thomas E.; Wolf, Stephen F.

    Uranium compounds have been used as colorants since Roman times (Caley, 1948). Uranium was discovered as a chemical element in a pitchblende specimen by Martin Heinrich Klaproth, who published the results of his work in 1789. Pitchblende is an impure uranium oxide, consisting partly of the most reduced oxide uraninite (UO2) and partly of U3O8. Earlier mineralogists had considered this mineral to be a complex oxide of iron and tungsten or of iron and zinc, but Klaproth showed by dissolving it partially in strong acid that the solutions yielded precipitates that were different from those of known elements. Therefore he concluded that it contained a new element (Mellor, 1932); he named it after the planet Uranus, which had been discovered in 1781 by William Herschel, who named it after the ancient Greek deity of the Heavens.

  20. Biogeochemistry of uranium in the soil-plant and water-plant systems in an old uranium mine.

    PubMed

    Favas, Paulo J C; Pratas, João; Mitra, Soumita; Sarkar, Santosh Kumar; Venkatachalam, Perumal

    2016-10-15

    The present study highlights the uranium (U) concentrations in water-soil-plant matrices and the efficiency considering a heterogeneous assemblage of terrestrial and aquatic native plant species to act as the biomonitor and phytoremediator for environmental U-contamination in the Sevilha mine (uraniferous region of Beiras, Central Portugal). A total of 53 plant species belonging to 22 families was collected from 24 study sites along with ambient soil and/or water samples. The concentration of U showed wide range of variations in the ambient medium: 7.5 to 557mgkg(-1) for soil and 0.4 to 113μgL(-1) for water. The maximum potential of U accumulation was recorded in roots of the following terrestrial plants: Juncus squarrosus (450mgkg(-1) DW), Carlina corymbosa (181mgkg(-1) DW) and Juncus bufonius (39.9mgkg(-1) DW), followed by the aquatic macrophytes, namely Callitriche stagnalis (55.6mgkg(-1) DW) Lemna minor (53.0mgkg(-1) DW) and Riccia fluitans (50.6mgkg(-1) DW). Accumulation of U in plant tissues exhibited the following decreasing trend: root>leaves>stem>flowers/fruits and this confirms the unique efficiency of roots in accumulating this radionuclide from host soil/sediment (phytostabilization). Overall, the accumulation pattern in the studied aquatic plants (L. minor, R. fluitans, C. stagnalis and Lythrum portula) dominated over most of the terrestrial counterpart. Among terrestrial plants, the higher mean bioconcentration factor (≈1 in roots/rhizomes of C. corymbosa and J. squarrosus) and translocation factor (31 in Andryala integrifolia) were encountered in the representing families Asteraceae and Juncaceae. Hence, these terrestrial plants can be treated as the promising candidates for the development of the phytostabilization or phytoextraction methodologies based on the accumulation, abundance and biomass production.

  1. Microbial mercury methylation in the Ngawha hot springs and the abandoned Puhipuhi mine, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gionfriddo, C. M.; Ogorek, J. M.; Thompson, C. D.; Power, J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Stott, M. B.; Moreau, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Hot springs and fumaroles release significant quantities of aqueous and gaseous mercury into the environment. Yet few studies have focused on the biogeochemical cycling of mercury in geothermal settings. In this study, we investigated the abundance, speciation, and partitioning of mercury in geothermal waters and sediments in the Ngawha geothermal field and Puhipuhi region of New Zealand. The Ngawha geothermal field contains over 20 hot springs with variable chemistry (pH 2.9 - 7.1, ORP 15.7 to 249.1 mV, 22-40.5°C), from which approximately 530 kg of mercury is released annually from deep geological sources, most of which remains in the local surficial waters and sediments. Puhipuhi is the site of an historic mercury mining operation located about 22 miles southeast of Ngawha. The mercury-bearing geological deposits at Ngawha and Puhipuhi were formed over the same period and are connected to the young basalt flows of the region. Puhipuhi no longer hosts active hot springs, but is transected by a stream that varies in chemistry (pH 5.1-7.2, ORP -3.8-115.3 mV, ~22°C). Total- and methylmercury concentrations were measured using ICP-MS and CVAFS. Preliminary analyses of dissolved total- and methylmercury levels across the hot springs ranged from 5-10,000 ng/L and 0.6-23.5 ng/L, respectively, indicating a wide range of environmental conditions exist and may support a diverse array of microbial communities. Due to their high mercury content, geothermal settings may hold clues about the evolution of microbial mercury resistance (detoxification response to environmental Hg), as the ancestral mer operon evolved in thermophilic bacteria such as Thermus thermophilus and Methylacidophilum infernorum. Thus, the Ngawha hot springs provide an opportunity to investigate the evolution of microbial responses to mercury. Adjacent sites often display radically different chemical traits, with implications for changes in microbial community structure and genetic responses to mercury

  2. Novel speciation method based on Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films for in situ measurement of uranium in the vicinity of the former uranium mining sites.

    PubMed

    Drozdzak, Jagoda; Leermakers, Martine; Gao, Yue; Phrommavanh, Vannapha; Descostes, Michael

    2016-07-01

    The Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films (DGT) technique using PIWBA resin (The Dow Chemical Company) was developed and validated for the measurement of uranium (U) concentration in natural and uranium mining influenced waters. The U uptake on the PIWBA resin gel was 97.3 ± 0.4% (batch method; Vsol = 5 mL; [U] = 20 μg L(-1); 0.01 M NaNO3; pH = 7.0 ± 0.2). The optimal eluent was found to be HNO3conc/70 °C with an elution efficiency of 88.9 ± 1.4%. The laboratory DGT investigation demonstrated that the PIWBA resin gel exhibits a very good performance across a wide range of pH (3-9) and ionic strength (0.001-0.7 M NaNO3) at different time intervals. Neither effect of PO4(3-) (up to 1.72 × 10(-4) M), nor of HCO3(-) (up to 8.20 × 10(-3) M) on the quantitative measurement of uranium by DGT-PIWBA method were observed. Only at very high Ca(2+) (2.66 × 10(-4) M), and SO4(2-) (5.55 × 10(-4) M) concentration, the U uptake on DGT-PIWBA was appreciably lessened. In-situ DGT field evaluation was carried out in the vicinity of three former uranium mining sites in France (Loire-Atlantique and Herault departments), which employ different water treatment technologies and have different natural geochemical characteristics. There was a similar or inferior U uptake on DGT-Chelex(®)-100 in comparison with the U accumulation on a DGT-PIWBA sampler. Most likely, the performance of Chelex(®)-100 was negatively affected by a highly complex matrix of mining waters. The high concentration and identity of co-accumulating analytes, typical for the mining environment, did not have a substantial impact on the quantitative uptake of labile U species on DGT- PIWBA. The use of the polyphenol impregnated anion exchange resin leads to a significant advancement in the application and development of the DGT technique for determination of U in the vicinity of the former uranium mining sites.

  3. Mineralogical characterization of tailing dams: incidence of abandoned mining works on soil pollution (Linares, Jaén)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Torre, M. J.; Hidalgo, C.; Rey, J.; Martínez, J.

    2012-04-01

    The metallogenic district of Linares-La Carolina (Jaén, Spain) consists of dyke mineralizations mainly of galena, accompanied by blende, chalcopyrite and barite. Associated to these abandoned mines, relatively extensive areas occupied by spoil heaps and tailing impoundments exist and constitute potential sources of soil pollution by metals and semimetals. In order to analyze the pollution potential of these mining wastes, we have carried out a mineralogical and geochemical study of seven tailing dams and surrounding soils in the area. The mineralogy of the samples was studied by x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). In addition, the total metal content of samples was determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis. Samples were taken from the first 30 cm of the waste piles and soil deposits and white efflorescences were also obtained from the surface of the tailings. In all analyzed heaps, high to very high total contents in Pb (1220-22890 mg/kg), Zn (150-51280 mg/kg), Mn (2658-4160 mg/kg), Ba (1026-19610 mg/kg) and Fe (19400-138000 mg/kg) were observed. The concentrations for these same elements in the studied soils range from 527-9900 mg/kg for Pb, 27-1700 mg/kg for Zn, 506-2464 mg/kg for Mn, 2832-4306 for Ba and 8642-29753 mg/kg for Fe, and these figures indicate a contamination of the soils, according to the guidelines established by the Spanish law. The XRD and SEM results indicate that the tailings are primarily constituted by gangue of the exploited mineralization: quartz, calcite, ankerite, feldspars and phyllosilicates. They are inherited, primary mineral phases. Galena, also primary, appears in low proportion, as well as lepidocrocite, melanterite and cerussite, being these three last secondary minerals and indicating a certain remobilization of metal cations, especially lead and iron. On the other hand, quartz and phyllosilicates predominate in the soils, in which, in addition, is identified a

  4. Short- and long-lived radionuclide particle size measurements in a uranium mine

    SciTech Connect

    Tu, Keng-Wu; Fisenne, I.M.; Hutter, A.R.

    1997-04-01

    The radon-222 progeny and long-lived radionuclide measurements were done in a wet underground uranium mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, on Nov. 8-12, 1995. Radon-222 in the mine varied from 2 kBq/m{sup 3} at 90 m below surface to 12 kBq/m{sup 3} in the mining areas, 240 m below surface. Radon-222 progeny activity and potential alpha energy concentration appear affected by the airborne particle number concentration and size distribution. Particle number was up to 200x10{sup 3}/cm{sup 3}. Only an accumulation mode (30-1000 nm) and some bimodal size distributions in this accumulation size range were significant. Diesel particles and combustion particles from burning propane caused a major modal diameter shift to a smaller size range (50-85 nm) compared with previous values (100-200 nm). The high particle number reduced the unattached progeny (0.5-2 nm) to >5%. The nuclei mode (2-30 nm) in this test was nonexistent, and the coarse mode (>1000 nm), except from the drilling areas and on the stopes, was mostly not measurable. Airborne particle total mass and long- lived radionuclide alpha activity concentrations were very low (80- 100 {mu}g/m{sup 3} and 4-5 mBq/m{sup 3}) owing to high ventilation rates. Mass-weighted size distributions were trimodal, with the major mode at the accumulation size region, which accounts for 45-50% of the mass. The coarse model contains the the least mass, about 20%. The size spectra from gross alpha activities were bimodal with major mode in the coarse region (>1000 nm) and a minor accumulation mode in the 50-900 nm size range. These size spectra were different from the {sup 222}Rn progeny that showed a single accumulation mode in the 50- 85 nm size region. The accumulation mode in the long-lived radionuclide size spectrum was not found in previous studies in other uranium mines.

  5. Authenticated tracking and monitoring system (ATMS) tracking shipments from an Australian uranium mine

    SciTech Connect

    Schoeneman, J.L.

    1998-08-01

    The Authenticated Tracking and Monitoring System (ATMS) answers the need for global monitoring of the status and location of sensitive items on a worldwide basis, 24 hours a day. ATMS uses wireless sensor packs to monitor the status of the items and environmental conditions. A receiver and processing unit collect a variety of sensor event data. The collected data are transmitted to the INMARSAT satellite communication system, which then sends the data to appropriate ground stations. Authentication and encryption algorithms secure the data during communication activities. A typical ATMS application would be to track and monitor the safety and security of a number of items in transit along a scheduled shipping route. The resulting tracking, timing, and status information could then be processed to ensure compliance with various agreements. Following discussions between the Australian Safeguards Office (ASO), the US Department of Energy (DOE), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in early 1995, the parties mutually agreed to conduct and evaluate a field trial prototype ATMS to track and monitor shipments of uranium ore concentrate (UOC) from an operating uranium mine in Australia to a final destination in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with numerous stops along the way. During the months of February and March 1998, the trial was conducted on a worldwide basis, with tracking and monitoring stations located at sites in both Australia and the US. This paper describes ATMS and the trial.

  6. US Geological Survey research on the environmental fate of uranium mining and milling wastes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landa, E. R.; Gray, J. R.

    1995-07-01

    Studies by the US Geological Survey (USGS) of uranium mill tailings (UMT) have focused on characterizing the forms in which radionuclides are retained and identifying factors influencing the release of radionuclides to air and water. Selective extraction studies and studies of radionuclide sorption by and leaching from components of UMT showed alkaline earth sulfate and hydrous ferric oxides to be important hosts of radium-226 (226Ra) in UMT. Extrapolating from studies of barite dissolution in anerobic lake sediments, the leaching of226Ra from UMT by sulfate-reducing bacteria was investigated; a marked increase in226Ra release to aqueous solution as compared to sterile controls was demonstrated. A similar action of iron(III)-reducing bacteria was later shown. Ion exchangers such as clay minerals can also promote the dissolution of host-phase minerals and thereby influence the fate of radionuclides such as226Ra. Radon release studies examined particle size and ore composition as variables. Aggregation of UMT particles was shown to mask the higher emanating fraction of finer particles. Studies of various ores and ore components showed that UMT cannot be assumed to have the same radon-release characteristics as their precursor ores, nor can226Ra retained by various substrates be assumed to emanate the same fraction of radon. Over the last decade, USGS research directed at offsite mobility of radionuclides from uranium mining and milling processes has focused on six areas: the Midnite Mine in Washington; Ralston Creek and Reservoir, Colorado; sites near Canon City, Colorado; the Monument Valley District of Arizona and Utah; the Cameron District of Arizona; and the Puerco River basin of Arizona and New Mexico.

  7. Environmental radioactivity studies in the proposed Lambapur and Peddagattu uranium mining areas of Andhra Pradesh, India.

    PubMed

    Vinay Kumar Reddy, K; Gopal Reddy, Ch; Vidya Sagar, D; Yadagiri Reddy, P; Rama Reddy, K

    2012-08-01

    The present work was aimed at the establishment of baseline radioactive data in the proposed Lambapur and Peddagattu uranium mining areas in the Andhra Pradesh state, India. The background concentrations of naturally occurring radioactivity in the near-surface soils of the study areas were estimated and the results were analysed. The (238)U concentration in the near-surface soil of the study area was found to vary from 100 to 176 Bq kg(-1), with a mean of 138±24 Bq kg(-1). (232)Th in the study area soils was found to vary between 64 and 116 Bq kg(-1), with a mean of 83±15 Bq kg(-1). The (40)K concentration was found to vary between 309 and 373 Bq kg(-1), with a mean of 343±20 Bq kg(-1). The mean natural background radiation levels were also measured with thermoluminescence (TL) dosimetry technique and with a µR-survey meter, in the villages of the study area. Dose rates measured by TL are found to vary from 1287 to 3363 μGy y(-1), with a mean of 2509 ± 424 μGy y(-1). The dose rates measured in the same villages with a μR-survey meter were found to be in the range of 1211-3255 μGy y(-1), with a mean of 2524 ± 395 μGy y(-1). The mean radiation levels in the study area are found to be relatively high when compared with (Indian) national and international averages. Correlations among radon, thoron and gamma dose rates were found to be poor. The pre-operational data produced in this work will be useful for comparison with future radiation levels during the proposed uranium mining operations.

  8. US Geological Survey research on the environmental fate of uranium mining and milling wastes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Landa, E.R.; Gray, J.R.

    1995-01-01

    Studies by the US Geological Survey (USGS) of uranium mill tailings (UMT) have focused on characterizing the forms in which radionuclides are retained and identifying factors influencing the release of radionuclides to air and water. Selective extraction studies and studies of radionuclide sorption by and leaching from components of UMT showed alkaline earth sulfate and hydrous ferric oxides to be important hosts of radium-226 (226Ra) in UMT. Extrapolating from studies of barite dissolution in anerobic lake sediments, the leaching of 226Ra from UMT by sulfate-reducing bacteria was investigated; a marked increase in 226Ra release to aqueous solution as compared to sterile controls was demonstrated. A similar action of iron(III)-reducing bacteria was later shown. Ion exchangers such as clay minerals can also promote the dissolution of host-phase minerals and thereby influence the fate of radionuclides such as 226Ra. Radon release studies examined particle size and ore composition as variables. Aggregation of UMT particles was shown to mask the higher emanating fraction of finer particles. Studies of various ores and ore components showed that UMT cannot be assumed to have the same radon-release characteristics as their precursor ores, nor can 226Ra retained by various substrates be assumed to emanate the same fraction of radon. Over the last decade, USGS research directed at offsite mobility of radionuclides from uranium mining and milling processes has focused on six areas: the Midnite Mine in Washington; Ralston Creek and Reservoir, Colorado; sites near Canon City, Colorado; the Monument Valley District of Arizona and Utah; the Cameron District of Arizona; and the Puerco River basin of Arizona and New Mexico.

  9. Assessment of Local Biodiversity Loss in Uranium Mining-Tales And Its Projections On Global Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharshenova, D.; Zhamangulova, N.

    2015-12-01

    In Min-Kush, northern Kyrgyzstan there are 8 mining tales with an estimate of 1 961 000 tones of industrial Uranium. Local ecosystem services have declined rapidly. We analyzed a terrestrial assemblage database of Uranium mine-tale to quantify local biodiversity responses to land use and environmental changes. In the worst-affected habitats species richness reduced by 95.7%, total abundance by 60.9% and rarefaction-based richness by 72.5%. We estimate that, regional mountain ecosystem affected by this pressure reduced average within-sample richness (by 17.01%), total abundance (16.5%) and rarefaction-based richness (14.5%). Business-as-usual scenarios are the widely practiced in the region and moreover, due to economic constraints country can not afford any mitigation scenarios. We project that biodiversity loss and ecosystem service impairment will spread in the region through ground water, soil, plants, animals and microorganisms at the rate of 1km/year. Entire Tian-Shan mountain chain will be in danger within next 5-10 years. Our preliminary data shows that local people live in this area developed various forms of cancer, and the rate of premature death is as high as 40%. Strong international scientific and socio-economic partnership is needed to develop models and predictions.

  10. Geology of the area adjacent to the Free Enterprise uranium-silver Mine, Boulder District, Jefferson County, Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roberts, W.A.; Gude, A.J.

    1952-01-01

    Uranium minerals.occur in pods associated with cryptocrystalline silica, silver minerals, and scattered sulfide mineral grains in a hydrothermal vein that cuts quartz monzonite and alaskite at the Free Enterprise mine, 2 miles west of Boulder, Mont. The Free Enterprise vein is one of many silicified reef-like structures in this area, most of which trend about N. 60° E. The cryptocrystalline silica zones of the area are lenticular and are bordered by an altered zone where quartz monzonite is the wall rock. No alteration was noticed where alaskite is adjacent to silica zones. No uranium minerals were observed at the surface, but radioactivity anomalies were noted at 57 outcrops. Underground mining has shown that leaching by downward percolating waters has removed most of the uranium from the near-surface part of the Free Enterprise vein and probably has enriched slightly, parts of the vein and the adjacent wall rock from the bottom of the leached zone to the ground-water level. It is possible that other veins that show low to moderate radioactivity at the surface may contain significant concentrations of uranium minerals at relatively shallow depth. The quartz monzonite appears to be a more favorable host rock for the cryptocrystalline silica and associated uranium minerals than the alaskite. The alaskite occurs as vertical_dikes plug-like masses, and as irregularly shaped, gently dipping masses that are believed to have been intruded into open fractures formed during the cooling of the quartz monzonite.

  11. What are the health costs of uranium mining? A case study of miners in Grants, New Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Benjamin A

    2014-01-01

    Background: Uranium mining is associated with lung cancer and other health problems among miners. Health impacts are related with miner exposure to radon gas progeny. Objectives: This study estimates the health costs of excess lung cancer mortality among uranium miners in the largest uranium-producing district in the USA, centered in Grants, New Mexico. Methods: Lung cancer mortality rates on miners were used to estimate excess mortality and years of life lost (YLL) among the miner population in Grants from 1955 to 2005. A cost analysis was performed to estimate direct (medical) and indirect (premature mortality) health costs. Results: Total health costs ranged from $2.2 million to $7.7 million per excess death. This amounts to between $22.4 million and $165.8 million in annual health costs over the 1955–1990 mining period. Annual exposure-related lung cancer mortality was estimated at 2185.4 miners per 100 000, with a range of 1419.8–2974.3 per 100 000. Conclusions: Given renewed interest in uranium worldwide, results suggest a re-evaluation of radon exposure standards and inclusion of miner long-term health into mining planning decisions. PMID:25224806

  12. Exposure of insects and insectivorous birds to metals and other elements from abandoned mine tailings in three Summit County drainages, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, Christine M.; Yang, C.; Crock, J.G.; Shearn-Bochsler, V.; Smith, K.S.; Hageman, P.L.

    2009-01-01

    Concentrations of 31 metals, metalloids, and other elements were measured in insects and insectivorous bird tissues from three drainages with different geochemistry and mining histories in Summit Co., Colorado, in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In insect samples, all 25 elements that were analyzed in all years increased in both Snake and Deer Creeks in the mining impacted areas compared to areas above and below the mining impacted areas. This distribution of elements was predicted from known or expected sediment contamination resulting from abandoned mine tailings in those drainages. Element concentrations in avian liver tissues were in concordance with levels in insects, that is with concentrations higher in mid-drainage areas where mine tailings were present compared to both upstream and downstream locations; these differences were not always statistically different, however. The lack of statistically significant differences in liver tissues, except for a few elements, was due to relatively small sample sizes and because many of these elements are essential and therefore well regulated by the bird's homeostatic processes. Most elements were at background concentrations in avian liver tissue except for Pb which was elevated at mid-drainage sites to levels where ??-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity was inhibited at other mining sites in Colorado. Lead exposure, however, was not at toxic levels. Fecal samples were not a good indication of what elements birds ingested and were potentially exposed to. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

  13. Dissolved metals and associated constituents in abandoned coal-mine discharges, Pennsylvania, USA. Part 2: Geochemical controls on constituent concentrations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cravotta, C.A.

    2008-01-01

    Water-quality data for discharges from 140 abandoned mines in the Anthracite and Bituminous Coalfields of Pennsylvania reveal complex relations among the pH and dissolved solute concentrations that can be explained with geochemical equilibrium models. Observed values of pH ranged from 2.7 to 7.3 in the coal-mine discharges (CMD). Generally, flow rates were smaller and solute concentrations were greater for low-pH CMD samples; pH typically increased with flow rate. Although the frequency distribution of pH was similar for the anthracite and bituminous discharges, the bituminous discharges had smaller median flow rates; greater concentrations of SO4, Fe, Al, As, Cd, Cu, Ni and Sr; comparable concentrations of Mn, Cd, Zn and Se; and smaller concentrations of Ba and Pb than anthracite discharges with the same pH values. The observed relations between the pH and constituent concentrations can be attributed to (1) dilution of acidic water by near-neutral or alkaline ground water; (2) solubility control of Al, Fe, Mn, Ba and Sr by hydroxide, sulfate, and/or carbonate minerals; and (3) aqueous SO4-complexation and surface-complexation (adsorption) reactions. The formation of AlSO4+ and AlHSO42 + complexes adds to the total dissolved Al concentration at equilibrium with Al(OH)3 and/or Al hydroxysulfate phases and can account for 10-20 times greater concentrations of dissolved Al in SO4-laden bituminous discharges compared to anthracite discharges at pH of 5. Sulfate complexation can also account for 10-30 times greater concentrations of dissolved FeIII concentrations at equilibrium with Fe(OH)3 and/or schwertmannite (Fe8O8(OH)4.5(SO4)1.75) at pH of 3-5. In contrast, lower Ba concentrations in bituminous discharges indicate that elevated SO4 concentrations in these CMD sources could limit Ba concentrations by the precipitation of barite (BaSO4). Coprecipitation of Sr with barite could limit concentrations of this element. However, concentrations of dissolved Pb, Cu, Cd, Zn

  14. Geochemical investigations and interim recommendations for priority abandoned mine sites on U.S.D.A. Forest Service lands, Mineral Creek watershed, San Juan County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nash, J.T.

    1999-01-01

    estimate in ranking feasibility of reclamation is the amount of natural and mine-related contamination at each mining area. Mitigation of natural contributions at mines or unmined areas is beyond the scope of these Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) investigations, but must be considered when planning reclamation. Available information for the 25 problem sites is adequate for ranking, but at some sites additional information on groundwater conditions is needed for a more reliable ranking and evaluation of reclamation methods.

  15. Remediation strategy, capping construction and ongoing monitoring for the mill tailings pond, Ningyo-Toge uranium mine, Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Hiroshi Saito; Tomihiro Taki

    2013-07-01

    Ningyo-toge Uranium Mine is subject to the environmental remediation. The main purposes are to take measures to ensure the radiation protection from the exposure pathways to humans in future, and to prevent the occurrence of mining pollution. The Yotsugi Mill Tailings Pond in the Ningyo-toge Uranium Mine has deposited mining waste and impounded water as a buffer reservoir before it is transferred to the Water Treatment Facility. It is located at the upstream of the water-source river and as the impact on its environment in case of earthquake is estimated significant, the highest priority has been put to it among mine-related facilities in the Mine. So far, basic concept has been examined and a great number of data has been acquired, and using the data, some remediation activities have already done, including capping construction for the upstream part of the Mill Tailings Pond. The capping is to reduce rainwater penetration to lower the burden of water treatment, and to reduce radon exhalation and dose rates. Only natural materials are used to alleviate the future maintenance. Data, including settlement amount and underground temperature is now being acquired and accumulated to verify the effectiveness of the capping, and used for the future remediation of the Downstream with revision of its specifications if necessary. (authors)

  16. The Leyden uranium prospect, Jefferson County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gott, Garland B.

    1950-01-01

    The Leyden uranium prospect is in sec. 28, T, 2 S., R. 70 W, Jefferson County, Cplo, Examination of the property was made in February 1950. Uranium was first reported in this locality in 1875 by Captain E. L. Berthoud, who noted uranium minerals associated with the main coal bed. The Old Leyden coal mine workings have long been abandoned and caved, but specimens of the uranium-bearing rock can be seen on the old dump 700 feet to the south. The mineralized coal bed is 10 to 12 feet thick and occurs near the base of the Laramie formation of Upper Cretaceous age. Uranium minerals are present in the form of yellow incrustations and inclusions in fractured and partly silicified coal. Petrographic studies indicate that the silica and uranium minerals were deposited after deposition and carbonization of the coal. Secondary uranium minerals also were found by C. R. Butler along the outcrop of the sandstones in the Laramie formation. No uranium minerals were found in place by the writer, but four samples from the dump contained 0.001, 0,005, 0.17 and 0.69 percent uranium.

  17. Application of electromagnetic techniques in survey of contaminated groundwater at an abandoned mine complex in southwestern Indiana, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, G.A.; Olyphant, G.A.; Harper, D.

    1991-01-01

    In part of a large abandoned mining complex, electromagnetic geophysical surveys were used along with data derived from cores and monitoring wells to infer sources of contamination and subsurface hydrologic connections between acidic refuse deposits and adjacent undisturbed geologic materials. Electrical resistivity increases sharply along the boundary of an elevated deposit of pyritic coarse refuse, which is highly contaminated and electrically conductive, indicating poor subsurface hydrologic connections with surrounding deposits of fine refuse and undisturbed glacial material. Groundwater chemistry, as reflected in values of specific conductance, also differs markedly across the deposit's boundary, indicating that a widespread contaminant plume has not developed around the coarse refuse in more than 40 yr since the deposit was created. Most acidic drainage from the coarse refuse is by surface runoff and is concentrated around stream channels. Although most of the contaminated groundwater within the study area is concentrated within the surficial refuse deposits, transects of apparent resistivity and phase angle indicate the existence of an anomalous conductive layer at depth (>4 m) in thick alluvial sediments along the northern boundary of the mining complex. Based on knowledge of local geology, the anomaly is interpreted to represent a subsurface connection between the alluvium and a flooded abandoned underground mine. ?? 1991 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  18. Mineralogical characterization of arsenic in uranium mine tailings precipitated from iron-rich hydrometallurgical solutions.

    PubMed

    Moldovan, Brett J; Jiang, D T; Hendry, M Jim

    2003-03-01

    Arsenic-rich uranium mine tailings from the Rabbit Lake in-pit tailings management facility (RLITMF) in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, were investigated to determine the mineralogy and long-term stability of secondary arsenic precipitates formed from iron-rich hydrometallurgical solutions. Total arsenic and iron concentrations in six iron-rich samples of the mine tailings ranged from 56 to 6,000 microg/g and from 12 600 to 30 200 microg/g, respectively (Fe/As molar ratios of 5.3-303). On the basis of stability field diagrams generated from pH, Eh, and temperature measurements on tailings samples (mean values of 9.79, +162 mV, and 2.8 degrees C, respectively), it was concluded that arsenic and iron in the tailings were stable as As5+ and Fe3+. Synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopic studies of tailings samples, fresh mill precipitates, and reference compounds showed that the arsenic in iron-rich areas of the tailings existed as the stable As5+ and was adsorbed to 2-line ferrihydrite through inner-sphere bidentate linkages. Furthermore, under the conditions in the RLITMF, the 2-line ferrihydrite did not undergo any measurable conversion to more crystalline goethite or hematite, even in tailings discharged to the RLITMF 10 yr prior to sampling.

  19. The removal of uranium from mining waste water using algal/microbial biomass.

    PubMed

    Kalin, Margarete; Wheeler, W N; Meinrath, G

    2005-01-01

    We describe a three step process for the removal of uranium (U) from dilute waste waters. Step one involves the sequestration of U on, in, and around aquatic plants such as algae. Cell wall ligands efficiently remove U(VI) from waste water. Growing algae continuously renew the cellular surface area. Step 2 is the removal of U-algal particulates from the water column to the sediments. Step 3 involves reducing U(VI) to U(IV) and transforming the ions into stable precipitates in the sediments. The algal cells provide organic carbon and other nutrients to heterotrophic microbial consortia to maintain the low E(H), within which the U is transformed. Among the microorganisms, algae are of predominant interest for the ecological engineer because of their ability to sequester U and because some algae can live under many extreme environments, often in abundance. Algae grow in a wide spectrum of water qualities, from alkaline environments (Chara, Nitella) to acidic mine drainage waste waters (Mougeotia, Ulothrix). If they could be induced to grow in waste waters, they would provide a simple, long-term means to remove U and other radionuclides from U mining effluents. This paper reviews the literature on algal and microbial adsorption, reduction, and transformation of U in waste streams, wetlands, lakes and oceans.

  20. Transcriptional effects of metal-rich acid drainage water from the abandoned Løkken Mine on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolt.

    PubMed

    Olsvik, Pål A; Ulvund, John B; Teien, Hans C; Urke, Henning A; Lie, Kai K; Kristensen, Torstein

    2016-01-01

    Runoff of metals represents one of the major environmental challenges related to historic and ongoing mining activity. In this study, transcriptomics (direct RNA sequencing [RNA-seq] and reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction [RT-qPCR]) was used to predict toxicity of metal-rich acid mine drainage (AMD) water collected in the abandoned copper (Cu) mine called Løkken Mine on Atlantic salmon liver and kidney, the main target organs of Cu-induced toxicity in fish. Smolts were exposed to control and diluted AMD water, which contains a mixture of metals but is especially enriched with Cu, at 4 concentrations in freshwater (FW) for 96 h, and then were transferred to and kept in seawater (SW) for another 24 h. Significant accumulation of Cu was observed in the gills, but not liver and kidney tissues, after 96 h of exposure. Short-term exposure to metal-rich ADM (high exposure group) significantly upregulated 3201 transcripts and downregulated 3782 transcripts in liver. The strongest effect attributed to exposure was observed on the KEGG pathway "protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum," followed by "steroid biosynthesis." Gene ontology (GO) analysis suggested that exposure predominantly affected "protein folding," possibly by disrupting disulfide bonds as a result of endoplasmic-reticulum-generated stress, and "sterol biosynthetic processes." Transfer to uncontaminated SW for 24 h amended the transcription of several genes, suggesting a transient effect of treatment on some mechanisms. In conclusion, the data show that trace metals in AMD from abandoned pyrite mines might disturb molecular mechanisms linked to protein folding in Atlantic salmon smolt endoplasmic reticulum.

  1. Mapping Copper and Lead Concentrations at Abandoned Mine Areas Using Element Analysis Data from ICP-AES and Portable XRF Instruments: A Comparative Study.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyeongyu; Choi, Yosoon; Suh, Jangwon; Lee, Seung-Ho

    2016-03-30

    Understanding spatial variation of potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in soil is necessary to identify the proper measures for preventing soil contamination at both operating and abandoned mining areas. Many studies have been conducted worldwide to explore the spatial variation of PTEs and to create soil contamination maps using geostatistical methods. However, they generally depend only on inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) analysis data, therefore such studies are limited by insufficient input data owing to the disadvantages of ICP-AES analysis such as its costly operation and lengthy period required for analysis. To overcome this limitation, this study used both ICP-AES and portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analysis data, with relatively low accuracy, for mapping copper and lead concentrations at a section of the Busan abandoned mine in Korea and compared the prediction performances of four different approaches: the application of ordinary kriging to ICP-AES analysis data, PXRF analysis data, both ICP-AES and transformed PXRF analysis data by considering the correlation between the ICP-AES and PXRF analysis data, and co-kriging to both the ICP-AES (primary variable) and PXRF analysis data (secondary variable). Their results were compared using an independent validation data set. The results obtained in this case study showed that the application of ordinary kriging to both ICP-AES and transformed PXRF analysis data is the most accurate approach when considers the spatial distribution of copper and lead contaminants in the soil and the estimation errors at 11 sampling points for validation. Therefore, when generating soil contamination maps for an abandoned mine, it is beneficial to use the proposed approach that incorporates the advantageous aspects of both ICP-AES and PXRF analysis data.

  2. Mapping Copper and Lead Concentrations at Abandoned Mine Areas Using Element Analysis Data from ICP–AES and Portable XRF Instruments: A Comparative Study

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyeongyu; Choi, Yosoon; Suh, Jangwon; Lee, Seung-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Understanding spatial variation of potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in soil is necessary to identify the proper measures for preventing soil contamination at both operating and abandoned mining areas. Many studies have been conducted worldwide to explore the spatial variation of PTEs and to create soil contamination maps using geostatistical methods. However, they generally depend only on inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP–AES) analysis data, therefore such studies are limited by insufficient input data owing to the disadvantages of ICP–AES analysis such as its costly operation and lengthy period required for analysis. To overcome this limitation, this study used both ICP–AES and portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analysis data, with relatively low accuracy, for mapping copper and lead concentrations at a section of the Busan abandoned mine in Korea and compared the prediction performances of four different approaches: the application of ordinary kriging to ICP–AES analysis data, PXRF analysis data, both ICP–AES and transformed PXRF analysis data by considering the correlation between the ICP–AES and PXRF analysis data, and co-kriging to both the ICP–AES (primary variable) and PXRF analysis data (secondary variable). Their results were compared using an independent validation data set. The results obtained in this case study showed that the application of ordinary kriging to both ICP–AES and transformed PXRF analysis data is the most accurate approach when considers the spatial distribution of copper and lead contaminants in the soil and the estimation errors at 11 sampling points for validation. Therefore, when generating soil contamination maps for an abandoned mine, it is beneficial to use the proposed approach that incorporates the advantageous aspects of both ICP–AES and PXRF analysis data. PMID:27043594

  3. Radionuclides in the lichen-caribou-human food chain near uranium mining operations in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.

    PubMed

    Thomas, P A; Gates, T E

    1999-07-01

    The richest uranium ore bodies ever discovered (Cigar Lake and McArthur River) are presently under development in northeastern Saskatchewan. This subarctic region is also home to several operating uranium mines and aboriginal communities, partly dependent upon caribou for subsistence. Because of concerns over mining impacts and the efficient transfer of airborne radionuclides through the lichen-caribou-human food chain, radionuclides were analyzed in tissues from 18 barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus). Radionuclides included uranium (U), radium (226Ra), lead (210Pb), and polonium (210Po) from the uranium decay series; the fission product (137Cs) from fallout; and naturally occurring potassium (40K). Natural background radiation doses average 2-4 mSv/year from cosmic rays, external gamma rays, radon inhalation, and ingestion of food items. The ingestion of 210Po and 137Cs when caribou are consumed adds to these background doses. The dose increment was 0.85 mSv/year for adults who consumed 100 g of caribou meat per day and up to 1.7 mSv/year if one liver and 10 kidneys per year were also consumed. We discuss the cancer risk from these doses. Concentration ratios (CRs), relating caribou tissues to lichens or rumen (stomach) contents, were calculated to estimate food chain transfer. The CRs for caribou muscle ranged from 1 to 16% for U, 6 to 25% for 226Ra, 1 to 2% for 210Pb, 6 to 26% for 210Po, 260 to 370% for 137Cs, and 76 to 130% for 40K, with 137Cs biomagnifying by a factor of 3-4. These CRs are useful in predicting caribou meat concentrations from the lichens, measured in monitoring programs, for the future evaluation of uranium mining impacts on this critical food chain.

  4. Radionuclides in the lichen-caribou-human food chain near uranium mining operations in northern Saskatchewan, Canada.

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, P A; Gates, T E

    1999-01-01

    The richest uranium ore bodies ever discovered (Cigar Lake and McArthur River) are presently under development in northeastern Saskatchewan. This subarctic region is also home to several operating uranium mines and aboriginal communities, partly dependent upon caribou for subsistence. Because of concerns over mining impacts and the efficient transfer of airborne radionuclides through the lichen-caribou-human food chain, radionuclides were analyzed in tissues from 18 barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus). Radionuclides included uranium (U), radium (226Ra), lead (210Pb), and polonium (210Po) from the uranium decay series; the fission product (137Cs) from fallout; and naturally occurring potassium (40K). Natural background radiation doses average 2-4 mSv/year from cosmic rays, external gamma rays, radon inhalation, and ingestion of food items. The ingestion of 210Po and 137Cs when caribou are consumed adds to these background doses. The dose increment was 0.85 mSv/year for adults who consumed 100 g of caribou meat per day and up to 1.7 mSv/year if one liver and 10 kidneys per year were also consumed. We discuss the cancer risk from these doses. Concentration ratios (CRs), relating caribou tissues to lichens or rumen (stomach) contents, were calculated to estimate food chain transfer. The CRs for caribou muscle ranged from 1 to 16% for U, 6 to 25% for 226Ra, 1 to 2% for 210Pb, 6 to 26% for 210Po, 260 to 370% for 137Cs, and 76 to 130% for 40K, with 137Cs biomagnifying by a factor of 3-4. These CRs are useful in predicting caribou meat concentrations from the lichens, measured in monitoring programs, for the future evaluation of uranium mining impacts on this critical food chain. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 PMID:10378999

  5. Annotated bibliography of environmentally relevant investigations of uranium mining and milling in the Grants Mineral Belt, northwestern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otton, James K.

    2011-01-01

    Studies of the natural environment in the Grants Mineral Belt in northwestern New Mexico have been conducted since the 1930s; however, few such investigations predate uranium mining and milling operations, which began in the early 1950s. This report provides an annotated bibliography of reports that describe the hydrology and geochemistry of groundwaters and surface waters and the geochemistry of soils and sediments in the Grants Mineral Belt and contiguous areas. The reports referenced and discussed provide a large volume of information about the environmental conditions in the area after mining started. Data presented in many of these studies, if evaluated carefully, may provide much basic information about the baseline conditions that existed over large parts of the Grants Mineral Belt prior to mining. Other data may provide information that can direct new work in efforts to discriminate between baseline conditions and the effects of the mining and milling on the natural environment.

  6. Assessment of the total effective dose of miners in the underground Rožná Uranium Mine in the Czech Republic during the period 2004-2009.

    PubMed

    Sabol, J; Jurda, M; Gregor, Z; Navrátil, L

    2011-03-01

    The paper discusses the situation in the Czech Republic regarding past and present uranium mining activities with emphasis on the evaluation of the exposure of underground miners in the Rožná Uranium Mine, which is currently the only active mine in the country and practically in the entire European Union. The total effective dose has been summarised taking into account all three major components, namely radon short-lived decay products, long-lived alpha emitters in ore dust and penetrating external gamma radiation. The average and maximum values of the effective dose as well as the collective effective dose of underground miners are also presented. The purpose of the paper is to document the miners' exposures during a period of 6 years in a uranium mine where conditions including the ore grade and methods of mining showed recently some changes that may affect the individual components of the total effective dose.

  7. Derivation of soil screening thresholds to protect chisel-toothed kangaroo rat from uranium mine waste in northern Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinck, Jo E.; Linder, Greg L.; Otton, James K.; Finger, Susan E.; Little, Edward E.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical data from soil and weathered waste material samples collected from five uranium mines north of the Grand Canyon (three reclaimed, one mined but not reclaimed, and one never mined) were used in a screening-level risk analysis for the Arizona chisel-toothed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys microps leucotis); risks from radiation exposure were not evaluated. Dietary toxicity reference values were used to estimate soil-screening thresholds presenting risk to kangaroo rats. Sensitivity analyses indicated that body weight critically affected outcomes of exposed-dose calculations; juvenile kangaroo rats were more sensitive to the inorganic constituent toxicities than adult kangaroo rats. Species-specific soil-screening thresholds were derived for arsenic (137 mg/kg), cadmium (16 mg/kg), copper (1,461 mg/kg), lead (1,143 mg/kg), nickel (771 mg/kg), thallium (1.3 mg/kg), uranium (1,513 mg/kg), and zinc (731 mg/kg) using toxicity reference values that incorporate expected chronic field exposures. Inorganic contaminants in soils within and near the mine areas generally posed minimal risk to kangaroo rats. Most exceedances of soil thresholds were for arsenic and thallium and were associated with weathered mine wastes.

  8. A methodology for the assessment of rehabilitation success of post mining landscapes--sediment and radionuclide transport at the former Nabarlek uranium mine, Northern Territory, Australia.

    PubMed

    Hancock, G R; Grabham, M K; Martin, P; Evans, K G; Bollhöfer, A

    2006-02-01

    Protection of the environment post-mining is an important issue, especially where runoff and erosion can lead to undesirable material leaving post-mining landscapes and contaminating surrounding land and watercourses. Methods for assessment of the environmental impact and long-term behaviour of post-mining landforms based on scientific methodology are needed especially where field data are absent or poor. An appraisal of the former Nabarlek uranium mine was conducted to assess the site from a soil erosion perspective as part of an independent evaluation of overall rehabilitation success. Determination of the gross erosion occurring, sediment discharge to Cooper Creek and the resultant sediment associated radionuclide load in Cooper Creek were the primary objectives of the study. These objectives were achieved through the application of several models using parameter values collected from the site. The study found that the area containing the mill tailings repository is extremely stable and meets the guidelines established for long-term storage of uranium mill tailings. Most other areas on the site are stable; however there are some areas with a high sediment loss. Sediment concentration in Cooper Creek, which drains the site, was found to be within the Australian water quality guidelines for fresh water, however sediment concentrations in tributaries were found to exceed recommended levels. Radionuclide determinations on soil samples showed that the highest specific activities (Bq kg-1) were present on a small (0.44 ha) area with a relatively high erosion rate. This small area contributed the majority of the estimated flux to Cooper Creek of uranium-series radionuclides sorbed or structurally incorporated to eroded soil particles sourced from the mine site. This study provides a methodology for assessment of the erosional stability of such a landscape and consequent impact on water quality, using extensive field data and readily available and well known models and

  9. Flagella and pili of iron-oxidizing thiobacilli isolated from a uranium mine in northern Ontario, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    DiSpirito, A.A.; Silver, M.; Voss, L.; Tuovinen, O.H.

    1982-05-01

    Five strains of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, which included three recent isolates from a uranium mine, possessed flagella. Three of the strains had several pili per cell. The dimensions, fine structure, and orientation of the flagella were different. Both polar and peritrichous flagella were observed, indicating strain-dependent ultrastructural variation in acidophilic thiobacilli. Neither flagella nor pili were detected in eight other strains of T. ferrooxidans and two strains of Thiobacillus acidophilus by electron microscopy, although all of the cultures contained motile cells.

  10. Characterization of cores from an in-situ recovery mined uranium deposit in Wyoming: Implications for post-mining restoration

    SciTech Connect

    WoldeGabriel, G.; Boukhalfa, H.; Ware, S. D.; Cheshire, M.; Reimus, P.; Heikoop, J.; Conradson, S. D.; Batuk, O.; Havrilla, G.; House, B.; Simmons, A.; Clay, J.; Basu, A.; Christensen, J. N.; Brown, S. T.; DePaolo, D. J.

    2014-10-08

    In-situ recovery (ISR) of uranium (U) from sandstone-type roll-front deposits is a technology that involves the injection of solutions that consist of ground water fortified with oxygen and carbonate to promote the oxidative dissolution of U, which is pumped to recovery facilities located at the surface that capture the dissolved U and recycle the treated water. The ISR process alters the geochemical conditions in the subsurface creating conditions that are more favorable to the migration of uranium and other metals associated with the uranium deposit. There is a lack of clear understanding of the impact of ISR mining on the aquifer and host rocks of the post-mined site and the fate of residual U and other metals within the mined ore zone. We performed detailed petrographic, mineralogical, and geochemical analyses of several samples taken from about 7 m of core of the formerly the ISR-mined Smith Ranch–Highland uranium deposit in Wyoming. We show that previously mined cores contain significant residual uranium (U) present as coatings on pyrite and carbonaceous fragments. Coffinite was identified in three samples. Core samples with higher organic (> 1 wt.%) and clay (> 6–17 wt.%) contents yielded higher 234U/238U activity ratios (1.0–1.48) than those with lower organic and clay fractions. The ISR mining was inefficient in mobilizing U from the carbonaceous materials, which retained considerable U concentrations (374–11,534 ppm). This is in contrast with the deeper part of the ore zone, which was highly depleted in U and had very low 234U/238U activity ratios. This probably is due to greater contact with the lixiviant (leaching solution) during ISR mining. EXAFS analyses performed on grains with the highest U and Fe concentrations reveal that Fe is present in a reduced form as pyrite and U occurs mostly as U(IV) complexed by organic matter or as U(IV) phases of carbonate complexes. Moreover, U–O distances

  11. In situ effects of metal contamination from former uranium mining sites on the health of the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus, L.).

    PubMed

    Le Guernic, Antoine; Sanchez, Wilfried; Bado-Nilles, Anne; Palluel, Olivier; Turies, Cyril; Chadili, Edith; Cavalié, Isabelle; Delahaut, Laurence; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle; Porcher, Jean-Marc; Geffard, Alain; Betoulle, Stéphane; Gagnaire, Béatrice

    2016-08-01

    Human activities have led to increased levels of various pollutants including metals in aquatic ecosystems. Increase of metallic concentrations in aquatic environments represents a potential risk to exposed organisms, including fish. The aim of this study was to characterize the environmental risk to fish health linked to a polymetallic contamination from former uranium mines in France. This contamination is characterized by metals naturally present in the areas (manganese and iron), uranium, and metals (aluminum and barium) added to precipitate uranium and its decay products. Effects from mine releases in two contaminated ponds (Pontabrier for Haute-Vienne Department and Saint-Pierre for Cantal Department) were compared to those assessed at four other ponds outside the influence of mine tailings (two reference ponds/department). In this way, 360 adult three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) were caged for 28 days in these six ponds before biomarker analyses (immune system, antioxidant system, biometry, histology, DNA integrity, etc.). Ponds receiving uranium mine tailings presented higher concentrations of uranium, manganese and aluminum, especially for the Haute-Vienne Department. This uranium contamination could explain the higher bioaccumulation of this metal in fish caged in Pontabrier and Saint-Pierre Ponds. In the same way, many fish biomarkers (antioxidant and immune systems, acetylcholinesterase activity and biometric parameters) were impacted by this environmental exposure to mine tailings. This study shows the interest of caging and the use of a multi-biomarker approach in the study of a complex metallic contamination.

  12. Use of ochre from an abandoned metal mine in the south east of Ireland for phosphorus sequestration from dairy dirty water.

    PubMed

    Fenton, O; Healy, M G; Rodgers, M

    2009-01-01

    Ochre found at coal mine drainage sites in the United Kingdom shows a high phosphorus (P) retention capacity with little mobilization of metals. This indicates that ochre has the potential to adsorb P from agricultural wastewaters for possible use as a fertilizer. Little research has focused on the ability of metal mine ochre to sequester P in an environmentally sustainable way. Untreated acid mine drainage from an abandoned copper-sulfur mine in the Avoca-Avonmore catchment in the south east of Ireland results in extensive low-value ochre deposition. In this study, P-amended water (50 mL) was mixed with this ochre (2.5 g) in batch experiments, and a maximum P adsorption capacity, calculated from the Langmuir equation, of between 16 and 21 g P kg(-1) was calculated. However, mobilization of heavy metals from Avoca ochre in distilled, surface, and dirty water batch experiments was observed. This mobilization may inhibit ochre's use in P removal from wastewaters.

  13. 3D numerical analyses for the quantitative risk assessment of subsidence and water flood due to the partial collapse of an abandoned gypsum mine.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellanza, R.; Orlandi, G. M.; di Prisco, C.; Frigerio, G.; Flessati, L.; Fernandez Merodo, J. A.; Agliardi, F.; Grisi, S.; Crosta, G. B.

    2015-09-01

    After the abandonment occurred in the '70s, the mining system (rooms and pillars) located in S. Lazzaro di Savena (BO, Italy), grown on three levels with the method rooms and pillars, has been progressively more and more affected by degradation processes due to water infiltration. The mine is located underneath a residential area causing significant concern to the local municipality. On the basis of in situ surveys, laboratory and in situ geomechanical tests, some critical scenarios were adopted in the analyses to simulate the progressive collapse of pillars and of roofs in the most critical sectors of the mine. A first set of numerical analyses using 3D geotechnical FEM codes were performed to predict the extension of the subsidence area and its interaction with buildings. Secondly 3D CFD analyses were used to evaluated the amount of water that could be eventually ejected outside the mine and eventually flooding the downstream village. The predicted extension of the subsidence area together with the predicted amount of the ejected water have been used to design possible remedial measurements.

  14. An evaluation of health risk to the public as a consequence of in situ uranium mining in Wyoming, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Ruedig, Elizabeth; Johnson, Thomas E.

    2015-08-30

    In the United States there is considerable public concern regarding the health effects of in situ recovery uranium mining. These concerns focus principally on exposure to contaminants mobilized in groundwater by the mining process. However, the risk arising as a result of mining must be viewed in light of the presence of naturally occurring uranium ore and other constituents which comprise a latent hazard. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed new guidelines for successful restoration of an in situ uranium mine by limiting concentrations of thirteen groundwater constituents: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, nitrate (as nitrogen), molybdenum, radium, total uranium, and gross α activity. We investigated the changes occurring to these constituents at an ISR uranium mine in Wyoming, USA by comparing groundwater quality at baseline measurement to that at stability (post-restoration) testing. Of the groundwater constituents considered, only uranium and radium-226 showed significant (p < 0.05) deviation from site-wide baseline conditions in matched-wells. Uranium concentrations increased by a factor of 5.6 (95% CI 3.6–8.9 times greater) while radium-226 decreased by a factor of about one half (95% CI 0.42–0.75 times less). Change in risk was calculated using the RESRAD (onsite) code for an individual exposed as a resident-farmer; total radiation dose to a resident farmer decreased from pre-to post-mining by about 5.2 mSv y–1. As a result, higher concentrations of uranium correspond to increased biomarkers of nephrotoxicity, however the clinical significance of this increase is unclear.

  15. A field study on phytoremediation of a lead-contaminated soil by Eucalyptus globulus in an abandoned mine site - Alagoa, Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerardo, R.; Kikuchi, R.

    2009-04-01

    Current engineering-based technologies used to clean up soils are very costly and need lots of work. Phytoremediation is the use of plants to remove pollutants (i.e. heavy metals) from the environment or render them harmless. In the phytoremediation process several plant species can be used to reduce the concentrations of heavy metals in contaminated soils to environmentally acceptable levels. The idea of using rare plants which hyperaccumulate metals to selectively remove and recycle excessive soil metals has increasingly been examined as a potential practical and more cost effective technology than soil replacement, solidification, or washing strategies presently used. However, most hyperaccumulator species are not suitable for phytoremediation application in the field due to their small biomass and slow growth. Cultivation of woody plants in contaminated soils has showed potential for use in phytoremediation but also it provides aesthetic improvement in the field. In this study we studied the possibility of using the approach of phytoremediation of lead by Eucalyptus globulus in a lead-contaminated soil from an abandoned mine. Although Eucalytpus globulus prefer good ecological conditions in humid temperate climates, there are few studies that have showed their great potential in contaminated areas and important biomonitors of environmental quality. A test field was set up in an abandoned mine site (Alagoa, Portugal) in order to investigate the feasibility of phytoremediation of lead by Eucalyptus globulus. The field soil was characterized as follows: humus - 2.56-7.08%, pH in the soil water - 4.50-5.10, silte - 18-15% and total Pb - 67-239 mg/kg. The soils in some areas exceed the critical value (150 mg/kg) according with Portuguese law. Eucalytus globulus growing on the abandoned mine, contaminated with lead was studied. The results of shoots sample analysis (n = 15) show the total Pb levels of 0.170-0.093 mg/kg in the stem and 2.94-5.14 mg/kg in the leaves

  16. Molybdenum speciation in uranium mine tailings using X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Essilfie-Dughan, Joseph; Pickering, Ingrid J; Hendry, M Jim; George, Graham N; Kotzer, Tom

    2011-01-15

    Uranium (U) mill tailings in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, contain elevated concentrations of molybdenum (Mo). The potential for long-term (>10,000 years) mobilization of Mo from the tailings management facilities to regional groundwater systems is an environmental concern. To assist in characterizing long-term stability, X-ray absorption spectroscopy was used to define the chemical (redox and molecular) speciation of Mo in tailings samples from the Deilmann Tailings Management Facility (DTMF) at the Key Lake operations of Cameco Corporation. Comparison of Mo K near-edge X-ray absorption spectra of tailings samples and reference compounds of known oxidation states indicates Mo exists mainly as molybdate (+6 oxidation state). Principal component analysis of tailings samples spectra followed by linear combination fitting using spectra of reference compounds indicates that various proportions of NiMoO(4) and CaMoO(4) complexes, as well as molybdate adsorbed onto ferrihydrite, are the Mo species present in the U mine tailings. Tailings samples with low Fe/Mo (<708) and high Ni/Mo (>113) molar ratios are dominated by NiMoO(4), whereas those with high Fe/Mo (>708) and low Ni/Mo (<113) molar ratios are dominated by molybdate adsorbed onto ferrihydrite. This suggests that the speciation of Mo in the tailings is dependent in part on the chemistry of the original ore.

  17. Microbial distribution and diversity in saturated, high pH, uranium mine tailings, Saskatchewan, Canada.

    PubMed

    Wolfaardt, G M; Hendry, M J; Korber, D R

    2008-11-01

    Microbiological analyses were conducted on core samples collected along a vertical profile (0-66 m below surface) from the tailings management facility (TMF) at the Rabbit Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Bacterial numbers in the core materials were similar to surrounding soils and surface waters, regardless of the seemingly unfavorable pH (mean=9.9) and temperature (approximately 0 degrees C) in the TMF. The greatest number of viable cells (105 CFU/g) was detected at the interface between the tailings and overlying standing water, below which cell counts decreased rapidly with depth. Whole-community metabolic profiles for samples from the different depths grouped into 3 clusters; however, these groups could not be positively correlated with sampling depth, temperature, redox potential, pH, or ore-mill feed. Flow-cell studies demonstrated microbial communities in the tailings surface water could develop biofilms and maintain cell activity at both pH 10 and 7, and altering the pH between these 2 values had little effect on biofilm viability. These results demonstrate the resilience and adaptive nature of naturally occurring microbial communities and signify a potential role of microbial activity in the long-term geochemical evolution of the TMF.

  18. Zero-valent iron nanoparticles in treatment of acid mine water from in situ uranium leaching.

    PubMed

    Klimkova, Stepanka; Cernik, Miroslav; Lacinova, Lenka; Filip, Jan; Jancik, Dalibor; Zboril, Radek

    2011-02-01

    Acid mine water from in situ chemical leaching of uranium (Straz pod Ralskem, Czech Republic) was treated in laboratory scale experiments by zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI). For the first time, nZVI were applied for the treatment of the real acid water system containing the miscellaneous mixture of pollutants, where the various removal mechanisms occur simultaneously. Toxicity of the treated saline acid water is caused by major contaminants represented by aluminum and sulphates in a high concentration, as well as by microcontaminants like As, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, U, V, and Zn. Laboratory batch experiments proved a significant decrease in concentrations of all the monitored pollutants due to an increase in pH and a decrease in oxidation-reduction potential related to an application of nZVI. The assumed mechanisms of contaminants removal include precipitation of cations in a lower oxidation state, precipitation caused by a simple pH increase and co-precipitation with the formed iron oxyhydroxides. The possibility to control the reaction kinetics through the nature of the surface stabilizing shell (polymer vs. FeO nanolayer) is discussed as an important practical aspect.

  19. Radon dispersion modeling and dose assessment for uranium mine ventilation shaft exhausts under neutral atmospheric stability.

    PubMed

    Xie, Dong; Wang, Hanqing; Kearfott, Kimberlee J; Liu, Zehua; Mo, Shunquan

    2014-03-01

    In the present study, the roles of atmospheric wind profiles in the neutral atmosphere and surface roughness parameters in a complex terrain were examined to determine their impacts on radon ((222)Rn) dispersion from an actual uranium mine ventilation shaft. Simulations were completed on (222)Rn dispersion extending from the shaft to a vulnerable distance, near the location of an occupied farmhouse. The eight dispersion scenarios for the ventilation shaft source included four downwind velocities (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 m s(-1)) and two underlying surface roughness characteristics (0.1 m and 1.0 m). (222)Rn distributions and elevated pollution regions were identified. Effective dose estimation methods involving a historical weighting of wind speeds in the direction of interest coupled to the complex dispersion model were proposed. Using this approach, the radiation effects on the residents assumed to be outside at the location of the farm house 250 m downwind from the ventilation shaft outlet were computed. The maximum effective dose rate calculated for the residents at the outside of the farm house was 2.2 mSv y(-1), which is less than the low limit action level of 3-10 mSv y(-1) recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) occupational exposure action level for radon.

  20. Water Quality and Geochemical Modeling of Water at an Abandoned Coal Mine Reclaimed With Coal Combustion By-Products

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haefner, Ralph J.

    2002-01-01

    An abandoned coal mine in eastern Ohio was reclaimed with 125 tons per acre of pressurized fluidized bed combustion (PFBC) by-product. Water quality at the site (known as the Fleming site) was monitored for 7 years after reclamation; samples included water from soil-suction lysimeters (interstitial water), wells, and spring sites established downgradient of the application area. This report presents a summary of data collected at the Fleming site during the period September 1994 through June 2001. Additionally, results of geochemical modeling are included in this report to evaluate the potential fate of elements derived from the PFBC by-product. Chemical analyses of samples of interstitial waters within the PFBC by-product application area indicated elevated levels of pH and specific conductance and elevated concentrations of boron, calcium, chloride, fluoride, magnesium, potassium, strontium, and sulfate compared to water samples collected in a control area where traditional reclamation methods were used. Magnesium-to-calcium (Mg:Ca) mole ratios and sulfur-isotope ratios were used to trace the PFBC by-product leachate and showed that little, if any, leachate reached ground water. Concentrations of most constituents in interstitial waters in the application-area decreased during the seven sampling rounds and approached background concentrations observed in the control area; however, median pH in the application area remained above 6, indicating that some acid-neutralizing capacity was still present. Although notable changes in water quality were observed in interstitial waters during the study period, quality of ground water and spring water remained poor. Water from the Fleming site was not potable, given exceedances of primary and secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for inorganic constituents in drinking water set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Only fluoride and sulfate, which were found in higher concentrations in application