Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China The Chinese Journal of Nonferrous Metals

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Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China

Vol. 18    No. 4    August 2008

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REE behavior and effect factors in AMD-type acidic groundwater at sulfide tailings pond, BS nickel mine, W.A.
LEI Liang-qi(雷良奇)1, 2, SONG Ci-an (宋慈安)1, XIE Xiang-li(谢湘漓)1, LI Yan-hong(李艳红)1

1. Department of Resources and Environment Engineering, Guilin University of Technology,Guilin 541004, China;
2. Key Laboratory of Geological Engineering Centre of Guangxi Province,Guilin University of Technology, Guilin 541004, China

Abstract:AMD(Acid Mine Drainage)-type acidic groundwater (pH<4) from oxidizing sulfide tailings in BS nickel mine (Western Australia) is of higher total rare earth element(REE) contents and Ce enrichment (PAAS normalization), different from setting groundwater (pH>6.5, with lower total REE contents, Ce depletion). While the AMD contaminated groundwater (pH=4.0−6.5) around tailings pond is characterized by transition from acidic to setting groundwater in total REE content, and associated with Ce depletion (like setting groundwater). The light REE in all type groundwater shows up depletion, but its depleted extent in acidic groundwater is more remarkable. This work indicates that REE behavior in AMD-type acidic groundwater is controlled mainly by pH value and metal (Al, Mn and Fe) contents. And the critical pH value that affects REE behavior in ground acidic water would be 4, lower than the previous value (pH=5) that has been believed prevalently in surface acidic waters. The pH could affect REE behavior in groundwater by controlling the solubility of metal (Al, Mn and Fe) hydroxides and the valence of cerium. Finally, light REE depletion in acidic groundwater may due to element affinity. High content Al (affinity with heavy REE) and low content Fe (affinity with light REE) may lead to heavy REE enrichment while light REE relative depletion in water.


Key words: REE pattern; acid mine drainage; sulfide tailings; groundwater contamination

ISSN 1004-0609
CN 43-1238/TG

ISSN 1003-6326
CN 43-1239/TG

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