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Title: The Speciation of Arsenic in Iron Oxides in Mine Wastes from the Giant Gold Mine, N.W.T.: Application of Synchrotron Micro-XRD and Micro-XANES at the Grain Scale

Abstract

Understanding the solid-phase speciation of arsenic in soils and sediments is important in evaluations of the potential mobility of arsenic and of its bio-availability in the environment. This is especially true in mine-influenced environments, where arsenic commonly is present at concentrations two and three orders of magnitude above quality criteria for soils and sediments. Arsenic-bearing particulates dispersed through hydraulic transport or aerosol emissions can represent a persistent source of contamination in sediments and soils adjacent to past mining and metallurgical operations. The stability and mobility of arsenic associated with these phases depend on the chemical form and oxidation state of the arsenic and the interaction with post-depositional geochemical conditions. The Giant mine in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, roasted arsenic-bearing gold ore from 1949 to 1999. The roasting process decomposed arsenic-bearing sulfides (pyrite and arsenopyrite) to produce a calcine containing fine (generally <50 {micro}m) arsenic-bearing iron oxides. We have applied synchrotron As K-edge micro X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure ({micro}XANES) and {micro}XRD as part of a grain-by-grain mineralogical approach for the direct determination of the host mineralogy and oxidation state of As in these roaster-derived iron oxides. The grain-scale approach has resolved potential ambiguities that would have existed had only bulk XANES andmore » XRD methods been applied. Using combined optical microscopy, electron microprobe and {micro}XRD, we have determined that the roaster-iron oxides are nanocrystalline grains of maghemite containing <0.5 to 7 wt.% As. Some of these arsenic-bearing nanocrystalline grains are a mixture of maghemite and hematite. All roaster iron oxides, including those present in 50-year-old tailings, contain mixtures of As{sup 5+} and As{sup 3+}. The persistence of As{sup 3+} in roaster-derived maghemite in shallow subareal (oxidized) shoreline tailings for over 50 years suggests that the arsenic is relatively stable under these conditions, even though As{sup 3+} is a reduced form of arsenic, and maghemite is normally considered a metastable phase.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) National Synchrotron Light Source
Sponsoring Org.:
Doe - Office Of Science
OSTI Identifier:
913885
Report Number(s):
BNL-78453-2007-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 0008-4476; CAMIA6; TRN: US0801395
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-98CH10886
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Can. Mineral
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0008-4476
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; ARSENIC; GOLD; GOLD ORES; HYDRAULIC TRANSPORT; IRON OXIDES; MINERAL WASTES; NORTHWEST TERRITORIES; OPTICAL MICROSCOPY; OXIDES; SEDIMENTS; SOILS; SYNCHROTRONS; X-RAY DIFFRACTION; national synchrotron light source

Citation Formats

Walker,S., Jamieson, H., Lanzirotti, A., Andrade, C., and Hall, G. The Speciation of Arsenic in Iron Oxides in Mine Wastes from the Giant Gold Mine, N.W.T.: Application of Synchrotron Micro-XRD and Micro-XANES at the Grain Scale. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.43.4.1205.
Walker,S., Jamieson, H., Lanzirotti, A., Andrade, C., & Hall, G. The Speciation of Arsenic in Iron Oxides in Mine Wastes from the Giant Gold Mine, N.W.T.: Application of Synchrotron Micro-XRD and Micro-XANES at the Grain Scale. United States. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.43.4.1205.
Walker,S., Jamieson, H., Lanzirotti, A., Andrade, C., and Hall, G. Sat . "The Speciation of Arsenic in Iron Oxides in Mine Wastes from the Giant Gold Mine, N.W.T.: Application of Synchrotron Micro-XRD and Micro-XANES at the Grain Scale". United States. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.43.4.1205.
@article{osti_913885,
title = {The Speciation of Arsenic in Iron Oxides in Mine Wastes from the Giant Gold Mine, N.W.T.: Application of Synchrotron Micro-XRD and Micro-XANES at the Grain Scale},
author = {Walker,S. and Jamieson, H. and Lanzirotti, A. and Andrade, C. and Hall, G.},
abstractNote = {Understanding the solid-phase speciation of arsenic in soils and sediments is important in evaluations of the potential mobility of arsenic and of its bio-availability in the environment. This is especially true in mine-influenced environments, where arsenic commonly is present at concentrations two and three orders of magnitude above quality criteria for soils and sediments. Arsenic-bearing particulates dispersed through hydraulic transport or aerosol emissions can represent a persistent source of contamination in sediments and soils adjacent to past mining and metallurgical operations. The stability and mobility of arsenic associated with these phases depend on the chemical form and oxidation state of the arsenic and the interaction with post-depositional geochemical conditions. The Giant mine in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, roasted arsenic-bearing gold ore from 1949 to 1999. The roasting process decomposed arsenic-bearing sulfides (pyrite and arsenopyrite) to produce a calcine containing fine (generally <50 {micro}m) arsenic-bearing iron oxides. We have applied synchrotron As K-edge micro X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure ({micro}XANES) and {micro}XRD as part of a grain-by-grain mineralogical approach for the direct determination of the host mineralogy and oxidation state of As in these roaster-derived iron oxides. The grain-scale approach has resolved potential ambiguities that would have existed had only bulk XANES and XRD methods been applied. Using combined optical microscopy, electron microprobe and {micro}XRD, we have determined that the roaster-iron oxides are nanocrystalline grains of maghemite containing <0.5 to 7 wt.% As. Some of these arsenic-bearing nanocrystalline grains are a mixture of maghemite and hematite. All roaster iron oxides, including those present in 50-year-old tailings, contain mixtures of As{sup 5+} and As{sup 3+}. The persistence of As{sup 3+} in roaster-derived maghemite in shallow subareal (oxidized) shoreline tailings for over 50 years suggests that the arsenic is relatively stable under these conditions, even though As{sup 3+} is a reduced form of arsenic, and maghemite is normally considered a metastable phase.},
doi = {10.2113/gscanmin.43.4.1205},
journal = {Can. Mineral},
issn = {0008-4476},
number = 4,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {1}
}