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

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 [K 2(UO 2) 2V 2O 8] 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. Thismore » study contributes to understanding the occurrence and mobility of metals in communities located close to abandoned mine waste sites.« less
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  1. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Southwest Research and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Tachee Uranium Concerncs Committee, Blue Gap, AZ (United States)
  4. Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  5. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
1345169; IIA-1301346
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Science and Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 49; Journal Issue: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: