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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Physical Properties on the Leaching of Potentially Toxic Elements from Antimony Ore Processing Wastes

1
College of Civil Engineering, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
2
Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Shale Gas Resource Utilization, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
3
School Computing, Engineering & Physical Science, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2355; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132355
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 29 June 2019 / Accepted: 30 June 2019 / Published: 3 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health)
This study reports on the assessment of the impact of antimony mine wastes from Xikuangshan (XKS) Antimony Mine in Lengshuijiang City, Hunan Province. We focus on the leaching of a number of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) from residues from the processing of antimony ore. The PTE content of ore processing waste and solutions generated by leaching experiments were determined for a suite of PTEs associated with the ore mineralization. These were Sb, As, Hg, Pb, Cd and Zn. As anticipated, high concentrations of the PTEs were identified in the waste materials, far exceeding the standard background values for soil in Hunan Province. For Sb and As, values reached >1800 mg·kg−1 and >1200 mg·kg−1, respectively (>600 and >90 times higher than the soil background). The leaching of Sb, As, Hg, Pb, Cd and Zn decreased with an increase in grain size and leachable portions of metal ranged between 0.01% to 1.56% of total PTE content. Leaching tests identified the release of PTEs through three stages: a. alkaline mineral dissolution and H+ exchanging with base cation; b. oxidation and acid production from pyrite and other reducing minerals; and c. the adsorption and precipitation of PTEs. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimony ore processing wastes; particle size; leaching; potentially toxic elements antimony ore processing wastes; particle size; leaching; potentially toxic elements
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Zhou, S.; Hursthouse, A. The Impact of Physical Properties on the Leaching of Potentially Toxic Elements from Antimony Ore Processing Wastes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2355.

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