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Article

Assessment of the Possible Reuse of Extractive Waste Coming from Abandoned Mine Sites: Case Study in Gorno, Italy

1
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Turin, 10125 Torino, Italy
2
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, BT9 5AH, UK
3
Horizon s.r.l., 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
4
Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences, University of Turin, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2471; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062471
Received: 21 January 2020 / Revised: 26 February 2020 / Accepted: 17 March 2020 / Published: 21 March 2020
Supply of resources, a growing population, and environmental pollution are some of the main challenges facing the contemporary world. The rapid development of mining activities has produced huge amounts of waste. This waste, found in abandoned mine sites, provides the potential opportunity of extracting raw material. The current study, therefore, focuses on testing the validation of a shared methodology to recover extractive waste from abandoned mines, and applies this methodology to a case study in Gorno, northwest Italy. The methods focused on: (1) analyzing the impact of tailings and fine fraction of waste rock (<2 mm) on plants (Cress - Lepidium Sativum) to assess usability of both as soil additive, and (2) recovering raw materials from tailings and coarse fraction (>2 mm) of waste rock, by means of dressing methods like wet shaking table and froth flotation. The results indicated that the fine fraction of waste rock and tailings did not have detrimental effects on seed germination; however, there was marked decrease in plant growth. As for the recovery of raw materials, the coarse waste rock samples, crushed to <0.5 mm, produced a recovery of Cd, Ga, and Zn—as much as 66%, 56%, and 64%, respectively—using the wet shaking table. The same samples when crushed to 0.063–0.16 mm and used for froth flotation produced a recovery of Cd, Ga, and Zn of up to 61%, 72%, and 47%, respectively. The flotation experiment on tailings showed a recovery of Cd, Ga and Zn at pH 7 of 33%, 6% and 29% respectively. The present investigation highlights the methodologies used for extracting raw materials from extractive waste. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular economy; resource supply; raw materials; triassic western southern Alps (Italy); abandoned mines; extractive waste circular economy; resource supply; raw materials; triassic western southern Alps (Italy); abandoned mines; extractive waste
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mehta, N.; Dino, G.A.; Passarella, I.; Ajmone-Marsan, F.; Rossetti, P.; De Luca, D.A. Assessment of the Possible Reuse of Extractive Waste Coming from Abandoned Mine Sites: Case Study in Gorno, Italy. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2471. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062471

AMA Style

Mehta N, Dino GA, Passarella I, Ajmone-Marsan F, Rossetti P, De Luca DA. Assessment of the Possible Reuse of Extractive Waste Coming from Abandoned Mine Sites: Case Study in Gorno, Italy. Sustainability. 2020; 12(6):2471. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062471

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mehta, Neha, Giovanna A. Dino, Iride Passarella, Franco Ajmone-Marsan, Piergiorgio Rossetti, and Domenico A. De Luca 2020. "Assessment of the Possible Reuse of Extractive Waste Coming from Abandoned Mine Sites: Case Study in Gorno, Italy" Sustainability 12, no. 6: 2471. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062471

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