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Article

Mobility and Bioavailability of Metal(loid)s in a Fluvial System Affected by the Mining and Industrial Processing of Pb

1
Department of Geology, EPSL and CEACTEMA, Scientific and Technological Campus, University of Jaen, 23700 Linares, Spain
2
AFESA Medio Ambiente, S.A., Ed. San Isidro II, Idorsolo Kalea, 15, 48160 Bizkaia, Spain
3
Department of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, EPSL and CEACTEMA, Scientific and Technological Campus, University of Jaen, 23700 Linares, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jesus Martinez-Frias and Javier Lillo
Geosciences 2021, 11(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040167
Received: 28 February 2021 / Revised: 1 April 2021 / Accepted: 4 April 2021 / Published: 6 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impacts of Mining in Soils and Water)
The abandoned mining district of Linares (South Spain) is marked with waste from the mining and the processing of metal ores that pose an environmental hazard to watercourses. A combined analysis of waste, sediments and water was carried out to analyse the impact of a smelter on Baños Creek. The composition of the facility waste was determined using X-ray diffractometry and scanning electron microscopy. The total contents of the metal(loid)s in the waters and sediments of the watercourse were analysed, and sequential metal(loid) extraction of solid samples was carried out. The facility wastes consisted mainly of secondary minerals, such as natropharmacosiderite and spertiniite, as well as rare metal salts, such as mopungite and NaPb2(CO3)2(OH). The leachates generated by these wastes were highly alkaline, with a pH of 10 and a total dissolved solids concentration of approximately 9 g L−1. This Na-bicarbonate-type water had an As concentration above 200 mg L−1 and elevated levels of Pb, Sb and Zn (5029 µg L−1, 841 µg L−1 and 525 µg L−1, respectively). This highly contaminated lixiviate had a significant effect on the chemical quality of the waters and the bioavailability of metal(loid)s in the creek sediments, especially in the headwaters. In this zone, the As, Pb, Sb and Zn concentrations in the most mobile fraction of the sediments reached 1035 mg kg−1, 261 mg kg−1, 45 mg kg−1 and 30 mg kg−1, respectively. By comparison, smelter slag and mining waste have a much lower impact on the waters and the mobile fraction of the sediments, while significantly increasing the total concentration of these potentially toxic elements in creek sediments. View Full-Text
Keywords: smelter; mining wastes; riverine environments; bioavailability; trace metal(oid)s smelter; mining wastes; riverine environments; bioavailability; trace metal(oid)s
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cortada, U.; Hidalgo, M.C.; Martínez, J.; de la Torre, M.J. Mobility and Bioavailability of Metal(loid)s in a Fluvial System Affected by the Mining and Industrial Processing of Pb. Geosciences 2021, 11, 167. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040167

AMA Style

Cortada U, Hidalgo MC, Martínez J, de la Torre MJ. Mobility and Bioavailability of Metal(loid)s in a Fluvial System Affected by the Mining and Industrial Processing of Pb. Geosciences. 2021; 11(4):167. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040167

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cortada, Unai, María C. Hidalgo, Julián Martínez, and María J. de la Torre 2021. "Mobility and Bioavailability of Metal(loid)s in a Fluvial System Affected by the Mining and Industrial Processing of Pb" Geosciences 11, no. 4: 167. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11040167

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