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Behaviour of Metals during Bioheap Leaching at the Talvivaara Mine, Finland

Department of Chemistry—Radiochemistry, P.O. Box 55, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Geological Survey of Finland, FI-02151 Espoo, Finland
Department of Chemistry and National Physical Laboratory, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, 00880 Helsinki, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 66;
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
Abstract: The behaviour of base metals Ni, Zn, Cu, Co, Fe, and Mn, potentially toxic metals Pb, Cr, and Cd, and the radioactive elements, U and Th, in the Talvivaara mining process, Finland has been studied by tracing metal concentrations from the black schist ore, through ores subjected to bioheap leaching of varying duration, to pregnant leach solution (PLS), and solid process waste material deposited on site in gypsum waste ponds. It is apparent that Zn, Cu, Co, and Cd are leached from the ore in a similar manner and recovered efficiently in the PLS; however, Ni, though leached, was also found in the gypsum pond at relatively high concentrations. Relatively little Pb is released from the ore, but the small fraction that is mobilised accumulates in the gypsum pond. Of the radioactive constituents, Th is essentially immobile, whereas U is readily leached from the ore, again accumulating in gypsum pond waste. In addition, a laboratory-based sequential leach test was applied to assess the future leaching potential of metals from residual ore and process waste material under different environmental conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: mining; bioheap leaching; waste; metals; environmental effects mining; bioheap leaching; waste; metals; environmental effects
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Tuovinen, H.; Pelkonen, M.; Lempinen, J.; Pohjolainen, E.; Read, D.; Solatie, D.; Lehto, J. Behaviour of Metals during Bioheap Leaching at the Talvivaara Mine, Finland. Geosciences 2018, 8, 66.

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