Special Issue "Reutilization and Valorization of Mine Waste"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lucie Coudert
Website
Guest Editor
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada
Interests: mine waste reprocessing; value recovery; hydrometallurgy; contaminated mine water treatment; sludge stability
Dr. Isabelle Demers
Website
Guest Editor
Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada
Interests: mine waste management; reclamation; desulfurization; engineered covers; reuse of desulfurized tailings; geo-environmental modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Solid mine waste management is the most important environmental challenge of mining operations, because of the volume of waste produced, their permanence, and their potential geotechnical and geochemical instabilities. In the context of sustainable development and responsible mining operations, solid mine waste may offer opportunities for reuse and valorization beyond their traditional disposal. Recent research work identified options to take advantage of the physical, mineralogical, and chemical properties of waste rock, tailings, and mine water treatment sludge, either for reutilization on the mine site itself or for further use ex situ. This Special Issue welcomes work conducted in the following research areas: reprocessing of mine waste, desulfurization, integration of waste into mine backfill, reutilization of mine waste, value recovery from waste, co-disposal of tailings and waste rock, integration of mine waste into reclamation scenarios, etc.

Dr. Lucie Coudert
Dr. Isabelle Demers
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • reprocessing of mine waste
  • reutilization of mine waste
  • value recovery
  • desulfurization
  • co-disposal
  • reclamation
  • mine backfill
  • sludge valorization

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Development of Ceramic Materials for the Manufacture of Bricks with Stone Cutting Sludge From Granite
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070621 (registering DOI) - 10 Jul 2020
Abstract
The manufacture of bricks for building purposes consumes large quantities of virgin materials, such as clay. On the other hand, the ornamental stone processing industry produces a huge amount of stone cutting sludge in its process. Therefore, this study presents the development of [...] Read more.
The manufacture of bricks for building purposes consumes large quantities of virgin materials, such as clay. On the other hand, the ornamental stone processing industry produces a huge amount of stone cutting sludge in its process. Therefore, this study presents the development of ceramic materials for the manufacture of bricks with stone cutting sludges, more specifically from granite. For this purpose, the physical properties of the stone cutting sludge and the chemical composition were mainly analyzed. Subsequently, different groups of ceramic samples were conformed and sintered with various combinations of clay and of stone cutting sludges. The conformed samples were evaluated with different physical tests and with the compressive strength test. The addition of stone cutting sludges to the ceramics reflected the creation of a material with lower density and higher porosity. The compressive strength of the different groups reflected a maximum allowable percentage of stone cutting sludges incorporation of 70%. Therefore, ceramic materials were developed with stone cutting sludges, developing a sustainable, lighter material with acceptable mechanical and physical characteristics. Avoiding the deposition of a polluting waste in a landfill and at the same time avoiding the extraction of new virgin materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reutilization and Valorization of Mine Waste)
Open AccessArticle
Hydrogeochemical Behavior of Reclaimed Highly Reactive Tailings, Part 1: Characterization of Reclamation Materials
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070596 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
The production of solid mine wastes is an integral part of the extraction and metallurgical processing of ores. The reclamation of highly reactive mine waste, with low neutralizing potential, is still a significant challenge for the mining industry, particularly when natural soils are [...] Read more.
The production of solid mine wastes is an integral part of the extraction and metallurgical processing of ores. The reclamation of highly reactive mine waste, with low neutralizing potential, is still a significant challenge for the mining industry, particularly when natural soils are not available close to the site. Some solid mine wastes present interesting hydro-geotechnical properties which can be taken advantage of, particularly for being used in reclamation covers to control acid mine drainage. The main objective of this research was to evaluate the use of mining materials (i.e., tailings and waste rock) in a cover with capillary barrier effects (CCBE) to prevent acid mine drainage (AMD) from highly reactive tailings. The first part of the project reproduced in this article involves context and laboratory validation of mining materials as suitable for a CCBE, while the companion paper reports laboratory and field results of cover systems made with mining materials. The main conclusions of the Part 1 of this study were that the materials studied (low sulfide tailings and waste rocks) had the appropriate geochemical and hydrogeological properties for use as cover materials in a CCBE. Results also showed that the cover mining materials are not acid-generating and that the LaRonde tailings are highly reactive with pH close to 2, with high concentrations of metals and sulfates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reutilization and Valorization of Mine Waste)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrogeochemical Behavior of Reclaimed Highly Reactive Tailings, Part 2: Laboratory and Field Results of Covers Made with Mine Waste Materials
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070589 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
The possibility of using mine wastes (low-sulfide tailings and waste rocks) as cover components to prevent acid mine drainage (AMD) generation from highly reactive tailings was previously investigated through a laboratory-based characterization of reactive tailings and cover materials (Part 1 of this study). [...] Read more.
The possibility of using mine wastes (low-sulfide tailings and waste rocks) as cover components to prevent acid mine drainage (AMD) generation from highly reactive tailings was previously investigated through a laboratory-based characterization of reactive tailings and cover materials (Part 1 of this study). Characterization results showed that the reactive tailings are highly acid-generating, and that the mine waste materials that were used in this study are non-acid-generating and have suitable hydrogeological and geochemical properties to be used in a cover with capillary barrier effects (CCBE). In order to further investigate the use of low-sulfide mining materials in the reclamation of highly reactive tailings, a large laboratory-based column and a field cell simulating a CCBE were constructed. The instrumented field cell used the same configuration and materials as the laboratory column. This paper presents the main findings from 504 days (column test) and three seasons (field test) of monitoring, and compares the hydrogeochemical behavior observed at the two scales. The results show that a CCBE made with low-sulfide mine wastes would be efficient at reducing oxygen fluxes and limiting AMD generation from highly reactive tailings at the laboratory and intermediate scale. However, at these two scales, the concentrations of some contaminants were not reduced to levels of the legally imposed environmental objectives. The results also showed differences in metal and sulfate concentrations in the drainage waters between the laboratory and field scales. The outcomes from this investigation highlight that the previous oxygen flux design targets and the typical configurations of multilayer covers developed for fresh non-oxidized tailings or pre-oxidized tailings may not always be directly applicable for fresh or pre-oxidized highly reactive tailings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reutilization and Valorization of Mine Waste)
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Open AccessArticle
Retention of Contaminants Elements from Tailings from Lead Mine Washing Plants in Ceramics for Bricks
Minerals 2020, 10(6), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060576 - 26 Jun 2020
Abstract
Mining activity is essential for the social welfare of the population. However, this activity produces a series of mining waste. These mining wastes, if not properly treated, can produce significant environmental pollution. This study develops the incorporation of tailings from washing plants in [...] Read more.
Mining activity is essential for the social welfare of the population. However, this activity produces a series of mining waste. These mining wastes, if not properly treated, can produce significant environmental pollution. This study develops the incorporation of tailings from washing plants in ceramic materials for bricks in order to retain the contaminating elements in the ceramic matrix. To this end, firstly, a physical and chemical characterisation of the mining waste is carried out and different groups of samples are conformed with clay and mining waste. These conformed samples with mining waste are evaluated through different physical and mechanical tests typical in the ceramic industry, studying the variation of properties by the incorporation of the waste. In turn, the leachates from the groups of conformed samples are analyzed, confirming the retention of the contaminating elements of the mining waste in the ceramic matrix. The results of these tests showed that ceramics can be made for bricks with up to 90% mining waste, obtaining physical and mechanical properties acceptable regarding the regulations and retaining the contaminating elements in the ceramic matrix, as confirmed by the leachate tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reutilization and Valorization of Mine Waste)
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Open AccessArticle
Reutilization Prospects of Diamond Clay Tailings at the Lomonosov Mine, Northwestern Russia
Minerals 2020, 10(6), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060517 - 02 Jun 2020
Abstract
Approaches to reutilization of diamond clay tailings in northern environments are considered in the example of the Subarctic region of Russia. The monitoring studies are conducted at storage facilities of Severalmaz PJSC where ca. 14 million cubic meters of waste rock are produced [...] Read more.
Approaches to reutilization of diamond clay tailings in northern environments are considered in the example of the Subarctic region of Russia. The monitoring studies are conducted at storage facilities of Severalmaz PJSC where ca. 14 million cubic meters of waste rock are produced annually after kimberlite mining and processing. The tailings of diamond ore dressing waste are situated in complex geological conditions of high-groundwater influx and harsh cold climate with low levels of solar radiation and the average annual temperature below freezing point. Furthermore, the adjoining protected forests with a significant diversity of biogeocenoses and salmon-spawning rivers are affected by the storage area. Reducing the impact of the tailings can be achieved through the reuse of the stored clay magnesia rocks obtained from saponite-containing suspension. The experiments reveal the most promising ways of their application as potential secondary mineral raw materials: cement clinker and ceramics manufacture, integration of alkaline clay into the reclamation of acidic peat bogs, and production of aqueous clay-based drilling fluid. Field and laboratory tests expose the advantages and prospects of each suggested treatment technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reutilization and Valorization of Mine Waste)
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Open AccessArticle
Gold Mine Tailings: A Potential Source of Silica Sand for Glass Making
Minerals 2020, 10(5), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10050448 - 16 May 2020
Abstract
Mining of minerals such as gold, copper, and platinum has been one of several activities sustaining the economy of South Africa. However, the mining sector has contributed significantly to environmental contamination through the improper disposal of mine tailings which covers vast areas of [...] Read more.
Mining of minerals such as gold, copper, and platinum has been one of several activities sustaining the economy of South Africa. However, the mining sector has contributed significantly to environmental contamination through the improper disposal of mine tailings which covers vast areas of land. Therefore, this study utilised a vitrification process to manufacture glass from gold mine tailings. X-ray fluorescence was used to determine the chemical composition of the tailings while X-ray diffraction was adopted for the mineralogy. The tailings were of granitic composition enriched in potentially toxic elements such as copper, cadmium, zinc, lead, arsenic, and chromium. A representative sample of gold mine wastes of sandy grain size was used in making the glass. Based on composition, the glass was formulated by adding an average 10.0 mass% of CaCO3 and 5.0 mass% of Na2CO3 to 35.0 mass% of SiO2, which resulted in the production of a green-coloured glass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reutilization and Valorization of Mine Waste)
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Valorization of Kimberlite Tailings by Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) Method
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070611 - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
In the world of construction, cement plays a vital role, but despite its reputation and affordable prices, the cement industry faces multiple challenges due to pollution and sustainability concerns. This study aimed to assess the possibility of utilizing carbonated kimberlite tailings, a waste [...] Read more.
In the world of construction, cement plays a vital role, but despite its reputation and affordable prices, the cement industry faces multiple challenges due to pollution and sustainability concerns. This study aimed to assess the possibility of utilizing carbonated kimberlite tailings, a waste product from diamond mining, as a partial cement substitute in the preparation of concrete bricks. This is a unique opportunity to help close the gap between fundamental research in mineral carbonation and its industrial implementation to generate commercial products. Kimberlite was subjected to a mild thin-film carbonation process in a CO2 incubator at varying levels of CO2 concentration (10 vol% and 20 vol% at ambient pressure), kimberlite paste moisture content (10 wt% to 20 wt%), and chamber temperature (35 and 50 °C). The formation of magnesium carbonates, in the form of nesquehonite and lansfordite, was verified by X-ray diffraction analysis, and total CO2 uptake was quantified by thermal decomposition in furnace testing. Carbonated kimberlite tailings were then used to cast bricks. Replacement of cement between 10% and 20% were tested, with a constant water-to-binder ratio of 0.6:1, and a cementitious material-to-sand ratio of 1:3. Initial water absorption and 7- and 28-days compressive strength tests were carried out. The results obtained confirm the possibility of using carbonated kimberlite to replace cement partially, and highlight the benefits of carbonating the kimberlite for such application, and recommendations for future research are suggested. This study demonstrates the potential use of mining tailings to prototype the sequestration of CO2 into sustainable building materials to positively impact the increasing demand for cement-based products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reutilization and Valorization of Mine Waste)
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