To gain a deeper understanding of the geochemical processes involved in the interactions between ionic solutions and clay minerals in natural systems, the dissolution rate of an Fe-rich saponite from Mt. Prinzera (Taro Valley, Italy) was measured as a function of pH and time at 25 degrees C. Also, its ability to adsorb Cr was studied at varying metal concentrations (3.22, 5.50, 8.50 mEq l (super -1) ) and with different competing anions (CH 3 COO (super -) , Cl (super -) , NO (super -) 3 ). It was found that there is a correlation between the experimentally determined release rate constant (k), as defined by the release of Si, and pH. In acidic solutions, the k values correlate negatively with pH, whereas the opposite occurs for basic solutions. The extent of Cr uptake was measured by analysis of the liquid portion separated by centrifugation after a controlled period of exposure. The Cr adsorbed for different concentrations and anionic environments shows the dependence of Cr uptake on the initial metal concentration and on accompanying anions in the order CH 3 COO (super -) < Cl (super -) < NO (super -) 3 .