Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
GEOREF RECORD

The speciation of arsenic in iron oxides in mine wastes from the Giant gold mine, N.W.T.; application of synchrotron micro-XRD and micro-XANES at the grain scale

Stephen R. Walker, Heather E. Jamieson, Antonio Lanzirotti, Claudio F. Andrade and Gwendy E. M. Hall
The speciation of arsenic in iron oxides in mine wastes from the Giant gold mine, N.W.T.; application of synchrotron micro-XRD and micro-XANES at the grain scale (in Metals in the environment and mine wastes, D. Pactunc (editor) and R. F. Martin (editor))
The Canadian Mineralogist (August 2005) 43, Part 4: 1205-1224

Abstract

Understanding the solid-phase speciation of arsenic in soils and sediments is important in evaluations of the potential mobility of arsenic and of its bio-availability in the environment. This is especially true in mine-influenced environments, where arsenic commonly is present at concentrations two and three orders of magnitude above quality criteria for soils and sediments. Arsenic-bearing particulates dispersed through hydraulic transport or aerosol emissions can represent a persistent source of contamination in sediments and soils adjacent to past mining and metallurgical operations. The stability and mobility of arsenic associated with these phases depend on the chemical form and oxidation state of the arsenic and the interaction with post-depositional goechemical conditions. The Giant mine in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, roasted arsenic-bearing gold ore from 1949 to 1999. The roasting process decomposed arsenic-bearing sulfides (pyrite and arsenopyrite) to produce a calcine containing fine (generally <50 mu ) arsenic-bearing iron oxides. We have applied synchrotron As K-edge micro X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure (mu XANES) and mu XRD as part of a grain-by-grain mineralogical approach for the direct determination of the host mineralogy and oxidation state of As in these roaster-derived iron oxides. The grain-scale approach has resolved potential ambiguities that would have existed had only bulk XANES and XRD methods been applied. Using combined optical microscopy, electron micro-probe and mu XRD, we have determined that the roaster-iron oxides are nanocrystalline grains of maghemite containing <0.5 to 7 wt.% As. Some of these arsenic-bearing nanocrystalline grains are a mixture of maghemite and hematite. All roaster iron oxides, including those present in 50-year-old tailings, contain mixtures of As (super 5+) and As (super 5+) . The persistence of As (super 3+) in roaster-derived maghemite in shallow subareal (oxidized) shoreline tailings for over 50 years suggests that the arsenic is relatively stable under these conditions, even though As (super 3+) is a reduced from of arsenic, and maghemite is normally considered a metastable phase.


ISSN: 0008-4476
EISSN: 1499-1276
Coden: CAMIA6
Serial Title: The Canadian Mineralogist
Serial Volume: 43, Part 4
Title: The speciation of arsenic in iron oxides in mine wastes from the Giant gold mine, N.W.T.; application of synchrotron micro-XRD and micro-XANES at the grain scale
Title: Metals in the environment and mine wastes
Author(s): Walker, Stephen R.Jamieson, Heather E.Lanzirotti, AntonioAndrade, Claudio F.Hall, Gwendy E. M.
Author(s): Pactunc, D.editor
Author(s): Martin, R. F.editor
Affiliation: Queen's University, Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Kingston, ON, Canada
Pages: 1205-1224
Published: 200508
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
References: 74
Accession Number: 2006-031570
Categories: General geochemistryEnvironmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 4 tables
N60°00'00" - N84°00'00", W136°00'00" - W102°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Chicago, USA, United StatesGeological Survey of Canada, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: Canada
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200609
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal