Reclamation of a mine tailings pond by addition of marble waste and pig slurry for the development of aided phytostabilization

Journal ar
Boletin Geologico y Minero
  • Volumen: 128
  • Número: 2
  • Fecha: 01 April 2017
  • Páginas: 421-435
  • ISSN: 22536167 03660176
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.21701/bolgeomin.128.2.010
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana
© 2017, Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana. All rights reserved. Abandoned tailings ponds produce environmental and human health hazards due to the transfer of heavy metals through wind and water erosion or leaching. To reduce these hazards, a reclamation strategy has been developed on a tailings pond based on aided phytostabilization. In 2011 marble mud and pig slurry were applied to the surface of a tailings pond and in the spring of 2012 thirteen native vegetal species were introduced. The evolution of different soil properties and the bio-available fraction of the heavy metals Cd, Pb and Zn were monitored for two years (2012-2013). The results showed that the pH, aggregate stability, organic carbon, total nitrogen and cation exchange capacity increased after the application of the amendments and the growth of vegetation, whilst the bio-available fraction of the heavy metals drastically decreased (90-99%). Thus, the strategy followed proved to be positive for reducing the availability of heavy metals and improving soil quality and fertility. These results are promising in areas with extractive activity of carbonated materials, since the generated waste can be used for the reclamation of soils affected by heavy metals, transforming a residual material into a useful by-product.

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