Oxidation and dissolution of metal sulfides from flotation washes in circulating water - the fate of sulfide sulfur
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Polish Academy of Sciences
Publication date: 2006-01-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2006;40(1):135–148
Dissolution of Zn, Pb, and sulfate ions in water from flotation lead-zinc ore tailings was investigated by passing water through columns filled with the waste. Conductivity, pH and concentration of selected ions in the effluent were measured and expressed as a function of exchange ratio of pore water (ER). Samples collected from the tailing after the experiments were investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Due to high concentration of carbonate minerals, which saturate the flowing water with hydrocarbonate ions, the concentration of both lead and zinc ions in the effluent is very low, below the standard for industrial waste water (except the very initial period). At the same time sulfide sulfur oxidizes partially to elemental sulfur, not to sulfates. For that reason the transfer of sulfates from the flotation wastes is rather limited.