Mercury speciation and mobility in mine wastes from mercury mines in China
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, 550002, China
Mine wastes calcines were formed through retorting of cinnabar ores at high temperature, which are considered as significant sources of mercury (Hg) contamination to the local environment. To better understand the role of mine waste in Hg geochemical cycle in Hg mining areas, Hg speciation and mobility were evaluated in mine waste calcines and waste rocks from 9 Hg mines in China. The total mercury (THg) concentrations in the mine wastes ranged from 0.369 to 2620 mg·kg-1 and varied widely in different Hg mines. Cinnabar and Hg0 are dominant forms in the mine wastes. The calcines had significant higher Hg2+ and Hg0 concentrations than the waste rocks, which indicated the retorting process can produce large amounts of secondary by-product Hg compounds. The leaching experiment confirmed mine wastes were important Hg pollution sources to local aquatic system. The mine wastes are also significant Hg sources to the atmosphere.
Key words: mercury / speciation / mobility / mine waste / calcines
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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