Mineralogical controls on aluminum and magnesium in uranium mill tailings: Key Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1021/es400658f
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TypeArticle
Journal titleEnvironmental Science and Technology
ISSN0013-936X
Volume47
Issue14
Pages78837891; # of pages: 9
AbstractThe mineralogy and evolution of Al and Mg in U mill tailings are poorly understood. Elemental analyses (ICP-MS) of both solid and aqueous phases show that precipitation of large masses of secondary Al and Mg mineral phases occurs throughout the raffinate neutralization process (pH 1-11) at the Key Lake U mill, Saskatchewan, Canada. Data from a suite of analytical methods (ICP-MS, EMPA, laboratory- and synchrotron-based XRD, ATR-IR, Raman, TEM, EDX, ED) and equilibrium thermodynamic modeling showed that nanoparticle-sized, spongy, porous, Mg-Al hydrotalcite is the dominant mineralogical control on Al and Mg in the neutralized raffinate (pH ≥ 6.7). The presence of this secondary Mg-Al hydrotalcite in mineral samples of both fresh and 15-year-old tailings indicates that the Mg-Al hydrotalcite is geochemically stable, even after >16 years in the oxic tailings body. Data shows an association between the Mg-Al hydrotalcite and both As and Ni and point to this Mg-Al hydrotalcite exerting a mineralogical control on the solubility of these contaminants. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Security and Disruptive Technologies
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271798
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Record identifieracb721d1-a471-4502-a89d-16d26d64d8cc
Record created2014-04-22
Record modified2016-05-09
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