Field scale remediation of mine wastes at an abandoned gold mine, Australia II: effects on plant growth and groundwater

Maddocks, Greg and Lin, Chuxia and McConchie, David (2009) Field scale remediation of mine wastes at an abandoned gold mine, Australia II: effects on plant growth and groundwater. Environmental Geology: International Journal of Geosciences, 57 (5). pp. 987-996. ISSN 0943-0105


This second paper reports the results of plant growth, plant mortality, plant leaf tissue metal and salt concentrations and leachate quality monitoring from lysimeters in four large field trial treatments established on sulfidic waste rock/soil that was used for haul road construction at a closed gold mine in Australia. The TerraB™, lime and clay treatments allowed good tree growth of four Eucalypt species, compared to the control. There was no statistical difference in tree growth between the TerraB™, lime or clay treatments over the 2 years of monitoring in this paper. However, the growth of one tree species was poor in the TerraB™ treatment. Leaf tissue metal and major ion data are also presented. Leachate pH in the control became increasingly acidic (pH 4.57–3.95). The addition of Ca(OH)2 and biosolids led to an initial increase in leachate pH, compared to the control; however, this has decreased over the duration of the study (pH 5.37–4.89) and may affect the sustainable growth of plants in the future. In the TerraB™ and biosolids treatment leachate pH increased to 6.92 after the first rainfall event and continued to increase over the duration of the study to pH 7.4 after 24 months. After 24 months average heavy metal leachate concentrations (mg/L) in the lysimeters for Al, Cd, Cu, Mn and Zn were, control: 32.55, 5.67, 12.71, 39.29, 121.80, TerraB™: 0.07, 0.02, 0.07, 0.57, 0.23, and lime: 2.19, 1.19, 2.33, 3.6, 28.4. No leachate was available for collection from the clay treatment indicating that this technique was functioning in terms of minimizing the infiltration of water into the mine soil.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2011 10:54
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2014 00:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: eucalyptus; groundwater; ARD; remediation; in situ
Fields of Research : 10 Technology > 1002 Environmental Biotechnology > 100203 Bioremediation
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050303 Soil Biology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9612 Rehabilitation of Degraded Environments > 961205 Rehabilitation of Degraded Mining Environments
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s00254-008-1383-0

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