Arsenic bioaccessibility in gold mine tailings of Delita, Cuba

Toujaguez, R. and Ono, F. B. and Martins, V. and Cabrera, P. P. and Blanco, A. V. and Bundschuh, J. and Guilherme, L. R. G. (2013) Arsenic bioaccessibility in gold mine tailings of Delita, Cuba. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 262. pp. 1004-1013. ISSN 0304-3894


A bioaccessibility test was carried out in four tailings collected at a former mining area in Delita, Cuba. A previous risk assessment study identified arsenic (As) as the main critical contaminant in this area and showed that the tailings had high As concentrations (up to 3.5%). This study aimed at: (i) evaluating As bioaccessibility in four tailings (R1, R2, R3 and R4) from a gold mining area to obtain a better health risk estimate; and, (ii) identifying the mineral phases responsible for most of the bioaccessible As using XRD, SEM-EDS, and XAS. The results showed that bioaccessible As in the tailings ranged from 0.65 to 40.5%. The main factors influencing As bioaccessibility were a high occurrence of amorphous iron arsenate; occurrence, even at low content, of iron oxyhydroxides and stability of mineral phases in the environment of the gastrointestinal tract. Although arsenopyrite, arsenates and goethite were confirmed by mineralogical methods such as optical microscopy, XRD, and SEM-EDS, XAS showed that scorodite-oxidation state As(+V)- was dominant in most of the tailings. This confirms that the low bioaccessibility of As in most of the tailings is due to the slow kinetics of As release from scorodite.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Published online 28 Jan 2013. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2013 02:23
Last Modified: 15 May 2017 02:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: amorphous Fe arsenate; arsenopyrite; in vitro test; scorodite; trace elements; XAS
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)
09 Engineering > 0914 Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy > 091405 Mining Engineering
04 Earth Sciences > 0403 Geology > 040399 Geology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9614 Soils > 961404 Mining Soils
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.01.045

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