University of Oulu

Jinmei Lu, Tiina Leiviskä, Ingar Walder; The effect of temperature and digested sewage sludge cover over tailings on the leaching of contaminants from Ballangen tailings deposit. Journal of Water and Climate Change 1 December 2021; 12 (8): 3573–3581. doi:

The effect of temperature and digested sewage sludge cover over tailings on the leaching of contaminants from Ballangen tailings deposit

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Author: Lu, Jinmei1; Leiviskä, Tiina2; Walder, Ingar3,4
Organizations: 1Department of Technology and Safety, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
2Chemical Process Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. BOX 4300, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
3Kjeøy Research and Education Ctr, Vestbygd, Norway
4New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: IWA Publishing, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-02-07


Dry covers can be applied above tailings to reduce and prevent formation of acid mine drainage and leaching of contaminants. Efficiency of covers is affected by different parameters, of which temperature change under climate change context is one. Here, a laboratory column leaching experiment was performed under four temperatures, 5, 10, 14, and 18 °C on unoxidized tailings from Ballangen, Norway. 600 mL of water was added to each column every second week and leachate was collected and analyzed for pH, salinity, alkalinity, concentrations of sulfate, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Zn. A thin layer of digested sewage sludge was added to columns after the 16th leaching cycle. In total, 21 leaching cycles were performed. Results showed low oxidation of tailings and therefore high pH and low salinity, SO42−, Fe, Ni, and Co in the leachates at leaching temperature of 5° C. Addition of sludge cover slowed down oxidation of underlying tailings and decreased leaching of SO42−, Fe, Mn, Co, Ni, and Zn from the tailings deposit, especially at relatively high temperatures. 10° C is a threshold temperature, below which leaching is not affected by the cover addition so much. At a leaching temperature higher than 10° C, the sludge cover addition can reduce the leaching of elements significantly.

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Series: Journal of water and climate change
ISSN: 2040-2244
ISSN-E: 2408-9354
ISSN-L: 2040-2244
Volume: 12
Issue: 8
Pages: 3573 - 3581
DOI: 10.2166/wcc.2021.068
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The paper is supported by the Interreg VA Nord project ‘MIN-NORTH Development, Evaluation and Optimization of Measures to Reduce the Impact on the Environment from Mining Activities in Northern Regions’.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), which permits copying, adaptation and redistribution, provided the original work is properly cited (