A gold deposit was exploited from 1997 to 2003 at Furtei, Sardinia (Italy). Gold and silver were recovered from oxidized ores by cyanidation; copper concentrates were separated from the sulfide ores by flotation. Following unplanned closure, sulfide-rich materials derived from mining and processing residues were left on site. During operation, cyanide solutions were disposed of in a tailings impoundment. The cyanide underwent natural degradation so that by 2011, cyanide concentrations in the tailings impoundment and seeps were below the Italian limit for industrial effluents. However, during the rainy season, sulfide-rich materials in the waste rock dumps produce extreme acidic solutions and concentrations of some dissolved contaminants, especially ammonium, aluminum, arsenic, copper, iron and manganese, still exceed discharge criteria in the tailings impoundment and seeps. Highly contaminated drainage flows downstream from the mine and poses a hazard to agricultural areas.

Legacy of Cyanide and ARD at a Low-Scale Gold Mine (Furtei, Italy)

CIDU, ROSA;DA PELO, STEFANIA;FRAU, FRANCO
2013

Abstract

A gold deposit was exploited from 1997 to 2003 at Furtei, Sardinia (Italy). Gold and silver were recovered from oxidized ores by cyanidation; copper concentrates were separated from the sulfide ores by flotation. Following unplanned closure, sulfide-rich materials derived from mining and processing residues were left on site. During operation, cyanide solutions were disposed of in a tailings impoundment. The cyanide underwent natural degradation so that by 2011, cyanide concentrations in the tailings impoundment and seeps were below the Italian limit for industrial effluents. However, during the rainy season, sulfide-rich materials in the waste rock dumps produce extreme acidic solutions and concentrations of some dissolved contaminants, especially ammonium, aluminum, arsenic, copper, iron and manganese, still exceed discharge criteria in the tailings impoundment and seeps. Highly contaminated drainage flows downstream from the mine and poses a hazard to agricultural areas.
Acid rock drainage, Tailings, Cyanide degradation, Mine closure
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/96539
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