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The use of temperature profiles to estimate the pyritic oxidation rate in a waste rock dump from an opencut mine

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Abstract

Temperature distributions were measured in a dump of waste rock from an old opencut U mining operation in the Northern Territory of Australia. The 20 yr old dump contained pyritic material, averaging about 3% S, which is known to be oxidising. The temperatures were in the range 32 to 37°C for most of the dump, but ranged up to 56°C in one region. The temperature distributions were used to evaluate the heat source distributions which identify oxidation sites and are a direct measure of rates of oxidation within the dump.

Oxidation occurred in the top 5 m of the dump and, at some sites, down to 15 m from the surface. Oxidation rates at the deep sites did not change over the 8 mo period from the end of one wet season to the beginning of the next.[a/b]

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Harries, J.R., Ritchie, A.I.M. The use of temperature profiles to estimate the pyritic oxidation rate in a waste rock dump from an opencut mine. Water Air Soil Pollut 15, 405–423 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00279423

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Keywords

  • Oxidation
  • Temperature Distribution
  • Direct Measure
  • Heat Source
  • Temperature Profile