Advertisement

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment

, Volume 78, Issue 7, pp 4673–4688 | Cite as

Evaluation of the impact of karst depression-type impoundments on the underlying karst water systems in the Gejiu mining district, southern Yunnan, China

  • Hai-Yan Gao
  • Ze-Min XuEmail author
  • Kun Wang
  • Zhe Ren
  • Kui Yang
  • Yong-Jun Tang
  • Lin Tian
  • Ji-Pu Chen
Original Paper

Abstract

The influence of mining activities on groundwater quality is a growing concern due to highly toxic metals in the tailings. Carbonate rocks are common in the surrounding rocks of ore deposits. But such mining districts generally do not have the conditions to construct traditional tailings impoundments due to the different degrees of karstification. This paper utilises field investigations, chemical analyses, and permeability tests, etc. to study the effect of tailings impoundments on the underlying karst water systems in the Gejiu world-class Sn-polymetallic mine located in a typical karst region in southern China, with samples collected from both karst springs deriving from the mining area and tailings porewater. Because of the abundance of sulphide minerals in the ores, acid mine drainage is expected to pose a high risk. However, the results indicate that the tailings porewater is moderately neutral and is characterized by the SO4–Ca–Mg hydrochemical type. This can be attributed to the substantial buffering capacity of carbonate minerals. Pollution elements in the tailings porewater mainly include SO42− and toxic metals including As, Cd, Mn, Pb, and Hg. The type of pollution factors and the degree of contamination are not consistent in the different tailings impoundments. The hydrochemical classification of four karst springs distributed in the south of the mining area is HCO3–Ca–Mg. The concentrations of SO42− and the toxic constituents in the springs are far below the national standards for drinking water. The spring water not being contaminated may be attributed to the operation mode of the tailings impoundments (peripheral discharge and reuse of ponded water), the residual clay between the tailings impoundments and the carbonate bedrocks and the sufficient buffering capacity of the underlying karst systems. The tailings disposal at the Gejiu tin mine within the natural karst depressions is able to provide a reference for the operation of karst mines in China and elsewhere.

Keywords

Tailings impoundment Carbonate rock Karst aquifer Water quality assessment Lateritic clay 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China-Yunnan Joint Fund (U1502232, U1033601) and Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (20135314110005). We greatly appreciate the anonymous reviewers’ pertinent comments on this work.

Supplementary material

10064_2019_1465_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (10 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 9 kb)
10064_2019_1465_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (13 kb)
ESM 2 (XLSX 12 kb)
10064_2019_1465_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (11 kb)
ESM 3 (XLSX 11 kb)
10064_2019_1465_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (11 kb)
ESM 4 (XLSX 10 kb)
10064_2019_1465_MOESM5_ESM.xlsx (9 kb)
ESM 5 (XLSX 9 kb)
10064_2019_1465_MOESM6_ESM.xlsx (9 kb)
ESM 6 (XLSX 9 kb)
10064_2019_1465_MOESM7_ESM.xlsx (11 kb)
ESM 7 (XLSX 11 kb)
10064_2019_1465_MOESM8_ESM.xlsx (12 kb)
ESM 8 (XLSX 11 kb)
10064_2019_1465_MOESM9_ESM.xlsx (12 kb)
ESM 9 (XLSX 11 kb)

References

  1. Acheampong EA, Nukpezah D (2016) Assessing the impact of an operating tailings storage facility on catchment surface and groundwater quality in the Ellembele District of the Western region of Ghana. Environ Pollut 5(2):26–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al TA, Blowes DW (1999) The hydrogeology of a tailings impoundment formed by central discharge of thickened tailings: implications for tailings management. J Contam Hydrol 38(4):489–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Amari KE, Valera P, Hibti M, Pretti S, Marcello A, Essarraj S (2014) Impact of mine tailings on surrounding soils and ground water: case of Kettara old mine, Morocco. J Afr Earth Sci 100:437–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Azhari AE, Rhoujjati A, Hachimi MLE (2016) Assessment of heavy metals and arsenic contamination in the sediments of the Moulouya River and the Hassan II dam downstream of the abandoned mine Zeïda (high Moulouya, Morocco). J Afr Earth Sci 119:279–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berhe BA, Dokuz UE, Çelik M (2017) Assessment of hydrogeochemistry and environmental isotopes of surface and Groundwaters in the Kütahya plain, Turkey. J Afr Earth Sci 134:230–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brindha K, Elango L (2014) Geochemical modelling of the effects of a proposed uranium tailings pond on groundwater quality. Mine Water Environ 33(2):110–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Daniel DE (1993) Clay liners. In: Daniel DE (ed) Geotechnical practice for waste disposal. Springer, Boston, MA, pp 137–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dhakate R, Singh VS, Hodlur GK (2008) Impact assessment of chromite mining on groundwater through simulation modeling study in Sukinda chromite mining area, Orissa, India. J Hazard Mater 160(2–3):535–547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fadili A, Najib S, Mehdi K, Riss J, Makan A, Boutayeb K, Guessir H (2016) Hydrochemical features and mineralization processes in coastal groundwater of Oualidia, Morocco. J Afr Earth Sci 116:233–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Frau F, Pelo SD, Atzori R, Cidu R (2017) Impact on streams and sea water of a near-neutral drainage from a flooded mine in Sardinia, Italy. Proc Earth Planet Sci 17:213–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gan FW (2009) Research on material composition and contamination transmission of tailings in tin-polymetallic mine of Gejiu. Ph. D thesis, China University of Geosciences, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. GB 5749 (2006) Standards for drinking water quality. National Standardization Administration Committee of the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. GB 15618 (2008) Soil environmental quality standard. General Administration of quality supervision, inspection and Quarantine of the Ministry of environmental protection (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Gomo M, Vermeulen D (2014) Hydrogeochemical characteristics of a flooded underground coal mine groundwater system. J Afr Earth Sci 92(4):68–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. González-Fernández B, Rodríguez-Valdés E, Boente C, Menéndez-Casares E, Fernández-Braña A, Gallego JR (2017) Long-term ongoing impact of arsenic contamination on the environmental compartments of a former mining-metallurgy area. Sci Total Environ 610-611:820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Heikkinen P, Korkka-Niemi K, Lahti M, Salonen VP (2002) Groundwater and surface water contamination in the area of the Hitura nickel mine, Western Finland. Environ Geol 42(4):313–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Huang X, Deng H, Zheng C, Cao G (2016) Hydrogeochemical signatures and evolution of groundwater impacted by the Bayan Obo tailing pond in northwest China. Sci Total Environ 543(Pt A):357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Idaszkin YL, Mdp A, Carol E (2017) Geochemical processes controlling the distribution and concentration of metals in soils from a Patagonian (Argentina) salt marsh affected by mining residues. Sci Total Environ 596–597:230–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson AW, Gutiérrez M, Gouzie D, Rex McAliley L (2016) State of remediation and metal toxicity in the tri-state Mining District, USA. Chemosphere 144:1132–1141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kang DM, Yang ZP (2017) The hydrogeological investigation in Gaosong field of Gejiu tin mine. Chin Min Mag 26(s1):191–194 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  21. Kusimi JM, Kusimi BA (2012) The hydrochemistry of water resources in selected mining communities in Tarkwa. J Geochem Explor 112(1):252–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lei LQ, Song CA, Xie XL, Li YH, Wang F (2010) Acid mine drainage and heavy metal contamination in groundwater of metal sulphide mine at arid territory (BS mine, Western Australia). Trans Nonferrous Metals Soc China 20(8):1488–1493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li RW (2011) Characteristics and control factors of ground water of Gejiu orefield. Yunnan Geol 1(30):64–66 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  24. Liu P, Hoth N, Drebenstedt C, Sun Y, Xu Z (2017) Hydro-geochemical paths of multi-layer groundwater system in coal mining regions - using multivariate statistics and geochemical modeling approaches. Sci Total Environ 601-602:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lu JZ (1985) Groundwater resources and the prospects of exploitation and utilization in Gejiu mining area. Site Investig Sci Technol 4:39–42 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  26. Nakhaei M, Amiri V, Rezaei K, Moosaei F (2015) An investigation of the potential environmental contamination from the leachate of the Rasht waste disposal site in Iran. Bull Eng Geol Environ 74(1):233–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nejeschlebová L, Sracek O, Mihaljevič M, Ettler V, Kříbek B, Knésl I, Vaněk A, Penížek V (2015) Geochemistry and potential environmental impact of the mine tailings at Rosh Pinah, southern Namibia. J Afr Earth Sci 105:17–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ni CZ (2005) Research on the basalt and mineralization in Gejiu tin mine. Master’s thesis, Kunming University of Science and Technology (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  29. Nieto JM, Sarmiento AM, Olías M, Canovas CR, Riba I, Kalman J, Angel Delvalls T (2007) Acid mine drainage pollution in the Tinto and Odiel rivers (Iberian Pyrite Belt, SW Spain) and bioavailability of the transported metals to the Huelva estuary. Environ Int 33(4):445–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pan HJ, Cheng ZZ, Yang R, Zhou GH (2015) Geochemical survey and assessment of tailings of the Gejiu tin-polymetallic mining area, Yunnan Province. Geol Chin 42(4):1137–1150Google Scholar
  31. Pazand K, Javanshir AR (2014) Geochemistry and water quality assessment of groundwater around Mohammad Abad area, bam district, SE Iran. Water Qual Expo Health 6(4):225–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pazand K, Hezarkhani A (2012) Investigation of hydrochemical characteristics of groundwater in the Bukan basin, northwest of Iran. Appl Water Sci 2(4):309–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Peng BJ, Li ST (2014) The present hydrogeology and protection, utilization of underground water in Gejiu orefield. Yunnan Geol 4(33):594–600 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Prasanth SVS, Magesh NS, Jitheshlal KV, Chandrasekar N, Gangadhar K (2012) Evaluation of groundwater quality and its suitability for drinking and agricultural use in the coastal stretch of Alappuzha District, Kerala, India. Appl Water Sci 2(3):165–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pu T, He Y, Zhang T, Wu JK, Zhu GF, Chang L (2013) Isotopic and geochemical evolution of ground and river waters in a karst dominated geological setting: a case study from Lijiang basin, South-Asia monsoon region. Appl Geochem 33:199–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Quispe D, Pérez-López R, Acero P, Ayora C, Nieto JM (2013) The role of mineralogy on element mobility in two sulphide mine tailings from the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain). Chem Geol 345(345):119–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sahoo PK, Tripathy S, Panigrahi MK, Equeenuddin SM (2016) Anthropogenic contamination and risk assessment of heavy metals in stream sediments influenced by acid mine drainage from a northeast coalfield, India. Bull Eng Geol Environ 76:537–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sánchez ERS, Hoyos SEG, Esteller MV, Morales MM, Astudillo AO (2017) Hydrogeochemistry and water-rock interactions in the urban area of Puebla Valley aquifer (Mexico). J Geochem Explor 181:219–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sharma, SK (2008) Influence of sea water ingress: a case study from east coast aquifer in India. 20th salt water intrusion meeting:250–253Google Scholar
  40. Smuda J, Dold B, Spangenberg JE, Friese K, Kobek MR, Bustos CA, Pfeifer HR (2014) Element cycling during the transition from alkaline to acidic environment in an active porphyry copper tailings impoundment, Chuquicamata, Chile. J Geochem Explor 140(3):23–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sözen S, Orhon D, Dinçer H, Atesok G, Bastürkcü H, Yalcin T, Öznesil H, Karaca C, Alli B, Dulkadiroğlu H, Yağci N (2017) Resource recovery as a sustainable perspective for the remediation of mining wastes: rehabilitation of the CMC mining waste site in northern Cyprus. Bull Eng Geol Environ 76:1535–1547CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sun J, Tang C, Wu P, Strosnider WHJ, Han Z (2013) Hydrogeochemical characteristics of streams with and without acid mine drainage impacts: a paired catchment study in karst geology, SW China. J Hydrol 504(22):115–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Triantafyllidis S, Skarpelis N, Komnitsas K (2007) Environmental characterization and geochemistry of Kirki, Thrace, NE Greece, abandoned flotation tailing dumps. Environ Forensic 8(4):351–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Uddin MK (2017) A review on the adsorption of heavy metals by clay minerals, with special focus on the past decade. Chem Eng J 308:438–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wang L, Ji B, Hu YH, Liu RQ, Sun W (2017) A review on in situ phytoremediation of mine tailings. Chemosphere 184:594–600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wang XY, Shi ZM, Shi Y, Ni SJ, Wang RL, Xu W, Xu JY (2018) Distribution of potentially toxic elements in sediment of the Anning River near the REE and V-Ti magnetite mines in the Panxi rift, SW China. J Geochem Explor 184:110–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wickland BE, Wilson GW (2005) Self-weight consolidation of mixtures of mine waste rock and tailings. Can Geotech J 42(2):327–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ye M, Yan P, Sun S, Han D, Xiao X, Zheng L, Huang S, Chen Y, Zhuang S (2016) Bioleaching combined brine leaching of heavy metals from lead-zinc mine tailings: transformations during the leaching process. Chemosphere 168:1115–1125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhang LK, Qin XQ, Tang JS, Liu W, Yang H (2017) Review of arsenic geochemical characteristics and its significance on arsenic pollution studies in karst groundwater, Southwest China. Appl Geochem 77:80–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zhao S (2014) Discussion of Mineral Processing Technology for High Tin High copper Symbiotic Sulphhide Ore in Gejiu. Multipurp Util Miner Resour 4:68–72 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  51. Zheng GQ, Fang XJ, Zhang HJ, Wang W (2009) Heavy metal pollution and vegetation restoration in Gejiu tin deposit in Yunnan province. Bull Soil Water Conserv 29(6):208–212Google Scholar
  52. Zhuang YQ, Wang RZ, Yin JM (1996) Geology of the Gejiu tin-copper polymetallic deposit. Seismol Press (in Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hai-Yan Gao
    • 1
  • Ze-Min Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kun Wang
    • 1
  • Zhe Ren
    • 1
  • Kui Yang
    • 1
  • Yong-Jun Tang
    • 1
  • Lin Tian
    • 1
  • Ji-Pu Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Civil Engineering and MechanicsKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina

Personalised recommendations