Extraction procedures of toxic and mobile heavy metal fraction from complex mineralogical tailings affected by acid mine drainage

  • Mariem Trifi
  • Mohja Dermech
  • Charef AbdelkrimEmail author
  • Rim Azouzi
  • Bilel Hjiri
Original Paper


The wall rocks of Sidi Driss mineralization contain continental molassic deposits: lacustrine limestones, ferruginous fragments, Ed Diss unit and Numidian unit fragments, rhyodacitic fragments, pyroclasts, and gneissic fragments. The ore is composed of pyrite, marcasite, sphalerite, galena, barite, celestite, siderite, calcite, and iron oxide-hydroxides. The abandoned wastes in Sidi Driss-Tamra district contain marcasite, galena, goethite, jarosite, anglesite, anhydrite, bassanite, and gypsum. It is very important to assess the hazards and risks that this material type poses to public health and the environment. However, evaluation of a part of toxic elements always poses problems since the associated matrix, the close relationships between some minerals, the grain sizes and their forms (oolites, compact collomorphes aggregate), the oxidation degree of metals, the chemical composition, and trace elements make it difficult to extract mobile metals from complex Sidi Driss tailings and minerals found in these acidic wastes. Nevertheless, there is no universal method that can systematically evaluate metal bioavailability. And the use of proposed sequential extraction procedures for sediments with simple mineralogical composition did not yield any reproducible results for this type of acid mine drainage sediments. Consequently, the methods of controlling and mitigating the risks of hazardous materials should be considered. Many extraction procedures have been applied to better evaluate the mobility of hazardous materials (metals), the characterization of their degree of toxicity, and their chemical behavior in these complex mine tailings. Reproducible results were obtained with lab-scale washing of sediments using distilled water, CaCl2 and Na2-EDTA solutions, and BCR sequential extraction. The results showed that the BCR extraction approach was the most efficient procedure for these types of wastes. The extraction with distilled water is recommended for identification of the total quantity of mobile Cr and Fe.


Complex mineralogy Metals Simple extraction Sequential extraction 


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariem Trifi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohja Dermech
    • 3
  • Charef Abdelkrim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rim Azouzi
    • 1
  • Bilel Hjiri
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de GéoressourcesCentre des Recherches et Technologies des EauxSolimanTunisia
  2. 2.Faculté des Sciences de Bizerte-ZerzounaUniversité de CarthageBizerteTunisia
  3. 3.Laboratoire Ressources Minérales et Environnement, Faculté de Sciences of TunisUniversité Tunis El ManarTunisTunisia

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