Efflorescent sulfate minerals of the Karabash mining/Smelting area, Ural mountains, Russia
J. Hechler, V. Udachin, P. Aminov, P.J. Beckett, G.A. Spiers
UDК 553.252.2, 549.76
Karabash is a copper smelting town in the Chelyabinsk district of the Southern Ural mountains of Russia. The town is in close proximity to a large copper deposit and resultant mining activities. Eforescent minerals from tailings outwash were collected from the mining-impacted landscape. The eforescent sulfates collected from a variety of sites on tailings outwash adjacent the streams downstream from the Karabash mining zone were dominated by hydrated Fe-Mg-Al sulfates (halotrichite-pickeringite series, melanterite, pentahydrite, magnesiocopiapite, and coquimbite). The eforescents noted in the tailings outwash site in Karabash appear to be water-soluble salts that crystallized during evaporation of waste-water runof from the tailings area. The oxidation of the mine wastes acts to liberate sulfur, creating an acidic drainage that leaches both the mine tailings (mobilizing iron and other potentially harmful metals) as well as elements from the rocks around the tailings site. Acid mine drainage, mine and smelter fallout pose a signifcant environmental concern to the Karabash region.
Figures 5. References 13.
Key words: eforescent sulfates, tailings, weathering, XRD, SEM.
МINERALOGY № 4 2018