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Comparison of mine waste assessment methods at the Rattler mine site, Virginia Canyon, Colorado

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Abstract

In a joint project, the mine waste-piles at the Rattler Mine near Idaho Springs, Colorado, were sampled and analyzed by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). Separate sample collection, sample leaching, and leachate analyses were performed by both groups and the results were compared. For the study, both groups used the USGS sampling procedure and the USGS Field Leach Test (FLT). The leachates generated from these tests were analyzed for a suite of elements using ICP-AES (CSM) and ICP-MS (USGS). Leachate geochemical fingerprints produced by the two groups for composites collected from the same mine waste showed good agreement. In another set of tests, CSM collected another set of Rattler mine waste composite samples using the USGS sampling procedure. This set of composite samples was leached using the Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology (CDMG) leach test, and a modified Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) leach test. Leachate geochemical fingerprints produced using these tests showed a variation of more than a factor of two from the geochemical fingerprints produced using the USGS FLT leach test. We have concluded that the variation in the results is due to the different parameters of the leaching tests and not due to the sampling or analytical methods.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Comparison of mine waste assessment methods at the Rattler mine site, Virginia Canyon, Colorado
Year Published 2005
Language English
Publisher American Society of Mining and Reclamation
Publisher location Lexington, KY
Description 17 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the 2005 National Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation
First page 470
Last page 486
Conference Title 2005 National Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation
Conference Location Breckenridge, CO
Conference Date 06/19/2005
Country United States
State Colorado
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N