J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 337 - 340

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 337
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030310

The nature of arsenic in uranium mill tailings by X-ray absorption spectroscopy

J.N. Cutler1, N. Chen2, D.T. Jiang1, G.P. Demopoulos2, Y. Jia1 and J.W. Rowson1

1  Canadian Light Source Inc., 101 Perime ter Rd., Saskatoon, SK, S7N OX4, Canada
2  McGili University, Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, 3610 University Street, Montréal, PQ, H3A 2B2 Canada

In order to understand the evolving world of environmental issues, the ability to characterize and predict the stability and bioavailability of heavy métal contaminants in mine waste is becoming increasingly more important. X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) and Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) spectroscopies were used to characterize a series of synthetic and natural samples associated with mine tailings processing. XANES was shown to be excellent as a tool to rapidly differentiate oxidation states of arsenic within the samples. The EXAFS spectra provided information on the mineralogy of the precipitated raffinate and tailings and showed that these samples are composed of a mixture of amorphous ferric arsenates, adsorbed arsenates and a mixture of other poorly ordered arsenates.

© EDP Sciences 2003