Arsenic Contamination and its Speciation in the Water System around the Abandoned Dongil Au-Ag Mine in Korea


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This study was made to investigate the extent and degree of As contamination in waters and sediments influenced by previous mining activity in the abandoned Dongil Au-Ag mine. Arsenic species was also identified in surface waters and groundwater. The chemical form of As in sediments was examined using sequential extraction analysis. The major contamination source of As in the mine area is suggested to be tailings with elevated levels of 8,718 As mg/kg. This was associated with the release of high level of As into the water system in the study area. The pH values of water samples ranged from 7.7 to 10.1, which was neutral to strong alkaline due to buffering effect by high concentration of Ca and Mg dissolved from carbonate mineral and weathering of concrete. Stream waters contained high level of As within the range of 40.5 to 150.4 ㎍/L and most waters exceeded the permissible level (50 ㎍/L) of As for stream water in Korea. The concentration ratios of As(Ⅲ) to As (total), however, extended in the range of 5.8 to 75% and increased at low pH condition in stream waters. Arsenic concentration in sediments digested by aqua regia (HNO3+HCl) ranged from 162 to 2,077 mg/kg. The highest concentration of As may be due to the direct inflow of tailings. The relatively high percentage (17.1~35.3%) of As coprecipitated with amorphous Fe oxyhydroxides indicates that more severe contamination of As can occur by re-extracting due to changes of chemical environment such as reducing condition.



Key Engineering Materials (Volumes 277-279)

Edited by:

Kwang Hwa Chung, Yong Hyeon Shin, Sue-Nie Park, Hyun Sook Cho, Soon-Ae Yoo, Byung Joo Min, Hyo-Suk Lim and Kyung Hwa Yoo




J. M. Yi et al., "Arsenic Contamination and its Speciation in the Water System around the Abandoned Dongil Au-Ag Mine in Korea ", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 277-279, pp. 503-509, 2005

Online since:

January 2005




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