It is with pleasure that our latest paper has been published, co-authored with Rob Bowell (SRK Consulting), Andrew Barnes (Geochemic) and Arman Vardanyan (Hrazdan) in Minerals relating to the geometallurgy of trace elements in the Hrazdan Iron Ore Deposit. This is a great case study on how arsenic present in arsenical rims on pyrite can provide an ARDML risk, even when the overall levels in the waste rock are unremarkable. The full abstract is below.
This study presents an evaluation of arsenic and other trace metals in the Hrazdan Iron-Ore project in Armenia using a methodology typically associated with Geometallurgical characterization. The principal host of the trace elements is pyrite and oxidized equivalents. Pyrite is a mineral of elemental concern as it has the potential to generate acidic pH in water that it contacts and thus mobilize metals of concern. In the Hrazdan deposit, there is a general excess of neutralizing carbonate minerals that result in adequate buffering of generated acid and limiting the mobility of metal cations in solution. However, metalloids that form oxyanions species such as those of arsenic or chromium tend to be more mobile in neutral to alkaline mine drainage. From the geometallurgi-cal assessment of the mine waste, the results of the geochemical testwork can be explained and the information used to assess potential issues with mine waste storage, timing of metal release and provide a baseline for mitigation strategies.