Gold Prospecting and Mining

Prospecting and Mining Adventures

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Prospecting and Mining Adventures Summary

Rating: 4.6 stars out of 11 votes

Contents: Ebook
Author: William Kennedy
Price: $6.99

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Scrap Gold Business Model

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Scrap Gold Business Model Summary

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Historic Mining in the Grossarl Valley

During the 300 years of mining activity, a total production of 6,500 tons Cu was achieved. Due to the depletion of copper deposits as well as to changes in ore processing, copper production decreased whereas the amounts of sulfur grew. In 1637, 6.5 tons Cu and 4.5 tons S were produced, whereas in 1816, only 4 tons Cu but 14 tons S were mined. However, due to its higher price, copper always remained the cash cow of the mines (Wiebols 1949). Furthermore, sulfidic copper ores were traded without processing and used as a flux for gold smelting in the gold mines of the Hohe Tauern (Feitzinger et al. 1998). Small amounts of silver, lead, and arsenic were mined as well (Gounther 2006).

Heavy metal contamination

Heavy metals such as mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) are so called because of their very high densities (Hg 13.5 gcm-3, Pb 11.3 gcm-3) when compared to other common metals, for example Mg 1.7gcm-3. Heavy metals are of concern because of their toxicity to humans and other animals. However, other elements, for example the semimetal arsenic (As 5.7 g cm-3), are also toxic. It can be argued that the term heavy metals should be more encompassing to include the toxicity of the element. Toxicity depends on an element's chemistry, the mode of contact with the host organism, the concentration of the element and the host organism's biochemistry. Indeed some substances that are toxic at high concentrations may be essential to life at low concentration (Box 5.5). Heavy metals are of concern because of their toxicity to humans and other animals, but also because they are non-biodegradable. All heavy metals occur naturally, but industrial activity can markedly increase their concentrations in natural...

Microbial Degradation of Cyanide and Nitriles

Cyanide nitrile containing waste is an increasingly prevalent problem in the environment. Many chemical processes that utilize cyanide are gold mining and electroplating, and these processes generate effluents with varying amount of cyanide. Cyanide nitrile-converting microbes are considerable interest from the view points of treating toxic nitrile and cyanide-containing wastes and as agents for the synthesis of organic chemicals for a wide range of applications (Trott et al. 2001). Disposal of cyanide nitrile wastes or remediation of sites containing with cyanide nitrile is necessary to prevent contamination of soil and water. Among the various options to deal with cyanide nitrile with contamination, bioremediation is a more attractive and cost effective alternative. The biodegradation of cyanide seems very simple as it ultimately breaks to formic acid and ammonia. The bacteria oxidize the cyanide, breaking it down into harmless compounds. In many cases, cyanide-oxidizing bacteria...

Candidate Bioindicator Species 551 Mammals

Assays on bats in Japan in an area of mercury fungicide use revealed partitioning of Hg among various tissues with hair emerging as highest (Miura et al. 1978). Exposed cyanide-charged process water from heap leach gold mining operations has led to significant local bat mortality, demonstrating that bats will attempt to consume chemically contaminated water with potentially aversive odor and elevated pH (Clark et al. 1991 Clark and Hothem 1991). A bat of 10 g body weight, and 1 g day food intake rate, if feeding on insects with total Hg concentrations such as those found in Clear Lake invertebrates, would be ingesting 5 to 20 times the mammalian Hg NOAEL used in the GLWQI model (Fenton 1992 USEPA 1993a USEPA 1993b USEPA 1995 USEPA 1997 Wolfe and Norman 1998).

Microbial Methylation and Demethylation for Arsenic Remediation

Arsine Arsenic Ions

Dimethylarsine and trimethylarsine by Aeromonas sp. and Nocardia sp. (Cullen and Reimer 1989 Wang and Mulligan 2006). Anaerobic microcosms established from the sediments of a gold mine impacted lake were found to be able to methylate As(V) forming MMAA(V) and DMAA(V) (Bright et al. 1994 Wang and Mulligan 2006). On the other hand, the trivalent methylated intermediates such as MMAA(III) and DMAA(III) are found to be readily oxidized chemically and biologically (Sanders et al. 1979 Shariatpanahi et al. 1983 Wang and Mulligan 2006). Shariatpanahi et al. reported that the rates of methylation and demethylation of monosodium methylarson-ate at 10 and 100 mg L of normal culture media by Aeromonas, Nocardia, Enterobacter, Flavobacterium, Achromobacter, Pseudomonas, and Alcaligenes species followed first order composite kinetics (Wang and Mulligan 2006).

Cyanide as a Pollutant

Cyanide can be found naturally in soils or can result from contamination from industrial processes such as gas plant sites, salt storage facilities, electroplating facilities, and gold mining operations (Kjeldsen 1998). Hydrogen cyanide (HCN), cyanide anion (CN-), inorganic salts (e.g. NaCN), ferrocyanide (Fe(II)(CN)36-), ferricyanide (Fe(III)(CN)46-), thiocyanates (-SCN), and nitriles (organic materials with CN group) are typical cyanide-bearing environmental contaminants (Ebbs et al. 2008). At contaminated manufactured gas plant sites, iron cyanide, primarily Prussian blue, is the predominant form of cyanide contamination. Hydrogen cyanide is formed during the gasification of the coal, and the toxicity of the gas required its removal prior to natural gas distribution (Riesenfeld and Kohl 1974).

Species specificity

Another example for species-specific differences in bioavailability of chemical mixtures is the study of Loureiro et al. (2005), where avoidance behavior of earthworms and isopods was studied in 2 soils from the vicinities of an abandoned gold mine. Isopods (Porcellionides pruinosis) turned out to show avoidance behavior, whereas earthworms (Eisenia andrei) did not, suggesting isopods to be more sensitive than earthworms for these soils that contained a mixture of metals. It remains unclear which factors explain this difference, but routes of exposure and bioavail-ability difference may have played a role.

Technology Costs

The total cost to treat 2000 tons of mine waste contaminated with lead, zinc, arsenic, and mercury at a historic gold mine in Central City, Colorado, was 55,000. According to the vendor, Envirobond was applied ex situ at a total cost of approximately 20 per ton (D204808, p. 8 D20477D, p. 2 D20479F, p. 1).