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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management
Title Mineralogy of tailings dump around Selebi Phikwe nickel-copper plant, Botswana
Author(s)
Volume 8
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 37-44
URL http://www.bioline.org.br/pdf?ja04008
Abstract
This study aimed at mineralogically characterizing the tailings dump emanating from the
mining and smelting of nickel-copper (Ni-Cu) at Selebi Phikwe, Botswana, Southern Africa. Samples of tailings
dump around the Selebi Phikwe Ni-Cu plant were studied using petrographic microscopy and X-ray Powder
Diffraction (XRPD) technique. The tailings dump comprised of the following minerals: nickelblodite, pyrrhotite,
quartz, pentlandite, malachite, chalcopyrite, actinolite, cristobalite, tremolite, kaolinite, mica and albite.
Nickelblodite and malachite were mineralized from the primary ore minerals in the tailings dump. The sulfur-rich
minerals contained in the tailings dump serve as principal promoting sources for acid mine drainage in the
immediate surrounding environment. Consequently, aspects of pollution management such as phytoremediation
and phytomining, and environmental desulfurization could be introduced as pollution control measures at Selebi
Phikwe.

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