N.V. Yurkevich
N.A. Abrosimova
S.B. Bortnikova
Y.G. Karin
O.P. Saeva

: Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry

Sulfide-containing mill wastes of the Komsomolsk ore processing plant situated in the Kemerovo region (Russia) were examined in 2013-2015. Multipurpose studies of the mine tailings determined the composition of waste, pore water, mine drainages, and affected groundwater. Electrical resistivity tomography was used to trace the geoelectric zoning of the waste samples. Layers with low resistivity indicated areas with pore spaces filled with highly mineralized solutions with Fe, Cu, Zn, Cd, As, and Sb at total concentrations of up to 50 g/L. Anomalous zones can be specified as geochemical barriers' - specific layers where the mobility of the elements is reduced due to pH conditions, redox potential, and Fe(III) hydroxide precipitation. The zones of increased conductivity in oxidized mine tailings indicated local areas with high acid production potential and coexisting acidic pore solution. In non-oxidized tailings, high conductivity of the mineral skeleton was observed. There was a migration of drainage outside the tailings, its direction monitored by geophysical data. Chemical analysis confirmed that the concentrations of As in groundwater samples were higher than the maximum permissible concentration.