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Characterisation of Tailings from Itakpe Iron Ore Mine, Itakpe, Nigeria

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Knowledge of tailings characteristics is required for utilisation and management purposes in the mining and construction industry. Tailings from the mine waste dumps at Itakpe iron ore mine were collected and analysed in the laboratory to determine their chemical and physical characteristics and these include; permeability, porosity, specific gravity, particle size distribution, chemical composition and bioavailability factor of element. Geochemical speciation with quantitative X-ray powder diffraction was used to evaluate the chemical and mineral composition of Itakpe iron ore tailings. The aim is to offer base line data necessary to assess metal mobility and bioavailability. The distribution of heavy metals such as Cu, Ni, Cd, Cr, Zn and Fe was determined using multi- step sequential extraction. The results obtained indicate that the permeability is 6.24 x 10-3 cm/sec; porosity is 35%; and specific gravity is 3.58. The tailings is well graded and is sand gravel. Nickel and Zinc was found to be considerably high in exchangeable and bound to carbonates fraction which are mobile region and is bound to Fe – Mn oxides which is slightly mobile region but the higher concentration of Ni found in residual fraction. The implication of this result is that Nickel and Zinc partially enter into the food chain. Chromium and Cadmium concentration result indicated that these metals can easily enter into the food chain because of their presence in the mobile region and their higher mobility percentage.


Sustainable Geoscience and Geotourism (Volume 4)
R.A. Adebimpe and A.O. Fatoye, "Characterisation of Tailings from Itakpe Iron Ore Mine, Itakpe, Nigeria", Sustainable Geoscience and Geotourism, Vol. 4, pp. 1-8, 2021
Online since:
April 2021

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