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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2013 Dec;20(12):8374-81. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-1731-9. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Mercury speciation and mobility in mine wastes from mercury mines in China.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, 550002, China.


Mercury (Hg) speciation and mobility were determined in calcines and waste rocks collected from 9 Hg mines in China. Total Hg (THg) concentrations in the mine wastes varied widely in different Hg mines (with a range of 0.369 to 2,620 mg kg(-1)). Cinnabar is the dominant form of Hg in the mine wastes. However, Hg(2+) and Hg(0) concentrations in the calcines were significantly higher than these in the waste rocks, which suggested the retorting can produce large amounts of by-product Hg compounds. The THg and Hg(0) concentrations in certain mine wastes exceeded soil guidelines recommended by US Environmental Protection Agency; while total soluble Hg concentrations of leachates in certain mine wastes exceeded National Surface Water Quality Standard of China. Mine wastes are important Hg pollution sources to the aquatic ecosystem and atmosphere.

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