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Mobility of elements from cesium formate residue emplaced on pegmatite tailings, Bernic Lake, Manitoba, Canada

A Cesium Products Facility (CPF) at Bernic Lake, Manitoba, manufactures a Cs-formate drilling mud from pollucite (CsAlSi2O6•H2O) ore. The waste residue is dry-stacked over pegmatite tailings. This thesis studied the mineralogy of the residue and tailings, and the mobility of residue related elements: Ca, Cs, Rb, S and Sr.
Major minerals in the residue include gypsum, quartz, barite, spodumene, feldspar, pollucite, and Cs-sulphate, and in the tailings, quartz, feldspar, spodumene, pollucite and micas. The residue contains an order of magnitude more Cs (<2 wt. %) than the tailings (<0.3 wt. %), with 47 % being mobile from Cs-sulphate and Cs-carbonate. Cs in the residue is immobile in microcline, pollucite, Cs-formate, and Cs in Fe-oxy-hydroxides. Elements from the residue are mobilized by water from several sources: meteoric water and surface runoff from the residue pile, precipitation leaching through the residue pile into the tailings, and direct contact of residue with groundwater.
Date20 September 2012
CreatorsSolylo, Patrick
ContributorsSherriff, Barbara (Geological Sciences) Fayek, Mostafa (Geological Sciences), Ferguson, Ian (Geological Sciences) Gorczyca, Beata (Civil Engineering)
Source SetsLibrary and Archives Canada ETDs Repository / Centre d'archives des thèses électroniques de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Detected LanguageEnglish

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