Title: An attempt towards the safe utilisation of dangerous sediments deriving from mine water: a case study from the Polish part of the Upper Silesian Basin

Authors: Bogusław Michalik; Hubert Makuła; Zbigniew Bzowski

Addresses: Central Mining Institute (GIG), 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland ' Central Mining Institute (GIG), 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland ' Central Mining Institute (GIG), 40-166 Katowice, Plac Gwarków 1, Poland

Abstract: The removal of formation waters from coal mines in the Upper Silesian Basin is the source of sediments. Due to high content of radium, the sediments are classified as naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) and require special treatment according to the current EU and IAEA recommendations. On the other hand, the sediments contain potentially marketable materials and elements when separated. With this in mind, the radiometric, mineralogical, and physicochemical studies were conducted to characterise the sediments from the perspective of possible reprocessing. In the sediments high content of baryte was found, which is an interesting feature, since baryte is included in the list of critical raw materials (CRMs) crucial to the European economy. As a mineral, baryte can precipitate from underground waters or originate from gangues and it frequently contains radium. The research provides valuable information concerning the concentration and the forms of baryte present in the examined sediments. In particular, the concentration of radium as well as the purification process of the remaining sediments with potential applications in construction is discussed.

Keywords: mine water; sediments; naturally occurring radioactive material; NORM; minerals; barite; radium; recovery.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMME.2022.124146

International Journal of Mining and Mineral Engineering, 2022 Vol.13 No.1, pp.49 - 63

Accepted: 08 Apr 2022
Published online: 14 Jul 2022 *

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