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Arsenic Mobility from Mining Tailings of Monte San Nicolas to Presa de Mata in Guanajuato, Mexico

Authors: I. Cano-Aguilera, B. E. Rubio-Campos, G. De la Rosa, A. F. Aguilera-Alvarado


Mining tailings represent a generating source of rich heavy metal material with a potential danger the public health and the environment, since these metals, under certain conditions, can leach and contaminate aqueous systems that serve like supplying potable water sources. The strategy for this work is based on the observation, experimentation and the simulation that can be obtained by binding real answers of the hydrodynamic behavior of metals leached from mining tailings, and the applied mathematics that provides the logical structure to decipher the individual effects of the general physicochemical phenomenon. The case of study presented herein focuses on mining tailings deposits located in Monte San Nicolas, Guanajuato, Mexico, an abandoned mine. This was considered the contamination source that under certain physicochemical conditions can favor the metal leaching, and its transport towards aqueous systems. In addition, the cartography, meteorology, geology and the hydrodynamics and hydrological characteristics of the place, will be helpful in determining the way and the time in which these systems can interact. Preliminary results demonstrated that arsenic presents a great mobility, since this one was identified in several superficial aqueous systems of the micro watershed, as well as in sediments in concentrations that exceed the established maximum limits in the official norms. Also variations in pH and potential oxide-reduction were registered, conditions that favor the presence of different species from this element its solubility and therefore its mobility.

Keywords: Transport, Arsenic, mining tailings

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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