Mineralogical and geochemical features and contamination degree of soils in the area of zinc ore processing plant of the Shaabet-El-Hamra deposit (Algeria)

Omara R., Charykova M. V., Rusakov A. V., Malyshev S. V., Platonov N. V.

Zapiski RMO (Proceedings of the Russian Mineralogical Society). 2020. V. 149. N 2. P. 96-110


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Language: Russian 


The mining complex of Kherzet Youcef is located near the agglomeration of Ain Azel (Setif), it includes the Zn ore mine (Chaabat El-Hamra) and an ore processing plant. This mining activity is characterized by excavation of large volumes of waste rocks and production of mining residues during the various technological processes. These waste rocks and tailings are stored near the mine and cover the 7.2 hectares area, which in the long run leads to accumulation and increase of the heavy metal content in soil. To assess the state of the environment around the mining complex, 47 samples of soil and technogenic deposits (dumps, agricultural soils, and foothills) were collected in September 2018 with a mesh size about 100 m. All samples were characterized by the following methods: their color was determined by the Munsell color scale, contents of heavy metals and some other elements, mineral composition, pH, and the share of skeletal part were measured. It is shown that practically over all studied area, except a small site in foothills, there is an excess of standards on zinc, lead and cadmium. Copper pollution is lesser significant and located mainly on territory of the enterprise.

Keywords: heavy metals, soils, dumps, zinc, lead, cadmium, copper