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2015-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS 2015 Volume 4: Meech Intl. Symp. / Mining Operations

Editors:Kongoli F, Veiga MM, Anderson C
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2015
Pages:275 pages
ISBN:978-1-987820-27-0
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)

    Resource Assessment for Phytomining of Platinum Group Metals

    Christopher Anderson1; Peipei Shi2; Marcello Veiga2; John Meech2;
    1MASSEY UNIVERSITY, Palmerston North, New Zealand; 2UBC-MINING, Vancouver, Canada;
    Type of Paper: Regular
    Id Paper: 367
    Topic: 4

    Abstract:

    In memory of John Meech
    Phytomining has been suggested as a viable process to recover platinum group metals from mineralized soil, rock, or from mine wastes. However, extremes of metal concentration, high or low pH, and salinity that are typical of mining or mineralized materials make them challenging media for plant growth. In this work, the suitability of several PGM-rich materials is assessed for phytomining. Specifically, feed ore, concentrate and tailings from North American Palladium in Canada and surface exposed gossan from the Broken Hill mineral complex in Australia were assessed in the context of phytomining studies. The concentration of Pd and Pt in the tailings from North American Palladium was low (0.7 g/t and 0.1 g/t respectively) and these values are considered too low for phytomining. The ore and concentrate had a significantly higher concentration of precious metals, however the pH (3.6) and mineralogy of these materials are likely to preclude plant growth. The gossan from the Broken Hill mineral complex had a very high concentration for all the six platinum group metals. The concentration of Pd and Pt was 38 g/t and 14 g/t respectively and the concentration of Ir, Os, Rh and Ru in this gossan was greater than 2g/t for each of these elements. The pH of the gossan was 7.5, well within the adequate range for plant growth and is likely to limit the bioavailability of phytotoxic elements in the material such as Cu and Ni. Furthermore the CEC of 38.8 meq/100g indicates that adequate soil nutrients could be held to support plants growth. Gossan from Broken Hill mineral complex is therefore inferred to be a better plant growth media for phytomining of PGMs than feed ore, concentrate and tailings from North American Palladium in Canada.
    Keywords: phytomining, Platinum-Group-Metals, plant growth parameters

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    Cite this article as:

    Anderson C, Shi P, Veiga M, Meech J. Resource Assessment for Phytomining of Platinum Group Metals. In: Kongoli F, Veiga MM, Anderson C, editors. Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS 2015 Volume 4: Meech Intl. Symp. / Mining Operations. Volume 4. Montreal(Canada): FLOGEN Star Outreach. 2015. p. 231-248.