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Cabala, J., E. Teper & L. Teper (2004). Mine-waste impact on soils in the Olkusz Zn-Pb ore district (Poland). In: M. Hardygora et al. (eds.) Mine Planning and Equipment Selection, Balkema, Leiden, 755-760.


Flotation tailings collected in sedimentary tailing ponds in the Olkusz Zn-Pb district have been continuously relocated by winds to soils surrounding the storage area. Soil samples were examined by means of ESEM Philips XL30 using BSE detector, and analysed with EDS (EDAX) analyser. Parental and secondary ore-bearing minerals were recognised as the most common heavy metals carriers. The contents of Zn and Pb sulphide ores in the soils locally range 3%. Gangue minerals, such as iron sulphides, clay minerals, ankerite and ore-bearing dolomites are significant toxic contaminants of the soils. Zn-Pb ore-originated hypergenic minerals are mostly represented by Fe oxides, hydrated sulphates and gypsum. As sulphosalts, Cd carbonates, Mn oxides and phosphates with REE were found. Fe, Zn, Pb, As, Cd, Tl and some other metals, which come from the waste material are thought to be released by processes of chemical and/or biochemical weathering progressing in the soils.