Allen, DG 2010, 'Geochemistry of thallium in lead-zinc tailings', in R Jewell & AB Fourie (eds), Mine Waste 2010: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on the Reduction of Risk in the Management of Tailings and Mine Waste
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 321-331, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1008_28_Allen
Procedures for characterising mining wastes in Western Australia tend to focus on potential for producing
acid rock drainage (ARD). However, many types of mining waste produce neutral or slightly alkaline
drainage, which is usually considered environmentally benign from a geochemical perspective. This paper
provides an example of potential contamination of the environment by the heavy metal thallium in alkaline
seepage from lead-zinc mines. By understanding the geochemistry of thallium and other potential
contaminants, an appropriate cover design for two tailings storage facilities (TSFs) in the north of Western
Australia have been developed. The effectiveness of the soil covers has been demonstrated in a controlled
field trial and by ongoing groundwater monitoring.
DITR (2007) Managing Acid and Metalliferous Drainage, Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, February
GARD Guide (2010) Global Acid Rock Drainage Guide, The International Network for Acid Prevention, Section 2.4.1,
John Peter, A.L. and Viraraghavan, T. (2005) Thallium: a Review of Public Health and Environmental Concerns,
Environmental International, Vol. 31, pp. 493–501.
Nriagu, J.O. (1998) Thallium in the Environment, Volume 29 in the series Advances in Environmental Science and
Technology, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Sobek, A.A., Schuller, W.A., Freeman, J.R. and Smith, R.M. (1978) Field and Laboratory Methods Applicable to
Overburdens and Minesoils, EPA-600/2-78-054.
Geochemistry of thallium in lead-zinc tailings D.G. Allen
332 Mine Waste 2010, Perth, Australia