Investigating the Geochemical Model for Molybdenum Mineralization in the JEB Tailings Management Facility at McClean Lake, Saskatchewan: An X‐ray Absorption Spectroscopy Study
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
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The geochemical model for Mo mineralization in the JEB Tailings Management Facility (JEB TMF), operated by AREVA Resources Canada at McClean Lake, Saskatchewan, was investigated using X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Spectroscopy (XANES), an elemental-specific technique that is sensitive to low elemental concentrations. Twenty five samples collected during the 2013 sampling campaign from various locations and depths in the TMF were analyzed by XANES. Mo K-edge XANES analysis indicated that the tailings consisted primarily of Mo6+ species: powellite (CaMoO4), ferrimolybdite (Fe2(MoO4)3·8H2O), and molybdate adsorbed on ferrihydrite (Fe(OH)3 − MoO4). A minor concentration of a Mo4+ species in the form of molybdenite (MoS2) was also present. Changes in the Mo mineralization over time were inferred by comparing the relative amounts of the Mo species in the tailings to the independently measured aqueous Mo pore water concentration. It was found that ferrimolybdite and molybdate adsorbed on ferrihydrite initially dissolves in the TMF and precipitates as powellite.