Valorization of Phosphate Waste Rocks and Sludge from the Moroccan Phosphate Mines: Challenges and Perspectives


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Hakkou, Rachid, Benzaazoua, Mostafa et Bussière, Bruno (2016). Valorization of Phosphate Waste Rocks and Sludge from the Moroccan Phosphate Mines: Challenges and Perspectives. Procedia Engineering , 138 . pp. 110-118. doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2016.02.068 Repéré dans Depositum à

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Sedimentary phosphate mines produce millions of tons of waste rocks during their open-pit mining. In addition, during ore phosphate beneficiation, fluorapatite is separated from associated gangue minerals by a combination of successive mineral processing steps that involve crushing / screening, washing, and flotation. These operations generate large volume of tailings (called phosphate sludge) that are deposited in large surface ponds and waste rocks stockpiled within the mining site. The potential reuse of these phosphate mine by-products (waste rocks and sludge) has been investigated in the last 10 years. The first investigated option consisted in using the alkaline waste rocks (APW) to control the acid mine drainage (AMD). Indeed, these alkaline mine wastes contain significant quantities of calcite (46 wt%) and dolomite (16 wt%) that help in neutralizing the acidity generated by the wastes from the closed Kettara mine , located near Marrakech, Morocco. The addition of 15 wt% APW to the coarse Kettara tailings produced leachates with significantly lower acidity and metal loads in comparison to the unamended control sample. Secondly, the efficiency of APW was assessed in the laboratory as an alternative alkaline material for passive AMD water treatment. In semi-arid climate, the oxic passive treatment has been proven to be the most suitable. The pH of the water and its quality were significantly improved. As a third option, the hydrogeotechnical characterization of original and screened phosphate limestone waste rocks as well as the phosphate sludge showed their suitability for use as a component of store-and-release (SR) covers for industrial mine site reclamation. Lab tests (columns) and field tests (instrumented columns and experimental cells) showed that water infiltration can be controlled, even for extreme rainfall events (150 mm/day), by 1 m thick of a SR cover made with APW. Further research is currently being investigated around the recycling and valorization of phosphate sludge from phosphate mines as ceramics. Furthermore, the overburden of the phosphates sedimentary basins are mainly composed of marls; limestones blocks; silex bed; silex nodule; marls and clays; silicified limestone; which have a significant reuse potential as marble-mosaic floor, mortars and concrete, and natural stone products slabs for floors and stairs.

Type de document: Article
Informations complémentaires: Licence d'utilisation : CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
Mots-clés libres: Phosphate by-products; waste rock; phosphate sludge; recycling valorization
Divisions: Mines et eaux souterraines
Date de dépôt: 01 avr. 2020 16:02
Dernière modification: 28 mai 2020 18:09

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