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Strategies to predict metal mobility in surficial mining environments

January 1, 2007

This report presents some strategies to predict metal mobility at mining sites. These strategies are based on chemical, physical, and geochemical information about metals and their interactions with the environment. An overview of conceptual models, metal sources, and relative mobility of metals under different geochemical conditions is presented, followed by a discussion of some important physical and chemical properties of metals that affect their mobility, bioavailability, and toxicity. The physical and chemical properties lead into a discussion of the importance of the chemical speciation of metals. Finally, environmental and geochemical processes and geochemical barriers that affect metal speciation are discussed. Some additional concepts and applications are briefly presented at the end of this report.