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U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 03-260
Version 1.0

Geochemical Characterization of Slags, other Mine Waste, and their Leachate from the Elizabeth and Ely Mines (Vermont), the Ducktown Mining District (Tennessee), and the Clayton Smelter Site (Idaho)

By Nadine M. Piatak,1 Robert R. Seal II,1 Jane M. Hammarstrom,1 Allen L. Meier,2 and Paul H. Briggs,2

1U.S. Geological Survey, 954 National Center, Reston, VA 20192
2U.S. Geological Survey, 973 Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225


Waste-rock material produced at historic metal mines contains elevated concentrations of potentially toxic trace elements. Two types of mine waste were examined in this study: sintered waste rock and slag. The samples were collected from the Elizabeth and Ely mines in the Vermont copper belt (Besshi-type massive sulfide deposits), from the Copper Basin mining district near Ducktown, Tennessee (Besshi-type massive sulfide deposits), and from the Clayton silver mine in the Bayhorse mining district, Idaho (polymetallic vein and replacement deposits). The data in this report are presented as a compilation with minimal interpretation or discussion. A detailed discussion and interpretation of the slag data are presented in a companion paper. Data collected from sintered waste rock and slag include: (1) bulk rock chemistry, (2) mineralogy, (3) and the distribution of trace elements among phases for the slag samples. In addition, the reactivity of the waste material under surficial conditions was assessed by examining secondary minerals formed on slag and by laboratory leaching tests using deionized water and a synthetic solution approximating precipitation in the eastern United States.

Open-File Report 03-260 [8.4-MB PDF file]

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This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards or with the North American Stratigraphic code. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Although all data and software released with this open file have been used by the USGS, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS as to the accuracy of the data and related materials and (or) the functioning of the software.

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Contact Information

For questions about the scientific content of this report, contact Nadine M. Piatak.

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