Mine Water as a Resource: Selective Removal and Recovery of Trace Antimony from Mine-Impacted Water

Mona Arnold, Petteri Kangas, Annukka Mäkinen, Eugene Lakay, Niko Isomäki, Gaston Lavén, Marieke Gericke, Petri Pajuniemi, Tommi Kaartinen, Laura Wendling (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of combined modular processes to selectively remove Sb from mine-impacted waters in an Arctic environment in order to fulfil local environmental criteria for discharged waters. Novel ion exchange, selective extraction and ultrafiltration, electrocoagulation, and dissolved air flotation technologies were investigated, individually or in combination, from the laboratory- to pilot-demonstration scale. Laboratory-scale testing using Fe2(SO4)3 precipitation, ion exchange resin, selective ion extraction and ultrafiltration, and electrocoagulation with or without subsequent dissolved air flotation indicated that any of the methods are potentially applicable to Sb removal from mine water. The observed differences between Sb and As removal efficiency by ion exchange resin illustrated the need for Sb-specific removal and recovery technologies. Techno-economic analyses showed that treatment of mine water using electrocoagulation-dissolved air flotation yields the lowest comparative life-cycle cost of examined technologies. Results demonstrated increased Sb attenuation efficiency using either electrocoagulation-dissolved air flotation or selective extraction and ultrafiltration, even when treating only 50% of the mine-impacted water, compared with conventional Fe2 (SO4)3 precipitation from mine water. Additional investigation is necessary to characterize the long-term stability of the mineral phases in Sb-containing solid residues and to inform selection of Sb recovery methods and utilisation or final disposal options for the residual materials.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)431-446
    Number of pages16
    JournalMine Water and the Environment
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Dissolved air flotation
    • Electrocoagulation
    • Ion exchange
    • Selective extraction
    • Ultrafiltration


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