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Tritiated Water as a Tracer in the Dump Leaching of Copper.

Armstrong FE; Evans GC; Fletcher GE
NTIS: PB 200 048 :39 pages
Tritiated water has been used as a tracer to follow the path of leach liquids as they flow through a coppermine dump. Semipermeable layers, produced within the dump by compaction and "stratification" of deposited dump material, restrict the vertical movement of water. Knowledge of this restriction would aid in the optimization of the leaching process. The portion of the dump of particular interest was approximately 2,000 feet long, 800 feet wide, and 200 feet high. A total of 94 curies of tritiated water was injected into the dump at the rate of 650 gpm over a period of 39 hours. The leach liquid was sampled at natural surface outflows and through a series of wells, some drilled to the bottom of the dump and others to intermediate levels. More than 3,300 samples were analyzed, most by liquid scintillation counting, but a few hundred by gas counting. Data obtained permitted calculation of flow paths, recycle times, total fluid volume, and estimates of retention times in various portions of the dump.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigation;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 7510
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 200 048
Page last reviewed: December 10, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division