Environmental chemistry and mineralogy of particulate air matter around Selebi Phikwe nickel-copper plant, Botswana

G. Ekosse, D. J. Van den Heever, L. De Jager, O. Totolo

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

17 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed at chemically and mineralogically characterizing whole particulate air matter (PAM) occurring at the Selebi Phikwe nickel-copper (Ni-Cu) area in Botswana, and postulating its possible environmental implications. Heavy metals concentrations in PAM samples around the Selebi Phikwe Ni-Cu plant were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry and the mineral phases identified by X-ray powder diffraction technique. The particles consisted of quartz, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, albite and djurleite. Concentration levels of heavy metals contained in PAM samples could be related to mineral phases present. Quite significantly is the occurrence of djurleite, which has not been found in both the orebody and surrounding soils. Djurleite polymorphs formed from secondary mineralization of chalcocite and the gases H2S and SO2 released from concentration/smelting processes. Possible environmental chemistry of the whole PAM based on its mineralogy at Selebi Phikwe area is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-353
Number of pages5
JournalMinerals Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2004
EventProcessing and Disposal of Minerals Industry Waste 2003 - Falmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 18 2003Jun 18 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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