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Stamp sand literature review

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Stamp Sand[edit]

Rasmussen, Thomas, Rolland Fraser, David S. Lemberg, and Robert Regis. Mapping Stamp Sand Dynamics: Gay, Michigan

  • 25 billion kg of stamp sand deposited on Gay beaches
  • Length of shoreline affected increased 2.4 km in 59 years
  • 500 billion kg of total waste material from mines placed in and around Lake Superior
  • Ore was crushed and rinsed in a water and chemical bath to extract copper
  • Stamp sand beaches have little vegetation


W. Charles Kerfoot, Colin Brooks. “Gay Stamp Sands.” Accessed July 6, 2018. Gay Stamp Sands

  • Stamp sand spreads out to occupy more shoreline over time
  • Chemicals from stamp sand poison native fish and dam stream outlets


Stamp sand in the Keweenaw[edit]

  • Li, B., Hwang, J.Y., Drelich, J., Popko, D. and Bagley, S., 2010. Physical, chemical and antimicrobial characterization of copper-bearing material. JOM, 62(12), pp.80-85. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11837-010-0187-3
    • Arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, silver, and zinc are elements with strong antimicrobial properties. Among them, copper is more environmentally friendly and has both good antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has been shown that copper can even be effective against new viruses such as avian influenza (H5N1). Development of copper-bearing materials for various applications, therefore, is receiving increased attention. The Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan was the largest native copper mining regions of North America at the turn of the 20th century. Copper was extracted by mining the copper-rich basaltic rock, and steamdriven stamp mills were used to process a great volume of low-grade ores, resulting in huge amounts of crushed waste ore called stamp sands. Approximately 500 million tons of stamp sand were discarded. This material is investigated in this study as an example for the development of antimicrobial materials.
  • Drelich, J., Li, B., Villeneuve, B. and Bowen, P., 2013. Inexpensive mineral copper materials with antibacterial surfaces. Surface Innovations, 1(1), pp.15-26. https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/43355848/Inexpensive_mineral-copper_materials_wit20160304-25617-msdsa.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1534270808&Signature=znBR%2FPF%2F6xSXO1z32RkfLfGLQDs%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DInexpensive_mineral_copper_materials_wit.pdf
    • Inspired by the mining tradition of the Copper Country area in Michigan (USA) and the original objectives of Michigan Tech’s founders, a research program with the mission to explore and promote new materials and products containing copper has been developed. Both ionic and elemental copper have been proven to effectively inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi and molds. Use of inexpensive natural minerals carrying only small quantities of copper, but still possessing antimicrobial properties, would benefit market and cost of manufacturing of a variety of antimicrobial products. Natural copper-bearing minerals could serve as antimicrobial materials but they, unfortunately, occur rarely. Natural aluminosilicates, including clays and zeolites, can be either saturated with copper ions or loaded with copper nanoparticles. Such copper-containing aluminosilicates show strong activity against pathogenic bacteria. Embedded copper broadens and revalues the applications of these inexpensive
  • Jeong, J., Urban, N.R. and Green, S., 1999. Release of copper from mine tailings on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 25(4), pp.721-734.
    • Over 500 million tons of copper-rich mine tailings were dumped into lakes, rivers, wetlands, and along the shore of Lake Superior between 1850 and 1968. Metals leaching from mine residues have impacted ecosystems throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula as well as Lake Superior. The objective of this study was to elucidate the chemical processes that release Cu from mine tailings into the water. Copper in mining residues from three contrasting environments (lake sediments, wetland stamp stands, and exposed lakeshore tailings piles) was fractionated with a sequential extraction technique (SET) to identify and quantify the labile pools of copper. The SET revealed that the carbonate and oxide fractions were the largest pools of Cu (ca. 50 ∼ 80%) in lakeshore and wetland stamp sands whereas the organic matter fraction was the largest reservoir (ca. 32%) in the lake sediments. X-ray diffraction and SEM confirmed the presence of the copper-bearing minerals cuprite, tenorite, malachite, and elemental Cu. Size fractionation studies suggested that weathering of native (elemental) Cu results in enrichment of particle surfaces with Cu oxides and carbonates; fine particles also are enriched in these phases. Both laboratory titrations and computer modeling suggested that aqueous Cu concentrations are limited by mineral (malachite and copper(II) oxides) dissolution and precipitation reactions. Concentrations of DOC and pH depressions caused by microbial activity strongly affect the dissolved Cu concentrations. At some sites, aqueous concentrations of copper approach equilibrium with a Cu oxyhydroxide that has a solubility intermediate between that of cupric hydroxide (Cu(OH)2) and tenorite (CuO).
  • Gu, J., Xia, D.H., Gu, J., Liu, K.Q., Zhang, F., Wang, S.Z., Qi, Z.D. and Ao, W.Q., 2016. Recovery of Iron from Copper Tailings by Direct Reduction. In ADVANCED MATERIAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING AMSE2016 (pp. 219-230).
    • Direct reduction of copper tailings were performed to recover iron efficiently by carbon-containing pellets, and the metallization rate was gained by chemical analysis method. The results showed that the metallization rate of copper tailings was up to 85.32% and the best reduction parameters are also found. Content of precious metals, such as, gold, silver in copper tailings can be enriched by 1.8~1.9 times through removing iron. The apparent activation energy of direct reduction of iron oxide in copper tailings is calculated to be 125.4 kJ/mol and the restrictive factor of reduction process is solid diffusion.
  • Kerfoot, W.C., Urban, N.R., McDonald, C.P., Zhang, H., Rossmann, R., Perlinger, J.A., Khan, T., Hendricks, A., Priyadarshini, M. and Bolstad, M., 2018. Mining legacy across a wetland landscape: high mercury in Upper Peninsula (Michigan) rivers, lakes, and fish. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 20(4), pp.708-733.
    • A geographic enigma is that present-day atmospheric deposition of mercury in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is low (48%) and that regional industrial emissions have declined substantially (ca. 81% reduction) relative to downstate. Mercury levels should be declining. However, state (MDEQ) surveys of rivers and lakes revealed elevated total mercury (THg) in Upper Peninsula waters and sediment relative to downstate. Moreover, Western Upper Peninsula (WUP) fish possess higher methyl mercury (MeHg) levels than Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP) fish. A contributing explanation for elevated THg loading is that a century ago the Upper Peninsula was a major industrial region, centered on mining. Many regional ores (silver, copper, zinc, massive sulfides) contain mercury in part per million concentrations. Copper smelters and iron furnace-taconite operations broadcast mercury almost continuously for 140 years, whereas mills discharged tailings and old mine shafts leaked contaminated water. We show that mercury emissions from copper and iron operations were substantial (60–650 kg per year) and dispersed over relatively large areas. Moreover, lake sediments in the vicinity of mining operations have higher THg concentrations. Sediment profiles from the Keweenaw Waterway show that THg accumulation increased 50- to 400-fold above modern-day atmospheric deposition levels during active mining and smelting operations, with lingering MeHg effects. High MeHg concentrations are geographically correlated with low pH and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), a consequence of biogeochemical cycling in wetlands, characteristic of the Upper Peninsula. DOC can mobilize metals and elevate MeHg concentrations. We argue that mercury loading from mining is historically superimposed upon strong regional wetland effects, producing a combined elevation of both THg and MeHg in the Western Upper Peninsula.

minerals in plastics, paints, water purification and other products where antimicrobial properties are desirable

  • Jeong, J. and McDowell, S.D., 2003. Characterization and transport of contaminated sediments in the southern central Lake Superior. Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 2(02), p.111. https://file.scirp.org/pdf/JMMCE20030200004_27734693.pdf
    • Three major source sediments were characterized and classified in terms of mineralogical and chemical composition in the west coastal area of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Bulk chemical analysis reveals that concentrations of Cu, Ag, Co, and As were enriched in metal rich mine tailings. SEM-EDS analysis

indicates that the Ontonagon River sediments have high P and S concentrations. X-ray diffraction analysis of clay fraction shows that the mine tailings (chlorite rich) could be distinguished from the other two sources, Ontonagon River sediments (low chlorite and high illite) and Wisconsin red clay (low illite and high expandable phase). Local environmental conditions, including currents, bathymetry, weather conditions, and sediments texture, are important factors for cross-margin and longshore transport of contaminated sediments. The Keweenaw Current is responsible for the longshore transport of fine fraction of tailings, whereas wave action causes the lateral transport of the coarse deposits along the shore.

  • Kerfoot, W.C., Urban, N.R., McDonald, C.P., Rossmann, R. and Zhang, H., 2016. Legacy mercury releases during copper mining near Lake Superior. J. Great Lakes Res, 42, pp.50-61.
    • To examine issues of mercury contamination in lake sediments and fish, we require insight into historic sources of mercury and details of watershed methyl mercury (MeHg) cycling. Modern-day National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) estimates of atmospheric mercury deposition in the upper Midwest region range from 4–10 μg/m2/y (wet only) to 5–30 μg/m2/y (gross deposition). Sedimentary records from scattered Michigan lakes, removed from mining sites, record around 5–24 μg/m2/y modern THg deposition. However, these values are not representative of historic deposition near mining sites. On the Keweenaw Peninsula, mercury occurs naturally in copper ores and was discharged by smelting and stamp mill (tailings) operations. Here we examine mercury fluxes into two lakes (Portage and Torch Lake, portions of the Keweenaw Waterway) off Lake Superior, part of the previous Torch Lake Superfund site. Total mercury fluxes document greatly enhanced mercury loading (mean ca. 1590 μg/m2/y; peaks of 5120 to 21,300 μg/m2/y) during the height of copper mining (1880–1930), followed by a rapid decline once activities ceased. Methylmercury profiles appear to document both current methylation and historic methylation during mining operations. Time differences in MeHg and THg profiles may relate to watershed delivery time lags, toxic effects of copper on methylating bacteria, or to stratigraphic mobility. Whereas rapid sedimentation and lowered copper flux are promoting ecosystem recovery in Portage Lake, slower burial by organic-rich sediments is enhancing metal concentrations in Torch Lake sediments.
  • Cusack, C.C. and Mihelcic, J.R., 1999. Sediment toxicity from copper in the Torch Lake (MI) Great Lakes area of concern. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 25(4), pp.735-743.
    • Torch Lake (MI) is a Federal Superfund Site and a Great Lakes Area of Concern. Torch Lake was impacted by over 200 million tons of copper rich mine tailings that were deposited in and along the shores of the lake. Twenty percent of the volume of the lake was displaced and the sediments have high concentrations of copper (1,000 mg/kg dry weight on average). Pore water from four sediment cores was analyzed at incremental depths for copper, total organic carbon, and toxicity using the Microtox 90% Comparison Test. Cores were also analyzed for copper and organic matter in the dry sediments. Statistical evaluation of data indicated that the upper sediments compared to the deeper sediments: 1) were less toxic (49% light loss versus 68%); 2) contained less pore water copper (0.59 mg/L vs. 0.81 mg/L); 3) had a higher percent organic matter (2.2% vs. 1.6%); and, 4) had no difference in the solid phase copper concentrations. Further evaluation of the sediment toxicity through direct comparison to copper chloride standards demonstrated that all pore water samples had reduced toxicity. The reduced toxicity of the pore water samples was reproduced by adding synthetic organic carbon to the copper chloride standards. These findings have implications for the EPA's No Action alternative for the sediments of Torch Lake. In making their recommendation, the EPA cites that preliminary data (believed to be obtained from nearby Portage Lake) shows that the sediments of Torch Lake are being covered and detoxified by natural sedimentation. However, total copper concentrations in the sediments from the south basin of Torch Lake do not indicate that the sediments are being covered and diluted by natural organic matter laden particles. Also, detoxification may be difficult to demonstrate without a baseline of sedimentation readings for comparison. In fact, solid phase copper concentrations may remain high due to scouring and erosion of surrounding stamp sand beaches or the steep side walls of the lake. This instability of particles has important implications for future restoration and monitoring activities in Torch Lake.

Stamp sand uses[edit]

Alfred a. United States US1310520A, issued July 22, 1919. Portland Cement and Conglomerate Copper Stamp Sand Composition

  • Patent was created for a material to be used in flooring that will be exerted to unusual physical strain as well as in ship hulls
  • Product is water impermeable
  • Composition created using Portland cement and stamp sand obtained from Point Mills, Michigan
  • Various sizes of sand used depending on desired result/product


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health Consultation, Torch Lake

  • Chemicals used to treat stamp sands to further extract copper include cupric ammonium carbonate, lime, pyridine oil, coal-tar and wood creosotes, pine oil, and xanthates
  • 200 Million tons of stamp sand in and around Torch Lake
  • Sand samples were tested and found to contain unsafe levels of arsenic, lead, and other semi-volatile organic chemicals


Cost of stamp sand[edit]

Gundlach Champion Gay, Michigan. Accessed July 6, 2018. Gay Stamp Sand Beneficial Re-Use

  • Potential uses for stamp sand include rock wool insulation, asphault roofing shingle granules, and copper extraction.
  • Testing on the process of creating rock wool insulation is in process in Europe
  • Initial testing on the shingles has been found acceptable


Landfill tipping costs of stamp sand[edit]

ProQuest. Accessed July 7, 2018. Powering an Industry: The History of the Calumet and Hecla Electrical System and the Environmental Consequences Left Behind.

  • Mining in the US today produces 2 billion tons of waste per year
  • Mines in Montana and Utah have similar levels of dangerous chemicals in their stamp sands
  • Stamp sands in Torch Lake contain polychlorinated biphenyl compound (PCB) which is proven to cause environmental harm


Leopold, Dennis H. n.d., 71. Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad Engine House Facility Management and Interpretive Plan

  • Quincy Mine began to have a surplus of excess mine rock and used the Portage Canal shores as a dumping ground

Other[edit]

“Final TE Copy.Pdf.” Accessed July 7, 2018. Migrating Stamp Sand Mitigation Plan Technical Evaluation

  • Because of the amount of stamp sands in the UP, complete removal is not realistic
  • To keep stamp sand on Gay beaches from migrating towards Traverse harbor, a revetment will be placed costing 1.62 million dollars. 2 maintenance dredges will be preformed as well which will add to a total project cost of 3.42 million dollars.


References[edit]