China is a major nation of mining production and consumption in the world. Many provinces and cities possess high-quality lead-zinc mine in China, however, due to the unreasonable utilization, the large number of lead-zinc tailings are piled up for a long time, which takes up a lot of lands. Besides, a large amount of heavy metals results in severe soil and river pollution through releasing and migration. Then these polluted water enters the crops through irrigation and enters into the human body through the food chain, finally threatens to people's health and living environment near the mine.
High-efficient use of lead-zinc tailings can not only generate economic benefits for enterprise, but also greatly reduce environmental pollution. According to the different compositions and properties of lead-zinc tailings in different areas, many mineral processing plants adopted different means to deal with lead-zinc tailings. For those lead-zinc tailings with high oxide content (SiO2, Fe2O3, Al2O3), a mineral processing plant used them to produce cement clinker with iron powder in the case of radioactive qualification. The study found that the lead-zinc tailings contained a small amount of microelement with certain mineralization, which can improve the burnability of portland cement. At the same time, lead-zinc tailings can increase the strength of cement clinker and improve cement's performance. What's more, lead-zinc tailings can also be used for building materials and mines filling. Pyrite is the main raw material of the industrial sulfuric acid, and some mineral processing plants usually separate the lead, zinc, copper and other metals by inhibiting pyrite, and then activate the pyrite in the tailings for recycling.
The most effective way to reduce tailings pollution is to reduce their discharge. Improving the utilization of lead-zinc tailings can not only reduce the environmental pollution, but also can realize the comprehensive utilization of mineral resources.
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