Exploring the Coagulant Capability of Moringa oleifera seed powder at reducing Turbidity in Gold Mine Tailings Slurry

Paul M. Murray, Shanomae Rose & Chetwynd Osborne (2022)

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Paul M. Murray. Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, Georgetown, Guyana.

Shanomae Rose ✉️, Chetwynd Osborne. Department of Environmental Studies. Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Guyana – Turkeyen Campus. Greater Georgetown, Guyana.



Moringa oleifera is characterised as an effective alternative to traditional approaches for the treatment of gold mine tailings spoils, particularly for its low cost, non-toxic nature, and simple application. This study investigated the use of M. oleifera seed powder as a primary coagulant for the treatment of gold mine tailings with respect to turbidity reduction, and the effect of varying pH on the coagulation process. The tailings sample used in the study was collected from an active mining operation in the Waiamu area, Cuyuni Mining District 4, Guyana; with the average turbidity ranging between 216.33 ± 4.62 and 275.33 ± 8.33 NTU. The standard jar test procedure was used to assess the efficiency of the M. oleifera coagulant based on measurements of turbidity reduction. M. oleifera was found to be an effective coagulant for reducing turbidity in the selected gold mine tailing pond, with the best turbidity reduction being 91.31 ± 0.53%. Further evidence from the study suggested that at the optimum coagulant concentration of 250mg/L, turbidity reduction changed as pH levels (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) were altered, whereby reduction at the natural pH level of 7 (control) was 91.31 ± 0.53%; and following adjustments of pH levels to 5, 6, 8 and 9, turbidity was reduced by 85.00 ± 0.58%, 84.88 ± 0.94%, 77.81 ± 5.21% and 74.16 ± 5.28% respectively. Therefore, strong knowledge of biological approaches for the treatment of gold mine tailings spoils would be pivotal to support long-term decisions on wastes management and disposal.

Keywords: Moringa oleifera, tailings, turbidity, gold mining, pH


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