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Arkadiusz Bauerek*, Małgorzata Bebek*, Barbara Białecka*, Krzysztof Mitko*, Maciej Thomas**
*Central Mining Institute, Katowice, Poland; **F.P.H.U. Chemiqua, Kraków, Poland
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Abstract
The aim of the research was comparison rare earth elements contents in acidic waters related to coal mining in the eastern part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), southern Poland, and the former lignite mining in the Polish part of the Muskau Bend. Acidic runoff waters flowing down from mine waste piles in the USCB are enriched with REEs (ΣREEs 478.5 and 1831.9 µg/l) compared to waters filling old lignite mining excavations (ΣREEs 19.7-145.3 µg/l). High concentrations of REEs in acidic waters from the USCB result from their high aggressiveness (acidity 1020 mg/l CaCO3 and 3820 mg/l CaCO3, pH 2.4 and 3.0) to loamy sediments being a source of REEs, and increase as the time of their contact increases. Concentrations of NASC-normalized REEs show that waters from the USCB are enriched in MREEs (Sm, Eu, Gd and Tb), while the waters from the Muskau Bend are characterized by a positive anomaly of LREEs (La and Ce) and a less marked anomaly of MREEs (Gd, Tb and Dy).

Keywords 

acid mine drainage (AMD), rare earth elements (REE), coal, lignite, acidity, sulfates

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