The mineralogists and ANKA users Dr. Bronislav Lalinkská and Prof. Dr. Juraj Majzan receive an award by the renowned journal "The Canadian Mineralogist".
Since 1995 the Mineralogical Association Canada (MAC) honors the best article of the year in "The Canadian Mineralogist" with the Hawley Medal. From altogether 115 articles published in 2012 a three-headed jury chose "Mineralogy of weathering products of Fe-As-Sb mine wastes and soils at several Sb deposits in Slovakia" for the award.
The scientists around Borislava Lalinská-Voleková (Uni. of Bratislava) and Juraj Majzlan (Uni. of Jena) examined slag of retired antimony mines in Slovakia. Their main interest lay in the two elements arsenic and antimony and their influence on the environment. In the award-winning article the scientists prove that under the current physico-chemical parameters arsenic stays mobile and therefore has great impact on the environment while antimony remains in the slag and is hardly ever released.
Microfocused X-Ray diffraction analyses (μ-XRD) were required in order to answer the questions. The analyses were carried out at the SUL-X beamline at the synchrotron radiation source ANKA together with the Dr. Ralph Steininger and Dr. Jörg Göttlicher, the responsible beamline scientists.
High intensity focused X-Rays, as generated at synchrotron radiation sources like ANKA, make it possible to measure hundreds of data points in just a few days. Thus, representative sample quantities which are mandatory for profound mineralogical analyses of heterogeneous slag material can be collected with a high level of detail.
All in all the jury was impressed by the article from the altogether nine German and Slovakian authors: "The article impresses by its large amounts of environmentally relevant data and analyses, which make the article exceptionally significant."
Since there are also retired mines in Germany with similar problems as in Slovakia an extensive data gathering and analyses makes equally sense to examine the mineralogy and geochemistry of mining slag and if necessary analytically support renovation steps.