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Can inorganic fertilizer substitute for organic amendments in the rehabilitation of saline, sodic ore refining residues?

Bell, R.W., Fletcher, N., Samaraweera, M.K.S.A. and Krockenberger, I. (2003) Can inorganic fertilizer substitute for organic amendments in the rehabilitation of saline, sodic ore refining residues? In: ORBIT 2003 : organic recovery and biological treatment : proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of ORBIT Association on Biological Processing of Organics: Advances for a Sustainable Society, 30 April - 2 May, Perth, Western Australia pp. 602-611.

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    Abstract

    Organic amendments would generally be attractive additions for revegetation of ore refining residues that mostly contain negligible organic matter. However organic materials may not be available on mine sites in sufficient quantities and are bulky to handle. In the present study, the opportunities for substituting inorganic fertilisers in place of organic materials (poultry manure, and straw) were investigated for three alkaline, variably saline residues: Bauxite residue (mixed sand and clay fractions), Bauxite Residue sand, and Gold oxide residue. On gypsum-amended, leached Residue sand and Bauxite residue N, P, and Mn were potentially deficient for plant growth. On the Residue sand, complete inorganic fertiliser was effective in stimulating plant growth because it corrected the deficiencies of N and P and partially corrected Mn deficiency. By contrast, on bauxite residue and gold oxide residue which remained saline, sodic and alkaline even with gypsum amendment and leaching, inorganic fertiliser alone was not effective in correcting nutrient deficiencies on these residues and plant growth was strongly limited by excessive CI uptake. Maximum growth on Bauxite and Gold oxide residues was obtained with a combination of inorganic fertiliser and poultry manure. On the strongly saline and alkaline silty clay residues, inorganic fertiliser alone was a poor substitute for organic amendments which supplied nutrients and increased plant tolerance to saline substrate.

    Publication Type: Conference Paper
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
    Notes: In: Pullammanappallil, P., McComb, A., Diaz, L.F. and Bidlingmaier, W. (eds), ORBIT 2003 : organic recovery and biological treatment : proceedings of the fourth International Conference of ORBIT Association on biological processing of organics : advances for a sustainable society : 30 April-2 May 2003, Perth, Australia, pp 602-611.
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/11074
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