Effectiveness of pig sludge as organic amendment of different textural class mine tailings with different periods of amendment-contact time.


Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago, Chile. Electronic address: [Email]


The present study assesses the effect of tailing texture (loamy sand (LT) and sandy loam (ST)), dose of pig sludge (0, 50, 100 and 200 t ha-1) and amendment-contact time (14, 28 and 42 days) on physicochemical quality of amended substrate using Lolium perenne var Nui as a bioindicator. The main properties of LT differed of ST in levels of total organic carbon (0.19 and 0.58%), in pH (4.6 and 8.5), total Cu (202 and 1647 mg kg-1) and Zn content (31 and 137 mg kg-1). Soil pore water of experimental substrates was characterized for pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and Cu2+ ion activity (pCu2+) while ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N), infiltration rate and general physicochemical characteristics were measured in substrates. Shoot biomass (SB), root biomass (RB) and the RB:SB ratio was calculated for L. perenne. The results showed there to be a significant interaction (p < 0.05) between tailing texture, sludge dose and amendment-contact time for pCu2+, infiltration rate, SB, RB, and RB: SB ratio, but not for pH, EC, or NH4+-N. However, sludge dose and amendment-contact time significantly affected all variables. By increasing dosages of pig sludge, pore water pH increased, and this was associated with decreases in pCu2+ and the infiltration rate. High doses of pig sludge (100 and 200 t ha-1) impaired growth of L. perenne irrespective of tailing texture and amendment-contact time, likely because of the rise of EC (up to 14 mS cm-1). For both tailing textures, the highest biomass was obtained after incorporation of 50 t ha-1 of pig sludge, with increasing values as amendment-contact time rose. In conclusion, effective management of pig sludge for tailing reclamation should guarantee doses <50 t ha-1 and amendment-contact time >28 days, irrespective of tailing texture.


Amendment management,Mine residues,Remediation,Stabilization time,Swine waste,