Nakhl

Abandoned chromite-extraction pit filled with water in Oman.

Oman hosts one of the most extensive ophiolite outcrops. These rocks are holding naturally occurring large amounts of Cr (called also geogenic Cr) mainly through the existence of the spinel (mineral) chromite. Fortunately, Cr in chromite is in the form of Cr(III) which is the less toxic and less prone to be released in the groundwater. Cr(VI) is mainly derived from natural alteration which involves oxidation from Cr(III) to Cr(VI).

Water sampling by SQU students at Nakhl open pit mine.

In the mountainous areas of Samail, Nakhl and Yuncal the project focuses in former mining areas and flooded open pits of previous mine extraction sites. It is well known that numerous areas in Oman have been excavated for metals like Cr, Cu and others. These areas are holding groundwater which is truly valuable in the present extreme arid conditions. The understanding of the water quality on these areas is vital in the post-mining period.