Impact of Mining Activities on the Terrestrial and Aquatic Environment with Emphasis on Mitigation and Remedial Measures
Mining activities have both local and regional impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Mines produce large quantities of waste-rock and tailings which must be disposed of on land or into aquatic ecosystems. The major results in terms of contamination by heavy metals are areas of wasteland and sources of acid and metal-rich runoff from land-sited tailings piles or waste-rock heaps and the subsequent pollution of soils, lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. After the fact remediation or control of leachates from tailings and waste-rock on land or remediation of waterways polluted by mine tailings are being found to be complicated and expensive. New mines often successfully incorporate mitigation measures that are economically sound in the long-term. This paper overviews these problems and concerns with examples from around the world.
KeywordsClay Nickel Arsenic Income Radium
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