Impact of Platinum Group Element Emissions from Mining and Production Activities
South Africa and Russia are the world’s leading platinum group elements (PGE) producers with over 80 % of the global PGE output. Studies performed in the Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa and on the Kola Peninsula in Russia show that PGE mining and production activities are important regional PGE sources. Elevated PGE concentrations have been found in snow, soil, road dust, grass, moss and humus collected near PGE mining and production sites. The occurrence of elevated PGE concentrations near mining sites raises concern over environmental effects and exposure of the local population. Studies on the occurrence of PGE in remote environments also suggest that emissions from PGE production activities contribute to the global biogeochemical cycle of the PGE. The loss of PGE during metal production could be as much as 5 % of the global supply and represents a substantial economic loss. Studies on the impact of PGE mining and production activities are few. Further research is needed to better assess the environmental impact of PGE emissions from mining and production activities.
KeywordsRoad Dust Kola Peninsula Platinum Group Element Global Biogeochemical Cycle Platinum Concentration
The study of PGE contamination by PGE production activities in South Africa was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) under the Swedish Research Links programme and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF).
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