Advertisement

Impact of Platinum Group Element Emissions from Mining and Production Activities

  • Sebastien RauchEmail author
  • Olalekan S. Fatoki
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Road Dust Kola Peninsula Platinum Group Element Global Biogeochemical Cycle Platinum Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

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).

References

  1. Barbante C, Veysseyre A, Ferrari C, Van de Velde K, Morel C, Capodaglio G, Cescon P, Scarponi G, Boutron C (2001) Greenland snow evidence of large scale atmospheric contamination for platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Environ Sci Technol 35:835–839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blacksmith Institute (2013) The worlds worst 2013: the top ten toxic threats. blacksmith institute, New York, USA. http://www.worstpolluted.org/. Accessed 20 Dec 2013
  3. Boyd R, Niskavaara H, Kontas E, Chekushin V, Pavlov V, Often M, Reimann C (1997) Anthropogenic noble-metal enrichment of topsoil in the Monchegorsk area, Kola peninsula, northwest Russia. Geochem Explor 58:283–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyd R, Barnes S-J, de Caritat P, Chekushin VA, Melezhik V, Reimann C, Zientek M (2009) Emissions from the copper-nickel industry on the Kola Peninsula and at Noril’sk, Russia. Atmos Environ 43:1474–1480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cawthorn RG (1999) The platinum and palladium resources of the Bushweld Complex. S Afr J Sci 95:481–489Google Scholar
  6. Dudka S, Adriano DC (1997) Environmental impacts of metal ore mining and processing: a review. J Environ Qual 26:590–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ek KH, Morrison GM, Rauch S (2004) Environmental routes for platinum group elements to biological materials—a review. Sci Total Environ 334:21–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gregurek D, Melcher F, Niskavaara H, Pavlov VA, Reimann C, Stumpfl EF (1999) Platinum-group elements (Rh, Pt, Pd) and Au distribution in snow samples from the Kola Peninsula, NW Russia. Atmos Environ 33:3281–3290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gregurek D, Reimann C, Stumpfl EF (1998) Trace elements and precious metals in snow samples from the immediate vicinity of nickel processing plants, Kola Peninsula, northwest Russia. Environ Pollut 102:221–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Haus DN, Zimmermann S, Wiegand J, Sures B (2007) Occurrence of platinum and additional traffic related heavy metals in sediments and biota. Chemosphere 66:619–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Johnson-Matthey (2003) The expansion of platinum mining in South Africa. In: platinum 2003. Johnson-Matthey, London, UK. pp 14–17Google Scholar
  12. Johnson-Matthey (2004) PGM mining in Russia. In: Platinum 2004. Johnson-Matthey, London, UK. pp 16–21Google Scholar
  13. Johnson-Matthey (2013) Platinum 2013. Johnson-Matthey, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  14. Moldovan M, Rauch S, Gómez M, Palacios MA, Morrison GM (2001) Bioaccumulation of palladium, platinum and rhodium from urban particulates and sediments by the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus. Water Res 35:4175–4183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Moldovan M, Veschambre S, Amouroux D, Benech B, Donard OFX (2007) Platinum, palladium, and rhodium in fresh snow from the aspe valley (Pyrenees Mountains, France). Environ Sci Technol 41:66–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Niskavaara H, Kontas E, Reimann C (2004) Regional distribution and sources of Au, Pd and Pt in moss and O-, B- and C-horizon podzol samples in the European arctic. Geochem Explor Environ Anal 4:143–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nriagu JO, Pacyna JM (1988) Quantitative assessment of worldwide contamination of air, water and soils by trace metals. Nature 333:134–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pacyna JM (1984) Estimation of the atmospheric emissions of trace elements from anthropogenic sources in Europé. Atmos Environ 18:41–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Peucker-Ehrenbrink B, Jahn BM (2001) Rhenium-osmium isotope systematics and platinum group element concentrations: loess and the upper continental crust. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 2, 1061Google Scholar
  20. Rauch S, Hemond HF, Barbante C, Owari M, Morrison GM, Peucker-Ehrenbrink B, Wass U (2005) Importance of automobile exhaust catalyst emissions for the deposition of platinum, palladium, and rhodium in the Northern Hemisphere. Environ Sci Technol 39:8156–8162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rauch S, Morrison GM (2008) The environmental relevance of platinum group elements. Elements 4:259–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rauch S, Fatoki OS (2010) Platinum and lead in South African road dust. In: Rauch et al. (Eds) Highway and Urban Environment. Springer, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-90-481-3043-6Google Scholar
  23. Rauch S, Fatoki OS (2013) Anthropogenic platinum enrichment in the vicinity of mines in the bushveld igneous complex. S Afr Water Air Soil Pollut 224:1395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rauch S, Peucker-Ehrenbrink B, Kylander ME, Weiss DJ, Martinez-Cortizas A, Heslop D, Olid C, Mighall TM, Hemond HF (2010) Anthropogenic forcings on the surficial osmium cycle. Environ Sci Technol 44:881–887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ravindra K, Bencs L, Van Grieken R (2004) Platinum group elements in the environment and their health risk. Sci Total Environ 318:1–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Reimann C, Äyräs M, Chekushin VA, Bogatyrev I, Boyd R, de Caritat P, Dutter R, Finne TE, Halleraker JH, Jäger Ø, Lehto O, Niskavaara H, Räisänen ML, Starnd T, Volden T (1998) Environmental Geochemical Atlas of the Central Barents Region. NGU-GTK-CKE Special Publication, Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  27. Reimann C, Niskavaara H (2006) Regional distribution of Pd, Pt and Au-emissions from the Nickel Industry on the Kola Peninsula, NW-Russia, as seen in moss and hummus samples. In: Zereini F, Alt F (Eds) Palladium emissions into the environment. Springer, Heidelberg, ISBN 978-3-540-29219-7Google Scholar
  28. Sen IS, Peucker-Ehrenbrink B, Geboy N (2013) Complex anthropogenic sources of platinum group elements in aerosols on Cape Cod, USA. Environ Sci Technol 47:10188–10196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wilhelm HJ, Zhang H, Chen FL, Elsenbroek JH, Lombard M, deBruin D (1997) Geochemical exploration for platinum-group elements in the Bushveld complex, South Africa. Miner Deposita 32:349–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhulidov AV, Robarts RD, Pavlov DF, Kämäri J, Gurtovaya TY, Meriläinen JJ, Pospelov IN (2011) Long-term changes of heavy metal and sulphur concentrations in ecosystems of the Taymyr Peninsula (Russian Federation) North of the Norilsk Industrial Complex. Environ Monit Assess 181:539–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Faculty of Applied SciencesCape Peninsula University TechnologyCape TownSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations