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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1047; doi:10.3390/ijerph13111047

Heavy Metal Pollution from Gold Mines: Environmental Effects and Bacterial Strategies for Resistance

Food Security and Safety Niche Area, Faculty of Agriculture, Science and Technology, North-West University, Private Bag X2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa
Department of Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, UNISA, Florida, Private Bag X6 Florida, Roodepoort 1710, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 16 May 2016 / Revised: 12 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 October 2016 / Published: 26 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [343 KB, uploaded 26 October 2016]


Mining activities can lead to the generation of large quantities of heavy metal laden wastes which are released in an uncontrolled manner, causing widespread contamination of the ecosystem. Though some heavy metals classified as essential are important for normal life physiological processes, higher concentrations above stipulated levels have deleterious effects on human health and biota. Bacteria able to withstand high concentrations of these heavy metals are found in the environment as a result of various inherent biochemical, physiological, and/or genetic mechanisms. These mechanisms can serve as potential tools for bioremediation of heavy metal polluted sites. This review focuses on the effects of heavy metal wastes generated from gold mining activities on the environment and the various mechanisms used by bacteria to counteract the effect of these heavy metals in their immediate environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioremediation; environmental pollution; metal toxicity; mine wastes bioremediation; environmental pollution; metal toxicity; mine wastes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fashola, M.O.; Ngole-Jeme, V.M.; Babalola, O.O. Heavy Metal Pollution from Gold Mines: Environmental Effects and Bacterial Strategies for Resistance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1047.

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