In order to understand the heavy metal pollution status and ecological effect in aquatic environment around copper mine areas, seven heavy metals (Cd, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Zn, the Ni, and Pb) in aquatic environments in seven representative copper mine regions were selected from the literature in 2005–2013 for ecological risk assessment by using potential ecological risk index, geoaccumulation index, nemerow index and species sensitivity distribution method (Potential Affected Fraction (PAF) and Multi-Substance PAF (MSPAF)). The results of sediment ecological risk analysis showed that Cd, Cu and Pb were the main pollutants in sediments. The results of species sensitivity distribution analysis showed that the HC5 values (Hazardous Concentration for 5% of species) of seven heavy metals were different with order Zn > Cr > Cd > Pb > Cu > Ni > Hg. The MSPAF of seven copper mines in the following order with species sensitivity distribution method was as follows: Dabaoshan (99%) = Dahongshan (99%) = Baiyin (99%) > Dexing (97%) > Jinchuan (92%) > Tongling (39%) > Daye (24%). This study analyzes the impact of copper mining on the aquatic environment, and the results of this study will be great value for the comprehensive pollution governance of mining.
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