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Submarine Tailings in Chile—A Review

Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Universidad Arturo Prat, Almirante Juan José Latorre 2901, Antofagasta 1244260, Chile
Escuela de Ingeniería Civil de Minas, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Talca, Curicó 3340000, Chile
Departamento de Ingeniería en Metalurgia, Universidad de Atacama, Av. Copayapu 485, Copiapó 1531772, Chile
Departamento de Ingeniería Metalúrgica y Minas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta 1270709, Chile
Escuela De Ingeniería Química, Pontificia Universidad Católica De Valparaíso, Valparaíso 2340000, Chile
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jean François Blais and Fernando Castro
Metals 2021, 11(5), 780;
Received: 24 March 2021 / Revised: 29 April 2021 / Accepted: 9 May 2021 / Published: 11 May 2021
This review aims to understand the environmental impact that tailings produce on the land and marine ecosystem. Issues related to flora, fauna, and the environment are revised. In the first instance, the origin of the treatment and disposal of marine mining waste in Chile and other countries is studied. The importance of tailings’ valuable elements is analyzed through mineralogy, chemical composition, and oceanographic interactions. Several tailings’ treatments seek to recover valuable minerals and mitigate environmental impacts through leaching, bioleaching, and flotation methods. The analysis was complemented with the particular legislative framework for every country, highlighting those with formal regulations for the disposal of tailings in a marine environment. The available registry on flora and fauna affected by the discharge of toxic metals is explored. As a study case, the “Playa Verde” project is detailed, which recovers copper from marine tailings, and uses phytoremediation to neutralize toxic metals. Countries must regularize the disposal of marine tailings due to the significant impact on the marine ecosystem. The implementation of new technologies is necessary to recover valuable elements and reduce mining waste. View Full-Text
Keywords: underwater tailing dumps; environmental impact; mining waste underwater tailing dumps; environmental impact; mining waste
MDPI and ACS Style

Rodríguez, F.; Moraga, C.; Castillo, J.; Gálvez, E.; Robles, P.; Toro, N. Submarine Tailings in Chile—A Review. Metals 2021, 11, 780.

AMA Style

Rodríguez F, Moraga C, Castillo J, Gálvez E, Robles P, Toro N. Submarine Tailings in Chile—A Review. Metals. 2021; 11(5):780.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rodríguez, Freddy, Carlos Moraga, Jonathan Castillo, Edelmira Gálvez, Pedro Robles, and Norman Toro. 2021. "Submarine Tailings in Chile—A Review" Metals 11, no. 5: 780.

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