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Pollution and Remediation in Mining Areas

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2024) | Viewed by 10742

Special Issue Editors

School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430078, China
Interests: environmental chemistry; health effects; emerging organic contaminants; persistent toxic substances; monitoring techniques
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Guest Editor
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hubei Polytechnic University, Huangshi 435003, China
Interests: fate and transport of pollutants in multi-media environments; resource utilization of pollutants
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College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha 410004, China
Interests: ecological remediation; metal(loid) pollution; soil remediation; transport and transformation; ecotoxicology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
College of Land Resources and Environment, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China
Interests: risk assessment; heavy metal; soil fertility; ecological restoration; water and soil conservation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
College of Resources and Environment, Yangtze University, Wuhan 430100, China
Interests: environmental chemistry; soil pollution; phytoremediation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mining and smelting activities are the cornerstone for a model society, providing hugely important resources—for example, energy, metals and other valuable materials—for societal development around the world. However, these activities may produce some waste, such as tailings, waste residues, wastewater, and exhaust fumes that contain large amounts of pollutants, such as toxic heavy metals, which may result in severe pollution in the surrounding areas, impacting these areas at a large-scale (such as the whole river catchment or large areas of agriculture soil downstream) and posing a risk to the environment and human health if they are not treated appropriately.

To achieve sustainable development in society, governments and the public have paid great attention to mining and smelting activities, and the consequent pollution impact. Thus, it is necessary to monitor pollution status, evaluate the hazards of pollutants, assess their risk to ecology/environmental factors and human health, and develop remediation methods and restoration strategies for mining and smelting, as well as impacted areas.

This Special Issue aims to explore state-of-the-art perspectives on these issues, and attempts to provide a comprehensive overview. Original research articles and reviews are both welcome. Potential research topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. Pollutant monitoring and characteristics, as well as source diagnosis in the areas impacted by mining and smelting, considering different environmental matrixes (soil, water, sediment, air, biota, etc.);
  2. Processes and mechanisms of transport and transformation for pollutants during mining and smelting activities and impact on the surrounding areas;
  3. Hazard characterization of pollutants, and assessment of their risks to ecology, the environment and human health;
  4. Development and application of remediation methods, and restoration strategies in these areas;
  5. Treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes from mining and smelting areas;
  6. Corresponding strategies and practices for pollution management in these areas.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Sustainability.

Dr. Wei Chen
Prof. Dr. Jiaquan Zhang
Dr. Peng Zeng
Dr. Qin Zhang
Prof. Dr. Jie Luo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • ecological/environmental/human health risk assessment
  • source diagnosis
  • transport and transformation
  • heavy metals
  • organic pollutants
  • bioavailability
  • ecological restoration
  • (bio-)remediation
  • treatment and disposal of hazardous wastes
  • pollution management

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 3619 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Development of Underground Coal Resources in Shallow Groundwater Areas for Environment and Socio-Economic Considerations: A Case Study of Zhangji Coal Mine in China
by Ruiya Zhang and Yoginder P. Chugh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(6), 5213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20065213 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2374
Abstract
Coal resources in China are developed in several regions with shallow groundwater, and large mining-related surface subsidence can have negative impacts on agriculture, land and water resources as well as existing and future socio-economic resources. All these are important for sustainable resource development. [...] Read more.
Coal resources in China are developed in several regions with shallow groundwater, and large mining-related surface subsidence can have negative impacts on agriculture, land and water resources as well as existing and future socio-economic resources. All these are important for sustainable resource development. Dynamic subsidence reclamation (DSR) planning concepts are evaluated here for another case study with analyses over a 11-year period. In DSR topsoil, subsoil, farming, and water resources management are dynamically synergized concurrent with mining ahead of and behind the projected dynamic subsidence trough. The study area involved mining five longwall faces (and post-mining reclamation) to assess if DSR could have improved both the environment and socio-economic conditions for post-mining land use as compared to using traditional reclamation (TR) and TR-modified (TR(MOD)) approaches. The results show that: (1) Upon final reclamation, farmland area and water resources in DSR and TR (MOD) will have increased by 5.6% and 30.2% as compared to TR. Removing soils ahead of mining before they submerge into water is important for farmland reclamation and long-term economic development. (2) Due to topsoil and subsoil separation and storage in the DSR plan, reclaimed farmland productivity should recover quickly and agriculture production should be larger than TR and TR(MOD) plans. (3) For a simplified economic model, the total revenue in the DSR plan should be 2.8 times more than in TR and 1.2 times larger than in TR (MOD) plan. (4) The total net revenue of the TR(MOD) plan should be increased by 8.1% as compared with the TR plan. The benefits will be much greater for analyses over longer periods. Overall, the DSR plan will allow for an improved socio-economic environment for new businesses to support disrupted workforces during and after mining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining Areas)
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14 pages, 2811 KiB  
Article
Heavy Metals in Soil around a Typical Antimony Mine Area of China: Pollution Characteristics, Land Cover Influence and Source Identification
by Xiaoqian Li, Yaning Tang, Xinghua Wang, Xiaodong Song and Jiaxue Yang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032177 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1801
Abstract
To understand contamination characteristics and identify sources of heavy metals in soil affected by complex mine activities, a detailed survey of soil heavy metals from different land cover types was investigated around the Xikuangshan (XKS) antimony mine in south-central China. Soil samples had [...] Read more.
To understand contamination characteristics and identify sources of heavy metals in soil affected by complex mine activities, a detailed survey of soil heavy metals from different land cover types was investigated around the Xikuangshan (XKS) antimony mine in south-central China. Soil samples had average concentrations of Sb, As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb, Cu, Zn and Ni exceeding their background level in the Hunan province. Sb, As and Cd were the main pollutants. A total of 86.8% of samples were severely polluted, characterized by the Nemerow’s comprehensive index, and 68.4% of samples were of very high potential ecological risk, primarily contributed by Sb, Cd and Hg. Among different land cover patterns, Hg, Pb and Cd concentrations showed a statistically significant difference. The application of Pearson correlation, principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) combined with spatial interpolation GIS mapping revealed that Ni, Cr and Cu were mainly from natural parent materials, whereas other heavy metals were related to anthropogenic sources. Pb, As and Hg were mainly derived from smelting processes of sulfide minerals in the XKS area. The agricultural practice is the main factor for the accumulation of Cd and Zn, and sphalerite smelting also contributed to high Zn concentrations. Particularly, spatial variation of soil Sb concentrations was affected by multiple factors of complex antimony mine activities related to mining, beneficiation and smelting in the XKS area. These results are useful for the prevention and reduction of heavy metal contamination in soils by various effective measures in typical regions affected by antimony mine activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining Areas)
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20 pages, 404 KiB  
Article
Effects of Digital Transformation on Environmental Governance of Mining Enterprises: Evidence from China
by Chaohui Xu, Xingtong Chen and Wei Dai
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416474 - 8 Dec 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
Digitization offers fresh impetus to the transformation and upgrading of mining enterprises, while on the other hand, the rapid development and broad application of digital technologies make the environmental governance of mining enterprises the most important themes of theoretical research and practical exploration. [...] Read more.
Digitization offers fresh impetus to the transformation and upgrading of mining enterprises, while on the other hand, the rapid development and broad application of digital technologies make the environmental governance of mining enterprises the most important themes of theoretical research and practical exploration. In this paper, A-share companies listed between 2007 and 2020 are taken as samples to study the influence of digital transformation on the environmental governance of mining enterprises, and its relative acting paths. Our main research methods are multiple linear regression analysis, the panel fixed-effect model and the intermediary effect model. The results show that digital transformation significantly improves the environmental governance of mining enterprises, which is still tenable even after going through a series of endogeneity and robustness tests. It is found via the path test that, by strengthening the supervision of the media, the digital transformation performed in mining enterprises helps improve their environmental governance level, but the comparability of the accounting data shows no significant mediation effect between digital transformation and environmental governance. The heterogeneity test found that the promotion of digital transformation in environmental governance was significant only in non-state-owned enterprises, large-scale enterprises, and mature-growth enterprises. The findings enrich studies on the economic consequences and the environmental governance influences brought by mining enterprise’s transformation based on advanced technologies. This provides an important reference and is of great heuristic significance in promoting digital transformation and strengthening the environmental governance of mining enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining Areas)
14 pages, 1809 KiB  
Article
Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Mimosa acutistipula Success in Amazonian Rehabilitating Minelands
by Sidney Vasconcelos do Nascimento, Héctor Herrera, Paulo Henrique de Oliveira Costa, Felipe Costa Trindade, Isa Rebecca Chagas da Costa, Cecílio Frois Caldeira, Markus Gastauer, Silvio Junio Ramos, Guilherme Oliveira and Rafael Borges da Silva Valadares
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 14441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114441 - 4 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1689
Abstract
Mimosa acutistipula is endemic to Brazil and grows in ferruginous outcrops (canga) in Serra dos Carajás, eastern Amazon, where one of the largest iron ore deposits in the world is located. Plants that develop in these ecosystems are subject to severe [...] Read more.
Mimosa acutistipula is endemic to Brazil and grows in ferruginous outcrops (canga) in Serra dos Carajás, eastern Amazon, where one of the largest iron ore deposits in the world is located. Plants that develop in these ecosystems are subject to severe environmental conditions and must have adaptive mechanisms to grow and thrive in cangas. Mimosa acutistipula is a native species used to restore biodiversity in post-mining areas in canga. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the adaptation of M. acutistipula in canga is essential to deduce the ability of native species to adapt to possible stressors in rehabilitating minelands over time. In this study, the root proteomic profiles of M. acutistipula grown in a native canga ecosystem and rehabilitating minelands were compared to identify essential proteins involved in the adaptation of this species in its native environment and that should enable its establishment in rehabilitating minelands. The results showed differentially abundant proteins, where 436 proteins with significant values (p < 0.05) and fold change ≥ 2 were more abundant in canga and 145 in roots from the rehabilitating minelands. Among them, a representative amount and diversity of proteins were related to responses to water deficit, heat, and responses to metal ions. Other identified proteins are involved in biocontrol activity against phytopathogens and symbiosis. This research provides insights into proteins involved in M. acutistipula responses to environmental stimuli, suggesting critical mechanisms to support the establishment of native canga plants in rehabilitating minelands over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining Areas)
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13 pages, 33622 KiB  
Article
Pollution Characteristics and Human Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Street Dust from a Typical Industrial Zone in Wuhan City, Central China
by Hong Chen, Changlin Zhan, Shan Liu, Jiaquan Zhang, Hongxia Liu, Ziguo Liu, Ting Liu, Xianli Liu and Wensheng Xiao
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10970; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710970 - 2 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2235
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the pollution levels, sources, and human health risks of heavy metals in street dust from a typical industrial district in Wuhan City, Central China. In total, 47 street dust samples were collected from the major traffic arteries and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the pollution levels, sources, and human health risks of heavy metals in street dust from a typical industrial district in Wuhan City, Central China. In total, 47 street dust samples were collected from the major traffic arteries and streets around Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Company (WISC) in Qingshan District, Wuhan. The concentrations of heavy metals (Cr, Mn, Ni, Zn, Fe, Cu, and Cd) in street dust were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Results indicated that the mean concentrations of Zn (249.71 mg/kg), Cu (51.15 mg/kg), and Cd (0.86 mg/kg) in street dust were higher than their corresponding soil background values in Hubei Province. Heavy metal enrichment is closely related to urban transportation and industrial production. The pollution level of heavy metals in street dust was assessed using the geo-accumulation method (Igeo) and potential ecological risk assessment (PERI). Based on the Igeo value, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni showed no pollution, Zn and Cu showed light to moderate contamination, and Cd showed moderate contamination. The PERI values of heavy metals in street dust ranged between 76.70 and 7027.28, which represents a medium to high potential ecological risk. Principal component analysis showed that the sources of heavy metals in street dust were mainly influenced by anthropogenic activities. Among the studied metals, Cu, Cr, Zn, Fe, and Mn mainly come from industrial processes, while Ni and Cd come from traffic exhaust. The non-carcinogenic risk indexes of heavy metals for children and adults are ranked as Cr > Cu > Ni > Cd > Zn. The health risks to children through the different exposure pathways are higher than those for adults. Hand-to-mouth intake is the riskiest exposure pathway for non-carcinogenic risk. In addition, Cr, Ni, and Cd do not pose a carcinogenic risk for the residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining Areas)
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