Pollution and Remediation in Mining and Metallurgical Districts

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (17 February 2023) | Viewed by 9854

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Czech Geological Survey, 152 00 Praha, Czech Republic
Interests: trace elements; environment; geochemistry; mineralogy

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Guest Editor
Department of Geology, Palacký University Olomouc, 771 47 Olomouc, Czech Republic
Interests: geochemistry of mine tailings; geochemical modelling; arsenic; modeling of reactive transport

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Guest Editor
Central Mining Institute, plac Gwarków 1, 40-166 Katowice, Poland
Interests: hydrogeology; water protection; groundwater contamination; groundwater modelling; mine water modelling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As the demand for mineral resources continues to grow worldwide, the impact of mining and ore processing will be an increasingly important concern in the field of environmental science. This Special Issue is expected to provide an international platform for geochemists, geologists, technologists and environmental scientists to present their studies which focus on the environmental problems related to mining and raw materials processing under different geological, hydrogeological, geomorphological and climatic conditions. Papers in this Special Issue are intended to summarize new data and new methods in the evaluation of soils, terrestrial ecosystems, streams and ground waters contamination, and to elucidate factors controlling the dispersion of pollutants. Special attention should be paid to the remediation measures to be implemented to reduce the negative impacts of mining and mineral processing on the environment and human health.

This Special Issue aims to contribute, using multi-disciplinary approach, to more sustainable development and use of natural resources, efficient environmental impact assessments and reclamation of districts affected by mining and smelting.

In general, this Special Issue is arranged (but not restricted) to include the following sections:

Section 1. Evaluation of the areal extent of soil and plant contamination in mining and mineral processing districts, identification of contaminants sources and use of a Geographic Information System (GIS)-aided technique for the assessment of environmental risks.

Section 2. The determination of the impacts of contaminated soils on the environment and human health and migration process of contaminants to reach human receptors.

Section 3. Rehabilitation techniques (including phytoremediation) and the risk assessment associated with shutdown of mines or mineral processing sites.

Section 4. The assessment of the sources, scope and intensity of leaching and attenuation of contaminants in the local drainage systems and ground water.

Dr. Bohdan Kříbek
Prof. Dr. Ondřej Šráček
Dr. Grzegorz Gzyl
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. Minerals 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 2400 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

  • soil contamination
  • streams and ground water contamination
  • mining
  • smelters
  • mineralogical and geochemical speciation of contaminants
  • contaminants dispersion modelling
  • crop contamination
  • environmental risk assessment
  • impact of contamination to human health
  • remediation technics after mines and smelters shutdown

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 5361 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Surface Water on Windborne Lead Dispersion from the Zinc Plant Leach Residue in Kabwe, Zambia
by Shinsaku Nakamura, Toshifumi Igarashi, Yoshitaka Uchida, Mayumi Ito, Kazuyo Hirose, Tsutomu Sato, Walubita Mufalo, Meki Chirwa, Imasiku Nyambe, Hokuto Nakata, Shouta Nakayama and Mayumi Ishizuka
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050535 - 25 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
Effects of the water content of ground surface on windborne lead (Pb) dispersion from the zinc (Zn) leach residue site at the Kabwe mine, Zambia, were simulated. The Pb-bearing Zn plant leach residue site was selected as the source of the dispersion, and [...] Read more.
Effects of the water content of ground surface on windborne lead (Pb) dispersion from the zinc (Zn) leach residue site at the Kabwe mine, Zambia, were simulated. The Pb-bearing Zn plant leach residue site was selected as the source of the dispersion, and water conditions of the surface of the source were evaluated by the modified normalized difference water index (MNDWI) under the actual weather conditions in the year 2019. The MNDWI was calculated based on Sentinel-2 datasets, which were acquired in the year 2019. The index was used for monitoring the surface condition of the source necessary for simulating Pb dispersion, because the higher surface water content reduces the intensity of windborne source. The results showed that the wind speeds and directions had huge impacts on Pb dispersion when the MNDWI had negative values, and that the dispersion was inhibited when the MNDWI had positive values. These indicate that the water content of the surface is sensitive to dispersion, and that MNDWI is an effective parameter that expresses the source strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining and Metallurgical Districts)
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12 pages, 1753 KiB  
Article
Simulation to Recover Niobium and Tantalum from the Tin Slags of the Old Penouta Mine: A Case Study
by Ricardo Magdalena, Alicia Valero, Guiomar Calvo, Francisco J. Alguacil and Félix Antonio López
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101123 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3078
Abstract
Demand for niobium and tantalum is increasing exponentially as these are essential ingredients for the manufacture of, among others, capacitors in technological devices and ferroniobium. Mine tailings rich in such elements could constitute an important source of Nb and Ta in the future [...] Read more.
Demand for niobium and tantalum is increasing exponentially as these are essential ingredients for the manufacture of, among others, capacitors in technological devices and ferroniobium. Mine tailings rich in such elements could constitute an important source of Nb and Ta in the future and alleviate potential supply risks. This paper evaluates the possibility of recovering niobium and tantalum from the slags generated during the tin beneficiation process of mine tailings from the old Penouta mine, located in Spain. To do so, a simulation of the processes required to beneficiate and refine both elements is carried out. After carbothermic tin reduction, the slags are sent to a hydrometallurgical process where niobium oxide and tantalum oxide are obtained at the end. Reagents, water, and energy consumption, in addition to emissions, effluents, and product yields, are assessed. Certain factors were identified as critical, and recirculation was encouraged in the model to maximise production and minimise reagents’ use and wastes. With this simulation, considering 3000 production hours per year, the metal output from the tailings of the old mine could cover around 1% and 7.4% of the world annual Nb and Ta demand, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining and Metallurgical Districts)
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Review

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40 pages, 16161 KiB  
Review
Impact of Mining and Ore Processing on Soil, Drainage and Vegetation in the Zambian Copperbelt Mining Districts: A Review
by Bohdan Kříbek, Imasiku Nyambe, Ondra Sracek, Martin Mihaljevič and Ilja Knésl
Minerals 2023, 13(3), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13030384 - 9 Mar 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3967
Abstract
The regional environmental–geochemical surveying of the long-term impacts of mining and ore processing on a large part of the Zambian Copperbelt mining district was carried out by the Czech Research Group with cooperation of the Geology Department, University of Zambia, and the Geological [...] Read more.
The regional environmental–geochemical surveying of the long-term impacts of mining and ore processing on a large part of the Zambian Copperbelt mining district was carried out by the Czech Research Group with cooperation of the Geology Department, University of Zambia, and the Geological Survey of Zambia in the period 2002–2018. This included the characterization of various sources of contamination, the extent of contamination of soils and crops, and the degree of contamination of river water and sediments. Solid speciation studies of potentially harmful chemical elements (PHEs), plant and human bioaccessibility studies, and a range of mineralogical techniques were used to assess the pathways of PHE cycling in terrestrial and aqueous systems and their impacts on human health. Ores of the Zambian Copperbelt mining district are mined for Cu and Co, but a number of other trace elements (Pb, As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Zn) gradually accumulated in soils and stream sediments. It was concluded that the most important problems related to ore mining and processing are the contamination of soil and crops due to dust fall out from tailing facilities and emissions from smelters. Moreover, leakages of solutions from tailing dams, insufficient technological control of their stability and breakdowns on pipelines transporting slurry from treatment plants to tailing impoundments cause contamination of water courses and deposition of metal(loids) in stream sediments. However, the contamination of the Kafue River water is relatively limited due to its high neutralization capacity. In contrast, in some Kafue River tributaries, especially those close to big mining centers, the concentrations of dissolved Cu and Co are high (up to 14,752 μg/L and 1917 μg/L) and exceed Zambian effluent limits. We also recommend measures that could contribute to minimizing the impact of ore mining and processing on the environment and the health of the local population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollution and Remediation in Mining and Metallurgical Districts)
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