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The Environmental Threats of Water and Soil Surrounding the Mine

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2021) | Viewed by 379

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Fluid Mechanics, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Colón 7–11, 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Interests: groundwater; contamination; environmental engineering; modeling; geochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In mining areas, ore exploitation may generate an important source of contamination in surface waters, groundwater, and soils located in the vicinity of the main mine-waste impoundments. The main consequences of unremediated mine sites containing sulfide minerals, mainly pyrite and/or pyrrhotite, are the generation of acidic mine drainage waters and the possible mobilization of metals and metalloids. Depending on the neutralization capacity of the mining wastes, tailings, and ore host rocks, the production of mine waters may be of environmental concern. The geochemistry of the mineral-water interaction is dependent on the ore and gangue minerals, local water chemistry, and geologic setting, and some authors have shown the relationship between the types of mineral deposits and their environmental signature.

Also, mineral deposits hosted by carbonate sedimentary rocks tend to have mine-drainage water compositions with near-neutral pH; elevated concentrations of dissolved SO42-, Fe, Zn, As, Sb and Tl may be generated under these conditions. The neutral pH conditions of these waters may be attributed to the dissolution of acid-consuming carbonate minerals associated with carbonate gangue or host rocks.  In some situations, precipitation of jarosite, gypsum, goethite, Fe oxy-hydroxides, siderite and other secondary phases control Ca, Fe, Na, K, SO42- and trace element concentrations. Even when carbonate rocks host the affected aquifers, the near-neutral groundwater may show high dissolved concentrations of As, Fe, Ni, SO42-, Zn, Cd and Pb.

Scope and Purpose

The main objectives of this Special Issue are to evaluate metal mobilization and release of toxic elements from mine wastes and mine waters in mining areas from soil, groundwater, sediment and surface water data. Also conducting tests both in the laboratory (leaching tests) and in the field may be an interesting approach in order to evaluate the mobility of contaminants. In addition, geochemical modeling used in order to evaluate the geochemical processes is of great interest since it may explain the geochemistry of mine water, groundwater and leachates, and the relationship with the mineralogical characteristics of the main mine waste impoundments.

Dr. Andrés Navarro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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.


  • mine water
  • mine wastes
  • contaminated soils
  • metal mobility
  • geochemistry
  • modeling

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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