Environmental damage from the storage of sulfide ore tailings

Pashkevich, Mariya A., Alekseenko, Alexey V. and Nureev, Ruslan R., (2023). Environmental damage from the storage of sulfide ore tailings. Journal of Mining Institute, 260 155-167

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Pashkevich, Mariya A.
    Alekseenko, Alexey V.
    Nureev, Ruslan R.
    Title Environmental damage from the storage of sulfide ore tailings
    Appearing in Journal of Mining Institute
    Volume 260
    Publication Date 2023-04-25
    Place of Publication Saint Petersburg, Russia
    Publisher Saint Petersburg Mining University
    Start page 155
    End page 167
    Language eng
    Abstract The mining industry is one of the most challenging in ensuring environmental safety. During the last century, the Karabash Copper Smelting Plant was processing sulfide ores and depositing the tailings into storage facilities that now occupy an area of more than 50 hectares. To date, abandoned tailings are a significant source of natural water, air, and soil pollution in the Karabash city district. The article comprehensively examines the environmental impact of the Karabashmed copper smelter, one of the oldest metallurgical enterprises in Russia. The effects of seepage from the two Karabashmed tailings facilities on water resources were assessed. We revealed that even outside the area of the direct impact of processing waste, the pH of natural water decreases to values 4-5. Further downstream, the infiltration water from the tailings pond No. 4 reduces the pH of river water to 3.0-3.5. The presented results of environmental engineering surveys are derived from sampling water and bottom sediments of the Ryzhiy Stream and the Sak-Elga River, sample preparation, and quantitative chemical analysis. The study revealed significant exceedances of the maximum permissible concentrations for a number of chemical elements in the impact zone of the copper ore processing tailings.
    Keyword River pollution
    bottom deposits
    metals
    technogenic sediments
    pyrite oxidation
    tailings storage facilities
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2023
    Copyright type Creative commons
    ISSN 2411-3336
    DOI https://doi.org/10.31897/PMI.2023.32
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    Created: Mon, 17 Jul 2023, 05:02:13 JST by Věra Greschner Farkavcová on behalf of UNU FLORES