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Environmental Research Needs of Metal Mining

Author: Travis L. Hudson
Published by Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration - 1998
32 pages

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Mining provides the metals that our society needs, but it's a challenge to produce metals with minimum environmental impact. It's not just future impacts that companies are dealing with either, but remediating inherited problems as well. However, multidisciplinary research can provide the foundation for new, cost-effective solutions.

This booklet, copublished with the American Geological Institute, results from many discussions with environmental professionals involved in cleanups at their companies' mining-related Superfund sites. Their experiences point to five top-priority environmental problems that deserve research efforts to find better answers. The five research goals addressed are:

  • gain an understanding of the bioavailability of metals as components in mineral species and accurately determine the associated health risks
  • devise in situ techniques for controlling the interaction of metals in mining wastes, soils, and sediments with other surficial media and processes
  • develop methods to prevent or slow the formation of acid rock drainage, to control the amount and chemical character of the drainage, and to treat the drainage where it is discharged
  • devise better methods of containing and treating contaminated groundwater, and
  • create better methods for surface stabilization and erosion control of mining wastes.

    The booklet is fully indexed.


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