Cumulative ecological impact in the territory of long-term disposal of old mining waste

The large-scale ecological impact in the territory of long-term disposal of old mining waste is a result of neglected reclamation activities by mining companies. In the meanwhile, the long-term storage and disposal of mining waste, especially with sulfide content, exposed to atmospheric effects causes their progressive decay: chemical and organic decomposition, deflation and water erosion. The mineral content converts into various pollutants which get into underspoil water and damage soil and vegetation, and turn the territories of mining waste storage into manmade barren areas. The ecological situation in the territory of Levikha mining project suspended in 2003 for economic reasons is becoming more and more critical every year. This is conditioned by millions of tons of sulfide-containing dumps, which are sources of pollutants, and by the impact of acid mine water after self-flooding of the mine. Today, acid mine waters are purified using milk of lime at a neutralization station and then are additionally neutralized with lime in a collecting canal. Nevertheless, some amount of toxicants enters the Tagil River while their concentrations significantly exceed the maximum permissible standard for fishery water bodies. The article proposes to start the procedure of preparing the territory of the mine for inclusion in the State Register of Accumulated Environmental Damage Objects, as well as to introduce the plasma–thermal technology for purifying acid mine water, developed by Prof. B. B. Zobnin. The technology allows removal of environmentally hazardous elements from acid mine water which becomes not only suitable for discharge on ground surface without liming, but also usable as hydromineral raw material and source for commercial-scale production of zinc powders.

Keywords: pyrite ores, mine, mine water, environmental damage, pollution, decontamination, plasma–thermal technology.
For citation:

Boltyrov V. B., Storozhenko L. A., Sapsay M. A. Cumulative ecological impact in the territory of long-term disposal of old mining waste. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2021;(5— 2):202—217. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_52_0_202.

Issue number: 5
Year: 2021
Page number: 202-217
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 502.57:34/35
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_52_0_202
Article receipt date: 27.01.2021
Date of review receipt: 02.04.2021
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.04.2021
About authors:

Boltyrov V. B., professor, Dr. Sci. (Geol. Mineral.),;
Storozhenko L. A., associate professor, Cand. Sci. (Geol. Mineral.),;
Sapsay M. A., master,;
1 Ural State Mining University, Ekaterinburg, Russia.


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