Assessment of possible ecosystem degradation during mine closure using mining and metallurgical waste

The mine closure practice not only allows utilization of available materials to fill manmade voids but is also associated with anthropogenic load of the operation territories. The most popular backfill mixtures contain gangue, slags of ferrous metallurgy, ashes of thermal power plants and cement. Backfill technologies make it possible to use waste from various industries. The main requirement placed on a backfill mixture is its sufficient strength and chemical inertness. The latter is particularly important in case of highly permeable rock mass, when soluble toxic elements can migrate with underground hydraulic flows. When selecting backfill mixture components, it is necessary to take into account a general contamination background inside a territory. The studies of slag samples from Norilsk Nickel show that, despite the fairly acceptable strength characteristics of the material, it will be a potential source of migration of toxic elements into the environment. In view of the complex environmental situation in the industrial area vulnerable to climate changes, the use of nickel-based slag in backfill mixtures entails extra risk of pollution.

Keywords: mine closure, nonferrous metallurgy slag, migration of chemicals, backfill mixture stability, environmental safety.
For citation:

Antoninova N. Yu., Shubina L. A., Sobenin A. V., Usmanov A. I. Assessment of possible ecosystem degradation during mine closure using mining and metallurgical waste . MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2021;(5—2):193—201. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_52_0_193.


The studies were supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Grant No. 20-45-660014 Analysis of Patterns in Migration and Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Natural Systems Exposed to Anthropogenic Load Generated by Mining and Metallurgy toward Efficient Reclamation Methods, and by the Government of the Sverdlovsk Region within the scope of the State Contract, Topic No. AAAA-A19-119020790025-4 Methods to Take into Account Transition Processes in Mining Deep-Seated Mineral Deposits of Complex Structure.

Issue number: 5
Year: 2021
Page number: 193-201
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 622.268:504.06
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_52_0_193
Article receipt date: 21.12.2020
Date of review receipt: 29.04.2021
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.04.2021
About authors:

Antoninova N. Yu.1, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), Head of the Mining Ecology Laboratory, natal78@;
Sobenin A. V.1, Junior Researcher at the Mining Ecology Laboratory,;
Shubina L. A.1, Junior Researcher at the Mining Ecology Laboratory,;
Usmanov A. I.1, Junior Researcher at the Mining Ecology Laboratory;
1 Institute of Mining Ural branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Ekaterinburg, Russia.


For contacts:

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