Manmade flow impact on geochemical background of Se and Te in soil in copper–pyrite mining region in the Soimonov valley

The copper pyrite ore mining and processing has been carried out in the Soimonov valley in the Chelyabinsk Region for more than 100 years, with crude copper production at Karabashmed. The treatment process includes milling and flotation. As a consequence, in the Soimonov valley, in the neighborhood of the mining and processing activities, millions of tons of slugs and tailings are put into storage. In addition to gas and dust emission and dust flows from the dumps of the old mines, the Karabash geochemical anomaly has set in this area. The bulk of impact in the course of migration of elements involved in the geochemical circulation is taken by such repository media as soils. As a result, the overall geoecological situation in the valley worsens. The work cycle of copper smelting avoids capitation of such associate elements as Se and Te, which are greatly dangerous to health if reach high concentrations. The article examines the sources of Se and Te in soils in the Soimonov valley. The studies included setting of 25 soil sections to analyze the rate of pollution of soil with the listed elements. The soil samples were tested for the acidity, organic carbon content, grain size composition and gross Se and Te. The amount of the pollutants in soils was determined by the method of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Using the lab-scale testing results, the eco-geochemical condition of soil was determined based on the calculated concentration factor Kc. The background concentrations of the test pollutants in soil are found: Se—0.26 mg/kg; Te—0.06 mg/kg, with regard to the regional pollution level. The local sites with the high contents of Se and Te are detected in soil, and their spatial distributions are mapped. The areas of the increased Se and Te background by 18 and 51 times, respectively, are delineated. The research findings can contribute to more efficient ecological control and safety in the region, and to the process cycle upgrading to eliminate entrance of hazardous elements in soil.

Keywords: Soimonov valley, geochemical anomaly, Karabash, techno genesis, Se and Te in soil, soil pollution, mining and processing integrated works, copper–pyrite deposit, tailings storage.
For citation:

Shabanov M. V., Marichev M. S., Minkina T. M., Nevidomskaya D. G., Shuvaeva V. A. Manmade flow impact on geochemical background of Se and Te in soil in copper– pyrite mining region in the Soimonov valley. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2023;(5-1):86-103. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2023_51_0_86.


The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, Project No 21-77-20089, in Southern Federal University.

Issue number: 5
Year: 2023
Page number: 86-103
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 631.41
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2023_51_0_86
Article receipt date: 12.01.2023
Date of review receipt: 15.03.2023
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.04.2023
About authors:

M.V. Shabanov1, Cand. Sci. (Agric.), Assistant Professor, e-mail:, Scopus Author ID: 35171489500, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4725-3673,
M.S. Marichev1, Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Head of Laboratory, e-mail:, Scopus Author ID: 57216298057, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0429-2234,
T.M. Minkina2, Dr. Sci. (Biol.), Professor, Head of Chair, e-mail:, Scopus Author ID: 15063165400, ORCID ID: 0000-0003-3022-0883,
D.G. Nevidomskaya2, Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Leading Researcher, e-mail:, Scopus Author ID: 6505510923, ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0138-4443,
V.A. Shuvaeva2, Dr. Sci. (Phys. Mathem.), Leading Researcher, e-mail:, Scopus Author ID: 7004352543,
1 Saint-Petersburg State Agrarian University, Saint-Petersburg, Pushkin, Russia,
2 Southern Federal University, 344006, Rostov-on-Don, Russia.


For contacts:

M.S. Marichev, e-mail:


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