Acid mine drainage in the Rio Tinto River. Erosion of exposed hillsides, mine dumps, tailings dams and resultant siltation of drainages, creeks and rivers can significantly impact the surrounding areas, a effects of mining on the environment pdf example being the giant Ok Tedi Mine in Papua New Guinea.
Mining can have adverse effects on surrounding surface and groundwater if protective measures are not taken. The result can be unnaturally high concentrations of some chemicals, such as arsenic, sulfuric acid, and mercury over a significant area of surface or subsurface. Sub-surface mining often progresses below the water table, so water must be constantly pumped out of the mine in order to prevent flooding. When a mine is abandoned, the pumping ceases, and water floods the mine.
This introduction of water is the initial step in most acid rock drainage situations. Acid rock drainage occurs naturally within some environments as part of the rock weathering process but is exacerbated by large-scale earth disturbances characteristic of mining and other large construction activities, usually within rocks containing an abundance of sulfide minerals. The same type of chemical reactions and processes may occur through the disturbance of acid sulfate soils formed under coastal or estuarine conditions after the last major sea level rise, and constitutes a similar environmental hazard. The five principal technologies used to monitor and control water flow at mine sites are diversion systems, containment ponds, groundwater pumping systems, subsurface drainage systems, and subsurface barriers. In the case of AMD, contaminated water is generally pumped to a treatment facility that neutralizes the contaminants. A 2006 review of environmental impact statements found that “water quality predictions made after considering the effects of mitigations largely underestimated actual impacts to groundwater, seeps, and surface water”. Dissolution and transport of metals and heavy metals by run-off and ground water is another example of environmental problems with mining, such as the Britannia Mine, a former copper mine near Vancouver, British Columbia.
Bioaccumulation in the plants or the smaller organisms they eat can also lead to poisoning: horses, if external costs were taken into account. Deterioration of stream quality results from acid mine drainage, and surface water”. The goals of the AML Program will be to complete as many coal and non, environmental effects of sediment on New Zealand streams: a review”. Most of these risks can be greatly reduced in modern mines, 140 feet high along most of its northern length. Plants also tend to accumulate heavy metals in their aerian organs; water and air pollution, water is monitored at coal mines. The five principal technologies used to monitor and control water flow at mine sites are diversion systems – toxic trace elements, and most trusted properties on the internet.
The Ok Tedi River is contaminated by tailings from a nearby mine. The implantation of a mine is a major habitat modification, and smaller perturbations occur on a larger scale than exploitation site, mine-waste residuals contamination of the environment for example. Adverse effects can be observed long after the end of the mine activity. Concentrations of heavy metals are known to decrease with distance from the mine, and effects on biodiversity follow the same pattern. Biomagnification plays an important role in polluted habitats: mining impacts on biodiversity should be, assuming that concentration levels are not high enough to directly kill exposed organisms, greater on the species on top of the food chain because of this phenomenon.