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TitlePollution caused by mine dumps and its control
AuthorChikusa, Chimwemwe Mainsfield
SubjectTD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
SubjectTN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
AbstractAll mine dumps are a point source of either physical, chemical or both forms of pollution. Physical pollution includes the physical site coverage of the dump, slumping of parts of the dams and dust that may originate from it (air pollution). Chemical pollution from, or related to the mine dumps include the dominant acid drainage (which contains heavy metals), radioactivity, electromagnetic radiation, noise and chemicals released from the mineral processing stage. In one way or the other, exposure to these pollution forms is detrimental to the human health and his environment. It is this fact that urges the public, government and the responsible mining companies to find ways of monitoring the pollution and stopping it, preferably at the source. Where it can not be stopped, techniques of reducing it, or containing it have been, and are still being developed. Personal protection is the priority. Pollution exposure to the general public is minimised as much as possible. Pollution control techniques that employ less expensive, natural, self-sustaining elements suitable for the environment such as wetlands and vegetation are recommended. The artificial short term and often expensive alternatives are of secondary priority. However, choice of which technique to use is based on the merit of each problem, knowing that chemicals act faster but are effective for a short period as compared to the natural systems. Pollution management is the critical part of the whole process. This involves decision making on courses of action and financial allocation on the part of both the polluter and the monitoring department/agent. The ability to effectively manage pollution programmes is achieved these days with the aid of computers. It is emphasised that pollution control should be handled in an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach manner. This is because pollution is a question of life and death, hence every individual remains accountable to it. Keeping the public and the concerned parties educated, informed and welcoming their concerns on the environmental issues related to the mine dumps generated in a mining venture is essential in the modern days of environmental public awareness, or otherwise face the public lath.
Identifier Chikusa, Chimwemwe Mainsfield (1994) Pollution caused by mine dumps and its control. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.