HEAVY METAL POLLUTION FROM GOLD MINING

THE ENVIRONMENTAL COST OF MINING

Large amounts of wastes containing heavy metals can be produced during mining operations and released uncontrollably, causing significant ecological contamination. Despite the fact that some heavy metals are necessary for the physiological functions of normal living, higher concentrations than allowed have a negative impact on both human health and the biota. Because of different innate biochemical, physiological, and/or genetic pathways, the environment contains bacteria that can survive high doses of these heavy metals. Potential methods for bioremediation of heavy metal-polluted environments could be these mechanisms.

BIOMINING – A PROJECT BY SION TRADING FZE

Due to the potential significance that some of these bacteria potentially play in the extraction of gold from gold-bearing ores, the use of bacteria in gold mining, as implemented by SION Trading FZE, is known as biomining. Acidophilic, chemolithotrophic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria have been identified and used in the extraction of gold, including Acidithiobacillus (At.) ferroxidase, At. thioxidans, Leptospirillum (L.) ferriphilum and L. ferroxidans, Sulfobacillus acidophilus, and Sulfolobus metallicus.

These bacteria aid in solubilizing the sulfide matrix of the gold deposits, increasing the accessibility of the gold to chemical lixiviants for leaching. Biomining is recognized as being more eco-friendly than several physical and chemical extraction methods. Additionally, compared to wastes produced through physicochemical processes, wastes produced utilizing microorganisms are less physiologically reactive.

BURDEN OF MINING ON ORES

Open-pit or deep shaft gold mining with other HM like copper (Cu), silver (Ag), and lead may both be alternatives. The form of excavation and construction to be implemented for extraction and the amount of waste generated that will be produced depending on the location of the resource. Because higher-grade ores were being mined in the past, less trash was produced by mining operations.

The ability to carry huge quantities of materials was likewise constrained; thus, the created waste was dumped a few meters from the mine hole or pit. Because more topsoil, overburden, and barren or waste rock must be removed while open-pit mining, the amount of trash produced is eight to ten times larger than in underground mines.

EXEMPLARY SOLUTIONS BY SION TRADING FZE UAE

The SION trade FZE has implemented special measures to decrease mercury consumption with an eye on such dangerous impacts. The renowned gold miner SION is looking for a few other replacement substances. Their CEO, a fervent supporter of the natural world and an outspoken environmentalist, has called for the cessation of all activities that pose a major damage to the environment.

Although it is a difficult process to ensure because mining is a very complicated process and making it environmentally safe is an expensive task, their struggle and determination to give something to the world and future generations and not just think of everything like a greedy capitalist are highly commended.

HAZARDS

The release of hazardous substances from tailings and other mining wastes is the main cause of environmental pollution from gold miners. Large amounts of metals like Zn2+, Ni2+, Pb2+, AS2+, Cu2+, and sulfate ions are leached into stream and river ecosystems as a result of water infiltration through sulfide-containing tailings piles and ponds, surface and underground workings, waste and development rock, and other infrastructural elements.

As a result, acid mine drainage severely harms receiving water bodies. When waste materials containing metal-rich sulphides from mining activity have been stored or abandoned, there is a significant environmental risk of heavy metal pollution and acid mine drainage. The quality of surface and groundwater is significantly impacted by surface impacts such as tailings and rock dumps.

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