SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
 
  11 April 2013
Volume 14 Issue 4
 

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Effects of Mining on the Local Environment Session at the SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting

Benjamin Davies, International Council on Mining and Metals, Bill Adams, Rio Tinto and Hugh Potter, Environment Agency, UK

terrestrial systems

The SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting in Glasgow includes a session on the effects of mining on the local environment. There is a long history of pollution from the many thousands of abandoned mines around the world, most of which are orphan sites. Damage to aquatic ecosystems is widespread and without intervention, recovery may take decades to centuries. Metals such as cadmium, lead, zinc and copper are the most common pollutants. The toxicity of these metals in rivers is not consistently predicted by laboratory studies. Biological investigations before, during and after the restoration of sites has clarified which organisms are most sensitive to these metals. Designing cost-effective interventions requires a better understanding of the environmental impacts of these metals, and the capacity of ecosystems to recover.

In this upcoming session, we will hear from investigators about a variety of research including:

  • Ecological impacts of mining releases on aquatic and/or terrestrial ecosystems
  • Methods of assessing and regulating risk
  • Case studies of ecological impacts at abandoned mines
  • Novel monitoring/biomonitoring methods as a means to assessing metal bioavailability and potential impact at mine sites

We invite you to be an active participant in this session, which includes 18 scheduled platform presentations and 11 poster exhibits on Monday, 13 May. We look forward to seeing you in Glasgow.

Authors’ contact information:benjamin.davies@icmm.com, William.Adams@riotinto.com, hugh.potter@environment-agency.gov.uk

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