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Titolo: Assessment of environmental hazards at abandoned mining sites: a case study in Sardinia, Italy
Data di pubblicazione: 2012
Citazione: Assessment of environmental hazards at abandoned mining sites: a case study in Sardinia, Italy / Cidu R; Dadea C; Desogus P; Fanfani L; Manca PP; Orrù G. - In: APPLIED GEOCHEMISTRY. - ISSN 0883-2927. - 27(2012), pp. 1795-1806.
Abstract: In the last two centuries, several Pb–Zn mines were active in the Rio Mannu basin near Narcao (SW Sardinia, Italy), but are now abandoned. These abandoned mines pose a serious risk to the population and required an assessment of the hazard sources and the contaminant pathways in the area. The characterization plan of the Rio Mannu basin was carried out according to Italian protocols. Specifically, samples of soil, stream sediment, fine-grained ore-processing waste (from washery and flotation processes), surface water and groundwater have been analyzed in order to assess the levels of contamination in each mine area and the risks in the plains surrounding the site. Several potential chemical contaminants were considered both in solid materials and water samples. The Rosas mine was recognized as the most contaminated area in the basin, due to the presence of a large tailing pond, some fine-grained waste piles and two mine adits with concentrations of the toxic elements As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb and Zn exceeding Italian regulatory standards. The dispersion of contaminants occurs downstream from the small stream draining the area. In case of heavy rain the runoff into the streamlet transports the contaminated material far into the plain. The results of this study show that the characterization plan is a relatively cheap tool for establishing mitigation actions, prior to the realization of a complete, and usually expensive, remediation project at abandoned mine sites. Urgent recommended actions in the Rio Mannu basin include the treatment of the adit water prior to its discharge into the Rio Barisonis; the construction of drainage barriers on waste piles to reduce runoff and solid transport into the Rio Barisonis; the consolidation of the earthen dam containing the tailing pond of Rosas to avoid the deepening of erosion furrows that may threaten its stability.
Tipologia:1.1 Articolo in rivista

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