The impact of mining and smelting of metal ores on environmental quality is described.
Mines produce large amounts of waste because the ore is only a small fraction of the total volume of the mined material.
In the metal industry, production of Cu, Pb, and Zn causes the greatest degradation of the environment.
Copper mining produces extensive mine wastes and tailings and Cu smelting emits approximately 0.11 Mg of S per Mg of Cu produced in the USA.
Zinc and Pb smelters release large quantities of Cd and Pb into the environment.
Metal smelting and refining produce gaseous (CO2, SO2, NOx, etc.) and particulate matter emissions, sewage waters, and solid wastes.
Soil contamination with trace metals is considered a serious problem related to smelting ; however, mining and smelting are not main sources of global metal input into soils.
Other sources like discarded manufactured products, coal ash, agriculture, and transportation take a lead.
Smelters are the main sources of atmospheric emissions of As, Cu, Cd, Sb, and Zn on a global scale and they contribute substantially to the overall emissions of Cr, Pb, Se, and Ni.
A quantitative evaluation of the environmental health effects of mining and smelting is difficult because of the complexity of factors involved and lack of consistent methodology.
Nevertheless, the case studies described indicate that negative health effects could arise from Pb mining and smelting. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Exploitation minerai, Industrie métallurgique, Impact environnement, Emission polluant, Métal lourd, Particule en suspension, Teneur émission, Pollution air, Pollution sol, Acidification, Article synthèse, Soufre dioxyde
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Ore mining, Metallurgical industry, Environment impact, Pollutant emission, Heavy metal, Suspended particle, Emission content, Air pollution, Soil pollution, Acidification, Review, Sulfur dioxide
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0308507
Code Inist : 001D16E. Création : 15/07/1997.