Comparative Soil Metal Analyses in Sudbury (Ontario, Canada) and Lubumbashi (Katanga, DR-Congo)
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DR-Congo is a main world producer of copper (Cu) and cobalt (Co). Several hydrometallurgical plants and smelters also produced zinc, arsenic, and cadmium as by-products. In Sudbury (Canada), the production of nickel, copper and other metals has been maintained at high levels while industrial SO2 emissions have been reduced by approximately 90% through combination of industrial technological developments and legislated controls. Metal analysis in the present study revealed that the levels of copper and cobalt in soils from mining sites in the Lubumbashi (DR-Congo) were up to 200 fold higher compared to contaminated Sudbury sites and tailings. Zinc content in soil samples from some mining areas in Lubumbashi was at least 70 times higher compared to samples from the Sudbury area. Nickel content in soil samples from Lubumbashi were much lower compared to the Sudbury Region samples. Overall, this study confirms that the African Copper belt region is among the ten most polluted areas in the world.
KeywordsSoil metal content DR-Congo Sudbury Lubumbashi Mining Pollution
We are grateful to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC), Vale, and Extrata –Nickel in Sudbury for the financial support.
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