Source and remediation for heavy metals of soils at an iron mine of Ulsan City, Korea

  • Sang Yong Chung
  • Venkatramanan SenapathiEmail author
  • Kye Hyun Park
  • Joo Hyeong Son
  • Selvam Sekar
Short Communication


Ulsan mine produced the iron ore minerals of magnetite, arsenopyrite, and scheelite in 1992, and serpentine was developed from 1977 to 2002. The soils of the mine were contaminated by heavy metals such as As, Zn, Ni, and Cd. Heavy metals of Ni and Zn came mostly from serpentinite, and As was derived mainly from arsenopyrite in the scan-type iron ore body. As, Zn, and Ni were major contaminants, but Cd was a minor contaminant on a basis of Korean standard. The heavy metals in the deep depth (> 5 m) came from the host rocks, and those in the shallow depth (< 5 m) were derived from the organic–mineral complexation soil. The remediation plan was a soil washing for highly contaminated soils and the containment of clay materials for less contaminated soils. Even though the remediation methods were successful, the continuous monitoring and the analysis of monitoring data are still necessary for the conservation of soil and groundwater around the study area.


Soil Heavy metals Iron mine Contamination Remediation 


Funding information

This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (No. 2016R1D1A3B03934558).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesPukyong National UniversityBusanSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department for Management of Science and Technology DevelopmentTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  3. 3.Faculty of Applied SciencesTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  4. 4.Department of Groundwater and GeologyKorea Rural Community CorporationUichang-gu Changwon-siSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of GeologyV. O Chidambaram CollegeTuticorinIndia

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