The unique Red Sea environment has up to now been relatively unaffected by polluting consequences of Man's activities, except for evidence of oil along the coasts and reefs from transiting ships, harbours, industrial and human wastes with growing population and industrialization.
The discovery, in the mid-sixties, of deposits of metalliferous muds, rich in heavy metals, and the probable mining and processing of these was expected to add to the risk of pollution. The Saudi-Sudanese Red Sea Commission, entrusted with the development and exploration of these non-living resources, has already set out an environmental study programme, more or less directly related to the conservation of the living marine resources. Within this framework, the studies have focused on the assessment and magnitude of possible risks for the environment resulting from a tailings disposal in the Atlantis 11 Deep over an extended period of time, and on the development of methods to minimize these risks.
The results obtained so far, indicate that a well-controlled tailings disposal below 1 000 metre water depth would keep the environmental impact of such an operation in acceptable dimensions. But it is hoped that the forthcoming Pilot Mining Operations will be capable of clarifying some uncertainties through further computer modelling, monitoring a full scale tailings disposal test, using realistic input conditions and evaluation of the ecosystem.
KeywordsSudan RSC programme tailings impacts on environment
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- BRGM, 1982. Analysis of the Feasibility Study made by Preussag AG (82 RSC TC 01 — Report submitted to the Red Sea Commission).Google Scholar
- Karbe, L., 1981. Trace elements in shrimps (81 RSC-PREU 04 — Report submitted to the Red Sea Commission).Google Scholar
- Karbe, L. & Schinier, G., 1981. Ecotoxicological investigation background values of the metal contents in organisms, water and sediments of the Central Red Sea. (81 RSC-PREU 04 — Report submitted to the Red Sea Commission).Google Scholar
- Karbe, L., Thiel, H, Weiker, H. & Mill, A. J. B., 1981. Environmental Impact Study. Mining of Metalliferous Sediments from the Atlantis II Deep Area — Preliminary environmental conditions and evaluation of the risk to the environment. (Report presented to the Red Sea Commission.)Google Scholar
- Preussag Ag, 1981. Metals from the Red Sea. Feasibility Study (81 RSC-PREU 23A, 23B, 25, 26 — Report submitted to the Red Sea Commission).Google Scholar
- Preussag Ag, 1982. Metals from the Red Sea. Feasibility Study (81 RSC-PREU 01 — Report submitted to the Red Sea Commission).Google Scholar
- Mustafa, Z. & Amman, H., 1978. Ocean mining and projection of the marine environment of the Red Sea. (OTC 3188 Offshore Technology Conference.)Google Scholar