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Source and Assessment of Metal Pollution at Khetri Copper Mine Tailings and Neighboring Soils, Rajasthan, India

Abstract

We present here the results of the study on metal pollution by identifying source, abundance and distribution in soil and tailings of Khetri copper complex (KCC) mines, Rajasthan India. The region is highly contaminated by copper (Cu) with higher values in the soil near overburden material (1224 mg/kg) and tailings (111 mg/kg). The average Cu (231 mg/kg) concentration of soil is ~9, 5 and 32 times higher than upper crust, world average shale (WAS) and local background soil (LS), respectively. However this reaches to ~82, 46 and 280 times higher in case of tailing when compared. The correlation and principal component analysis for soil reveals that the source of Cu, Zn, Co, Ni, Mn and Fe is mining and Pb and Cd could be result of weathering of parent rocks and other anthropogenic activities. The source for Cr in soil is both mining activities and weathering of parent rocks. The values of index of geo-accumulation (Igeo) and pollution load index for soil using LS as background are higher compared to values calculated using WAS. The metal rich sulphide bearing overburden material as well as tailings present in the open environment at KCC mines region warrants a proper management to minimize their impact on the environment.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the Dean, School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University for encouragement and DST (Purse-Phase-II) & UGC (UPE) for financial support. AP and SKS acknowledge the University Grant Commission for Junior Research Fellowship.

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Correspondence to N. Siva Siddaiah.

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Punia, A., Siddaiah, N.S. & Singh, S.K. Source and Assessment of Metal Pollution at Khetri Copper Mine Tailings and Neighboring Soils, Rajasthan, India. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 99, 633–641 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-017-2175-6

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Keywords

  • Metal sources
  • Principal component analysis
  • Pollution load
  • Khetri copper complex mines
  • Rajasthan
  • India