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Water contamination downstream from a copper mine in the Apuseni Mountains, Romania

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Environmental Geology


This paper presents the results of a study on stream and mine waters in the area of the largest porphyry copper deposit in the Apuseni Mountains (western Romania), the Rosia Poieni ore deposit. The research was focused on two aspects of environmental impact: (1) evaluation of the release of toxic elements into the environment through studying the mineralogical and chemical composition of the ore deposit; and (2) assessment of the distribution and extent of contamination through studying the chemistry of stream waters. This work proved that the Rosia Poieni mine is an active acid-rock drainage (ARD)-producing site. Waters draining freely from the ore deposit are acidic and transport large amounts of toxic elements (Al, Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, As, Cd, Sr, etc.). The weathering of silicate and ore minerals represents an important source of elements. Their release was determined by speciation calculations using an EQ3/6 computer program.

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Milu, .V., Leroy, .J. & Peiffert, .C. Water contamination downstream from a copper mine in the Apuseni Mountains, Romania. Env Geol 42, 773–782 (2002).

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