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Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 1581–1592 | Cite as

Adverse effects of coal mine waste dumps on the environment and their management

  • N. Adibee
  • M. OsanlooEmail author
  • M. Rahmanpour
Original Article

Abstract

Waste dumps generated from mining that exposes sulfur-bearing overburden can be active sources of acid generation with the potential to severely contaminate soils, surface and groundwater, and endanger both local and downstream ecosystems. A waste rock management strategy ensure that disposal of such material is inert or at least stable and contained, and minimizes the surface footprint of the wastes, and explores options for alternate uses. Reclamation of waste dumps is another or parallel alternative to decrease the potential for adverse effects. At the coal mining area of Karmozd in Iran, large volumes of wastes have been produced and disposed of without any specific care for the environment. In this paper, the impacts of waste dumps on the environment were identified and this was followed by a research program to determine the characteristics of the wastes, their acid generation potential, the availability of hazardous contaminants, and a prediction of their environmental impacts on the site. Data was collected from the target site and by comparing several reclamation alternatives using a Multi-Attribute Decision-Making technique, forestry was selected as the post-mining land use for the waste dumps. Preliminary evaluations indicated that Zelkava could be a useful tree species for this region.

Keywords

Coal mining Coal mine waste Spoil Reclamation plan 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Mining and Metallurgical EngineeringAmirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran

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