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Physicochemical composition of wastes and co-located environmental designations at legacy mine sites in the south west of England and Wales: Implications for their resource potential

Crane, R.A.; Sinnett, D. E.; Cleall, P. J.; Sapsford, D. J.

Authors

R.A. Crane

Danielle Sinnett Danielle.Sinnett@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Healthy Green Infrastructure

P. J. Cleall

D. J. Sapsford



Abstract

© 2016 This work examines the potential for resource recovery and/or remediation of metalliferous mine wastes in the south west of England and Wales. It does this through an assessment of the physicochemical composition of several key metalliferous legacy mine waste piles and an analysis of their co-location with cultural, geological and ecological designations. Mine waste samples were taken from 14 different sites and analysed for metal content, mineralogy, paste pH, particle size distribution, total organic carbon and total inorganic carbon. The majority of sites contain relatively high concentrations (in some cases up to several % by mass) of metals and metalloids, including Cu, Zn, As, Pb, Ag and Sn, many of which exceed ecological and/or human health risk guideline concentrations. However, the economic value of metals in the waste could be used to offset rehabilitation costs. Spatial analysis of all metalliferous mine sites in the south west of England and Wales found that around 70% are co-located with at least one cultural, geological and ecological designation. All 14 sites investigated are co-located with designations related to their mining activities, either due to their historical significance, rare species assemblages or geological characteristics. This demonstrates the need to consider the cultural and environmental impacts of rehabilitation and/or resource recovery on such sites. Further work is required to identify appropriate non-invasive methodologies to allow sites to be rehabilitated at minimal cost and disturbance.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2017
Journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling
Print ISSN 0921-3449
Electronic ISSN 1879-0658
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 123
Pages 117-134
APA6 Citation Sinnett, D. E., Crane, R. A., Sinnett, D., Cleall, P. J., & Sapsford, D. J. (2017). Physicochemical composition of wastes and co-located environmental designations at legacy mine sites in the south west of England and Wales: Implications for their resource potential. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 123, 117-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.08.009
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.08.009
Keywords Mine waste; Resource; Remediation; Environmental services; Cultural services
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.08.009

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