Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center

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Emerging Environmental Geochemical Challenges for Future Mining

• Project Home
• Environmental aspects of REE mining
• Geochemical risks of large volume mine wastes
• Watershed assessment methodologies
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Project chief: Robert Seal, rseal@usgs.gov, 703-648-6290

Statement of problem: An emerging challenge for future mining is the growing need for assessments of potential impacts of mining on the quality of water and sediment in surrounding aquatic ecosystems.

These assessments require a thorough understanding of element geochemistry, including the speciation of dissolved and particulate phases and factors that influence their mobility, bioavailability, and toxicity on local to regional scales. Such fundamental biogeochemical information is integrated with site-specific conditions to identify possible environmental consequences during resource development.

The following current trends point out the need for comprehensive assessments and successful strategies that can mitigate future impacts of mining:

The Emerging Environmental Geochemical Challenges for Future Mining project involves three proposed tasks that will

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Last Modified: 18 January 2018