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J. Zobrist, M. Sima, D. Dogaru, M. Şenilă, H. Yang, C. Popescu, C. Roman, B. Abraham, L. Frei, B. Dold, D. Balteanu, Environmental and socioeconomic assessment of impacts by mining activities—a case study in the Certej River catchment, Western Carpathians, Romania, Environ. Sci.Pollut. Res, 16/S1 (2009) 14-26

 

Title: Environmental and socioeconomic assessment of impacts by mining activities—a case study in the Certej River catchment, Western Carpathians, Romania

Abstract: In the region of the Apuseni Mountains, part of the Western Carpathians in Romania, metal mining activities have a long-standing tradition. These mining industries created a clearly beneficial economic development in the region. But their activities also caused impairments to the environment, such as acid mine drainage (AMD) resulting in long-lasting heavy metal pollution of waters and sediments. The study, established in the context of the ESTROM programme, investigated the impact of metal mining activities both from environmental and socioeconomic perspectives and tried to incorporate the results of the two approaches into an integrated proposition for mitigation of mining-related issues. The small Certej catchment, situated in the Southern Apuseni Mountains, covers an area of 78 km2. About 4,500 inhabitants are living in the basin, in which metal mining was the main economic sector. An open pit and  several abandoned underground mines are producing heavy metal-loaded acidic water that is discharged untreated into the main river. The solid wastes of mineral processing plants were deposited in several dumps and tailings impoundment embodying the acidic water-producing mineral pyrite.

Keywords: Acid mine drainage (AMD) . Heavy metal . Mining impact . Multidisciplinary study . Romania, Risk perception .Water quality

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