Keywords: copper tailings, heavy metals, mine waste, vegetation, bioaccumulation, bioremediation, copper mines, mining, India
Bioremediation of copper mine waste: a case study from Mosaboni copper mines, Eastern India
The concentrations of different forms of heavy metals were determined in a mine dump rich in chalcopyrite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, molybdenite and other sulphide minerals. A pilot scale study was conducted by transporting 14 tons of copper tailings from Mosaboni mines and exposed to natural weathering conditions and normal plant colonisation for one year. After one year different forms of metals were determined and bioaccumulation patterns of metals in natural vegetation were studied. The present study is focused on determination of the mineralogical and bulk geochemical character of copper mine waste as a framework for understanding interactions between waters and solids and to observe the survival patterns of different kinds of vegetation as a time-tested mechanism to evaluate the bioremediation.