Keywords: abandoned mines, heavy metals, metal contamination, soil contamination, crops, water pollution, arsenic, metal mining, zinc, cadmium, chromium, lead, water quality, rice, corn
The investigation of arsenic and heavy metal concentrations in soil, water and crops around abandoned metal mines
Soils, water and crops around abandoned metal mines can be contaminated by heavy metals from adjacent tailings and waste rocks accumulated during mining operations. The results indicate that the As, Zn, Cd, and Cr concentrations exceed the soil contamination standard in many soil samples of the nearby farmlands as well as the tailings sites. In the case of water quality, the As concentrations in the Okgae and Youngchen Mines show a decreasing trend with increasing distance from the mine, which is similar to that of the soil samples. The Cd and Pb concentrations in the crops near the Okgae Mine show a decreasing trend with increasing distance from the mine which is also similar to that of soil samples. In addition, the Cd and Pb concentrations in the rice samples and the Cd concentration in the corn samples increase with the Cd and/or Pb concentrations in the soil.