ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY METALS CONTAMINATION IN SURFACE SOILS IN MEIDUK COPPER MINE AREA, SE IRAN
Journal: Earth Science Malaysia (ESMY)
Author: Ali Rezaei, Hossein Hassani, Seyedeh Belgheys Fard Mousavi, Sara Hassani, Nima Jabbari
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Mining activities are potentially a significant source of metals contamination in the environment. The purpose of this research is to investigate the environmental impacts of mining activities in the vicinity of Meiduk copper mine. In this study, we use the pollution indices such as contamination factor, enrichment factor and geo-accumulation index for evaluating the metal contaminants, including Pb, Ni, Se, Mo and Zn. The fieldwork consisted of 60 surface soil samples drawn at the depth of 0-30 cm. The samples were, then, analyzed for metals using ICP-MS method. Principal component analysis of compositional data (PCA) was also applied as a multivariate method to find relationships among metals. In the first component (PC1), with 51% of the total variance, strong and positive loadings related to Pb, Se, Mo and Zn were evident. The second component (PC2), with 34 % of the total variance, reflected a positive weighting factor of Ni metal. The obtained results showed that heavy metals levels and distribution were found higher at sites which were in the vicinity of mine pits and waste dumps and were probable sources of metal pollution. As an application of the method proposed in this research, project management will be capable of programming timely and suitable response to these risks by identifying risk factors and their contamination level.