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25.03.2017 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 4/2017

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 4/2017

Resource recovery as a sustainable perspective for the remediation of mining wastes: rehabilitation of the CMC mining waste site in Northern Cyprus

Zeitschrift:
Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment > Ausgabe 4/2017
Autoren:
S. Sözen, D. Orhon, H. Dinçer, G. Ateşok, H. Baştürkçü, T. Yalçın, H. Öznesil, C. Karaca, B. Allı, H. Dulkadiroğlu, N. Yağcı

Abstract

This paper highlights resource recovery and stabilization as the novel approach adopted in the rehabilitation strategy of the abandoned copper mine site (CMC mine) located in Northern Cyprus, recognized as a source of chronic pollution problems. The site holds 9.5 million tons of tailings stored in poorly equipped ponds. The waste contains pyrite and chalcopyrite undergoing slow oxidation; this way, sulfide has been partly converted to sulfuric acid causing severe acid mine drainage problems. The rehabilitation strategy adopted the EU’s key principle of resource recovery, where all tailings would be processed for copper recovery and stabilized to further prevent the chemical mobility of heavy metals before final landfilling. A leaching-cementation process, with no chemical usage, except for lime stabilization after recovery, was designed for this purpose. The corresponding action plan entailed that all the waste material be processed in situ, in a zero waste environment. Accordingly, the remediation will be carried out in a sequential process involving emptying the ponds for resource recovery, preparing the necessary number of emptied ponds with sufficient holding capacity, as selected landfill sites in a way to secure and provide all necessary measures imposed by international regulations for containing and controlling hazardous wastes. Finally closure plans will be implemented for the rehabilitation of the mining site to reclaim full attributes of natural characteristics.

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