Pollution characteristics of soil heavy metals around two typical copper mining and beneficiation enterprises in Northwest China


In order to investigate the situation of heavy metal pollution in the heavy metal industry in Gansu Province, a large copper mining province, two large and typical copper mining and beneficiation enterprises with differences in topographic features, climatic conditions, and soil types were selected as the target of this study based on similar ore types and beneficiation processes. Around these two enterprises, geochemical baselines of the six heavy metals were established, while the degree of local soil heavy metal pollution and potential hazards to humans were assessed based on statistical analysis, single-factor and multi-factor index analysis, and health risk evaluation models. In addition, Spearman’s correlation analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to explore the intrinsic association between each heavy metal in the two mining industries to reveal the pattern of soil heavy metal pollution in the copper mining and beneficiation industry and to propose targeted measures to improve and prevent soil heavy metal pollution. The results showed that the heavy metal pollution in the soil around Shengxi Mining Co., Ltd. of Subei County (SX enterprise) was higher than that around Yangba Copper Co., Ltd. of Gansu Province (YB enterprise), but the two enterprises had similar patterns of pollution, with an overall medium level of pollution. The carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks for children and adults were within acceptable limits for both enterprises. Besides, the correlation between the different heavy metals to similarity in their sources of contamination and the different degrees of association between the soil heavy metals of the two enterprises due to their environmental characteristics.

Authors: Lei Liu, Yajing Lu, Yuxin Shan, Jimin Mi, Zepeng Zhang, Fei Ni, Jun Zhang, Wenyan Shao
; Full Source: Environmental monitoring and assessment 2022 Sep 14;194(10):788. doi: 10.1007/s10661-022-10416-x.