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11. Ecological Risk Analysis on the Effects of Hard-Rock Mining.
Saturday, 16 November 2002
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Room 151 B
Mining of minerals has been considered the natural heritage of a country with vast potential unextracted mineral wealth that could be used in a positive fashion to enhance their national economic position and spur regional economies. Within the last decade profound changes in investment policies have attracted large sums of foreign investment in mining and prospecting for mineral wealth particularly in developing countries. Along with the obvious advantages of economic development due to exploitation of mineral resources, is the potential for severe environmental impact.
The accelerated rate at which new mining technologies are developed and employed in developing countries is paralleled by the risk that unregulated development may inflict on natural resources, and even human health. Moreover, some newer technological practices remain poorly assessed even in developed countries. Historically the United States has experienced large scale environmental degradation due to the uncontrolled exploitation of mineral resources, which are still impacting natural resources decades, even a century after mining and mining related activity has ceased. Because of the experience of the mining industry, U.S. EPA, USGS, and consultants in regulating and assessing the impacts of mining in the environment, there is a wealth of information that can be shared relative to both inappropriate and safe mining practices. In-depth study of the impact of mine processing chemicals, fugitive metals, and acid rock-drainage over the past decade provides the basis for offering a SETAC course that provides details on state-of-the-science approaches for assessing environmental risks from metal including assessments of toxicity, bioaccumulation environmental mobility and ecological effects. The course will be team taught by a team of geologists, environmental chemists, environmental toxicologists, and ecotoxicologists. This course is intended to be introductory in that it addresses in a survey format the topics that should be considered in assessing the impact of mineral development. It is largely directed at the development of minerals, including effects from mining and smelting.
Level of difficulty: Introductory
Attendance limit: 50
Terence P. Boyle, USGS
Jon Rauscher, U.S. EPA
Geoffrey S. Plumlee, USGS
Craig A. Johnson, USGS
John Michael Besser, USGS
William J. Adams, Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.
William H. Clements, Colorado State University
Igor Linkov, ICF Consulting
Rick D. Cardwell, Parametrix, Inc.
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