Environmental Impacts of Mining Operations A Case Study: Monitoring the Impacts at Abu Tartour Phosphate Mine, Egypt

Sameh S Ahmed; Mohamed R El Tahlawi
Mining operations describe either mines or any of various work functions that are performed in mines, from exploration to waste disposal. The long-term environmental impacts of uncontrolled mining and quarrying operations are disruption of the hydrological cycle, loss of biological diversity, acceleration off deforestation and desertification in fertile areas and poor sustainable development for the future. This paper represents a comprehensive digest of the up-to-date literature on the impact of such operations, with focusing on the environmental impacts of one of the economical ores in the Middle East, Phosphate. The major environmental impacts of mining and quarrying operations to air, water, land and other resources are discussed and suggestions have been introduced to prevent their negative geo-environmental effects. Moreover, the paper presents a case study of the environmental impacts of the Abu Tartour phosphate mine, Western Desert, Egypt, where the mining area has been screened environmentally and the main issues are reported. Technical actions (methods) that may be taken to study and monitor these issues using Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing are demonstrated through the case study. The environmental challenges faced by mining activities should not be underestimated. All the major mineral-consuming areas face problems of one sort or another. Pioneering computer software, designed to identify more sustainable integrated approaches to waste management, has been recently developed. We are invited to take part in the newly and progressively developed new world.
Abu Tartour, Environmental Impacts, GIS, Phosphate, Mining
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