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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2013 Nov;20(11):7550-9. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-1790-y. Epub 2013 May 12.

Stream water chemistry in the arsenic-contaminated Baccu Locci mine watershed (Sardinia, Italy) after remediation.

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Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Via Trentino 51, 09127, Cagliari, Italy.


The abandoned Pb-As Baccu Locci mine represents the first and only case of mine site remediation in Sardinia, Italy. Arsenic is the most relevant environmental concern in the Baccu Locci stream watershed, with concentrations in surface waters up to and sometimes over 1 mg/L. The main remediation action consisted in creation of a "storage site", for the collection of contaminated materials from different waste-rock dumps and most of tailings piles occurring along the Baccu Locci stream. This paper reports preliminary results on the level of contamination in the Baccu Locci stream after the completion of remediation measures. Post-remediation stream water chemistry has not substantially changed compared to the pre-remediation situation. In particular, dissolved As maintains an increasing trend along the Baccu Locci stream, with a concentration of about 400 μg/L measured at a distance of 7 km from the storage site. Future monitoring will provide fundamental information on the effectiveness of remediation actions conducted and their applicability to other mine sites in Sardinia. At the stage of mine site characterisation of future remediation plans, it is recommended to pay more attention to the understanding of mineralogical and geochemical processes responsible for pollution. Moreover, mixing of materials with different composition and reactivity in a storage site should require careful consideration and long-term leaching tests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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