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J Environ Manage. 2009 Jun;90(8):2422-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2008.12.007. Epub 2009 Mar 14.

Designing of an environmental assessment algorithm for surface mining projects.

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School of Geology, University College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


This paper depicts the method used to quantify the environmental impact of mining activities in surface mine projects. The affected environment was broken down into thirteen components, such as Human health and immunity, Surface water, Air quality, etc. The effect of twenty impacting factors from the mining and milling activities was then calculated for each Environmental Component. Environmental assessments are often performed by using matrix methods in which one dimension of the matrix is the "Impacting Factor" and the other one is the "Environmental Components". For the presented matrix method, each Impacting Factor was first given a magnitude between -10 and 10. These factors are used to set up a matrix named Impacting Factor Matrix, whose elements represent the Impacting Factor values. The effects of each Impacting Factor on each Environmental Component were then quantified by multiplying the Impacting Factor Matrix by Weighting Factor Matrix. The elements of the weighting factors matrix reflect the effects of each Impacting Factor on each Environmental Component. The outlined method was originally developed for a mining and milling operation in Iran, but it can successfully be used for mining ventures and more general industrial activities in other countries in accordance to their environmental regulations and laws.

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