E3S Web Conf.
Volume 158, 20202019 7th International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention (ICEPP 2019)
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Pollution Control Engineering|
|Published online||23 March 2020|
Assessing the effectiveness of Hyparrhenia hirta in the rehabilitation of the ecosystem of a gold mine dump
1 Department of Metallurgy, School of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
2 Department of Metallurgy, School of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
3 Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
4 Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
∗ Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The mining of gold is associated with several environmental challenges such as acid mine drainage, release of toxic metals which are associated to tailing sediments and have adversely impacted human health and the ecosystem. With increasing global population that is faced with limited land resources for agricultural activities, there is need for land restoration through effective rehabilitation of contaminated soils. The introduction of Hyparrhenia hirta, an indigenous grass specie as a phytoremediation technique for in situ rehabilitation of degraded soil is not only an economically viable approach but also environmentally friendly. Hyparrhenia hirta being a tufted and wiry perennial grass that is invasive with deep root system often aid in stabilizing the ecosystem owing to their self-fertile and drought resistant potentials that support that prevalence in harsh conditions at mine dump sites. In this study, mine tailings at Gold One Mine, Ekuhurleni, South Africa were assessed for heavy metal contents at the same time analysing the uptake of such heavy metals by Hyparrhenia hirta grass specie. The total metal mean concentrations was high (4023.67 mg/kg) for Hyparrhenia hirta which absorbed more of the following mean metal concentrations: 46.10 mg/kg for Cu; 40.08 mg/kg for Zn; 859.12 mg/kg for Pb; 618.26 mg/kg for Cr; 151.70 mg/kg for Co and 2308.41 mg/kg for Ni. The tailings were strongly acidic with a pH range of 3.86 – 4.34. These heavy metals despite the acidic environments were successfully absorbed by Hyparrhenia hirta grass specie. Along these lines Hyparrhenia hirta was discovered reasonable for re-vegetation of mine tailings dump as it has the capacity to hold together tailings sediments against wind and water erosion.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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