Mining-Related Selenium Contamination in Alaska, and the State of Current Knowledge

Khamkhash, Aibyek ; Srivastava, Vaibhav ; Ghosh, Tathagata ; Akdogan, Guven ; Ganguli, Rajive ; Aggarwal, Srijan (2017)

CITATION: Khamkhash, A., et al. 2017. Mining-Related Selenium Contamination in Alaska, and the State of Current Knowledge. Minerals, 7(3):46, doi:10.3390/min7030046.

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Selenium pollution has been a topic of extensive research dating back further than the last decade and has attracted significant attention from several environmental and regulatory agencies in order to monitor and control its discharge from myriad industrial sources. The mining industry is a prime contributor of hazardous selenium release in the aquatic systems and is responsible for both acute and chronic impacts on living organisms. Herein we provide an overview of selenium contamination issues, with a specific focus on selenium release from mining industries, including a discussion of various technologies commonly employed to treat selenium-impacted waters from mining discharge. Different cases pertaining to selenium release from Alaskan mines (during years 2000–2015) are also presented, along with measures taken to mitigate high concentration releases. For continued resource exploration and economic development activities, as well as environmental preservation, it is important to fundamentally understand such emerging and pressing issues as selenium contamination and investigate efficient technological approaches to counter these challenges.

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