Tich Xuan Pham Van Pho Nguyen O.L. Gas'kova S.B. Bortnikova

: Geochemistry International

This study provides an assessment of the environmental impact of open pit mining operations at the Cay Cham titanomagnetite-ilmenite deposit (northern Vietnam). The results of surface water sampling indicate the formation of acid mine drainage and contamination of adjacent areas by heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Ni, and Mn). The acid mine drainage is produced by oxidation leaching of sulfide minerals associated with primary mineralization owing to the low neutralization potential of the natural waters in the humid environment of tropical rainforest. The study showed that alternating dry and wet seasons typical of this climatic region promote the generation of stored acidity leading to a sharp decrease in pH of drainage water during the wet season and result in the negative impacts of this mine on both flowing and stagnant surface waters.