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STRATEGIES FOR REHABILITATING MERCURY-CONTAMINATED MINING LANDS IN COLOMBIA FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY AND OTHER SUSTAINABLE RE-USE
Rodriguez, A., P. Bardos, A. Cundy, E. Hall, T. Hutchings, W. Kovalick, F. de Leij, R. de Leij, B. Maco, and A. Rodriguez.
R3 Environmental Technology, 2017

Gold mining using mercury recovery techniques has resulted in severe health and environmental impacts in large areas of Colombia, South America. With ~4,200 active and abandoned gold mines and some 3,000 additional artisanal locations, 80,000 ha are estimated to be contaminated with Hg in Colombia, especially by artisanal methods. A project funded by the UK government and supported by the Colombian Ministries of Mining and Environment and Sustainable Development was conducted from June 2016 to March 2017 to evaluate a range of science-based gentle remediation strategies to rehabilitate land affected by soil Hg pollution in disadvantaged areas in Colombia and return it to productive use, with a focus on renewable energy generation. Technology evaluations and bench-scale testing included biochar for Hg stabilization as well as adaptation of international project decision-support tools (EU GREENLAND and HOMBRE Brownfields Opportunity matrix, and U.S. RE-Powering America) to conditions in Colombia. Project output reports are available at http://www.r3environmental.com.co/en/projects/76-estrategias-parastrategies-for-rehabilitating-mercury-contaminated-mining-lands-in-colombia-for-renewable-energy-and-other-sustainable-re-use.html.



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