Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(13), 4599; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10134599 (registering DOI) - 02 Jul 2020
The abandoned mercury (Hg) mine area in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan was included in the list of abandoned and inactive mines in the Philippines which pose a high risk to human health and the environment, and require rehabilitation. The mine site, operated by [...] Read more.
The abandoned mercury (Hg) mine area in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan was included in the list of abandoned and inactive mines in the Philippines which pose a high risk to human health and the environment, and require rehabilitation. The mine site, operated by Palawan Quicksilver Mines, Inc. (PQMI) from 1953 to 1976, is located approximately 3 km inland from Honda Bay coast and within the catchment of the Tagburos River, which is a local fishery and recreational area. In this study, total Hg levels in soils and sediments were measured to assess the possible release of Hg from the site into the surrounding natural environment. Results showed that total Hg (THg) concentrations found in soils (0.04–67.5 mg kg−1), mine waste calcines (52.7–924.2 mg kg−1), river sediments (1.8–119 mg kg−1), and marine sediments (0.04–12.7 mg kg−1) were elevated compared to the global background of 0.045–0.16 mg kg−1. The high concentrations of Hg in soils and river sediments were influenced by the different pathways for the release of Hg from its mine operations; while Hg in marine sediments was caused by the erosion of mine waste calcines near the pit lake, and calcines used to construct a wharf at the nearby Honda Bay. Mine wastes represent the largest source of Hg contamination in the area, due to the low efficiency of the recovery process during calcination. This work corresponds with the Minamata Convention on Mercury on the updated environmental assessments of abandoned Hg mines as potential source sites of mercury contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mercury and Methylmercury Contamination of Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems)►▼ Show Figures