DISPERSION MODELLING OF AIR POLLUTION FROM OPEN PIT COPPER MINE
Copper mining operations have increased in Iran in the past decades due to price increases and potential for creating jobs in developing countries. Iran consists of many copper mines. The mining operations have a positive economic impact on the region, but may also be the cause of adverse environmental effects. Environmental aspects and the health impact of respirable particulates on the communities and agricultural production in the immediate vicinities have been under scrutiny by the regulatory agencies to ensure sustainable development. The impact of an open-pit mine on the air quality and extent of particulate pollutant dispersion in different directions and times is the focus of this paper. The results of the modeling have been validated through ambient air monitoring. Monitoring stations were installed in different areas within the mine unit operations and around it including background areas where PM10 values were 7 μg/m3. Outside the Complex, particulate concentrations were monitored in 9 different stations and up to 25 km distance. Modeling of point, area, and volume sources was conducted using a 9- year meteorological database. The results showed that particulate quantity decreases rapidly below local standard value of 150 μg/m3 at 2.5 km around the mine and the main pollution is due to the crusher and tailings dump areas. Model outputs were compared to the actual values measured by the air quality monitoring network including villages and crop fields. High overall correlation of about 76% was obtained for most of the locations but lower values were reported for more complex terrain in the region. Remedial actions recommended included road water spraying and better management practices to avoid overloading trucks.
Mines; Mine; Mines; modelling; Emissions; monitoring; Pollution; Air;