By Nick Cato, Shahid Mahmud
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Accumulation in aquatic organisms, particularly benthic species, can also cause acute and chronic toxicity to aquatic life. Finally, organic-laden solids have the effect of reducing dissolved oxygen concentration, thus creating toxic conditions. Physical Impacts. Beyond the potential for pollutant impacts on human and aquatic life, physical impacts are associated with the sedimentation, including the filling of deep pools resulting in the loss of habitat for fish and an increase in temperature.
1 Community Values and Culture It is important for the site team to learn about the communities that will be affected by the site cleanup since the values and unique culture of each community impact how area residents react to cleanup efforts. Residents in many communities located near mine waste sites either are currently mining as an occupation or have ties to mining. They are proud of their mining heritage. They may view mine wastes not as eyesores or sources of risk, but as signs of economic vitality--a reminder of the “good old days”.
The acute toxicity of cyanide (inhalation or ingestion of cyanide interferes with an organism's oxygen metabolism and is lethal) coupled with impacts from a number of major incidents have focused attention on the use of cyanide in the mining industry. Through the 1980's, as cyanidation operations and cyanide usage proliferated, incidents were reported in which waterfowl died when using tailings ponds or other cyanide-containing solution ponds. In addition, a number of major spills occurred, including one in South Highlight 3-6 Romanian Cyanide Spill On January 31, 2000, a tailings dam failed at the Aurul gold mine near the town of Bai Mare in Romania.