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An extensive review on restoration technologies for mining tailings

Sun, Wei, Ji, Bin, Khoso, Sultan Ahmed, Tang, Honghu, Liu, Runqing, Wang, Li, Hu, Yuehua
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.34 pp. 33911-33925
acidification, alkalinization, ecological restoration, economic factors, emissions, heavy metals, mine tailings, mineral resources, mining, nutrition, pH, phytoremediation
Development of mineral resources and the increasing mining waste emissions have created a series of environmental and health-related issues. Nowadays, the ecological restoration of mining tailings has become one of the urgent tasks for mine workers and environmental engineers all over the world. Aim of the present paper is to highlight the previous restoration techniques and the challenges encountered during the restoration of mine tailings. As it is a common practice that, before restoring of tailings, the site should be evaluated carefully. Studies showed that the mine tailings’ adverse properties, including excessive heavy metal concentration, acidification, improper pH value, salinization and alkalization, poor physical structure and inadequate nutrition, etc., are the major challenges of their restoration. Generally, four restoration technologies, including physical, chemical, phytoremediation, and bioremediation, are used to restore the mining tailings. The working mechanism, advantages, and disadvantages of these techniques are described in detail. In addition, selection of the suitable restoration techniques can largely be carried out by considering both the economic factors and time required. Furthermore, the ecosystem restoration is perceived to be a more promising technology for mine tailings. Therefore, this extensive review can act as a valuable reference for the researchers involved in mine tailing restoration.