Understanding the Fate and Effects of Metal Contaminants

Watersheds in mineralized zones may contain more than one mine, each of which can contribute to acidity and the metal load of a stream, resulting in a complex downstream environment due to the confounding influences of multiple contaminant input sources. Mitigating the effects on the environment that result from incremental, accumulating, and potential future activities requires a watershed-based approach for cumulative effects assessment (CEA).

CanmetMINING conducts research to investigate the potential impacts of mining on local environments, including the effects of effluent discharges, atmospheric deposition and historical contamination. Research in this area has strong linkages with remediation and solution formulation. Understanding the contribution of contaminants through various pathways will help address environmental concerns over the discharge of metals, be it in the dissolved, colloidal or particulate form and improve our understanding of impacts at a watershed scale.

CanmetMINING conducts research to improve our understanding of the role of particulate matter as a source of contaminants into both freshwater and marine environments, and the processes involved in the fate of dissolved metals, particularly in multi-component/complex systems.