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Environmental regulatory failure and metal contamination at the Giap Lai Pyrite mine, Northern Vietnam
Swedish Geological.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, Vol. 86, no 4, 712-720 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The causes for the failure in enforcement of environmental regulations at the Giap Lai pyrite mine in northern Vietnam are considered and the environmental impacts that are associated with this mine are evaluated. It is shown that sulphide rich tailings and waste rock in the mining area represent significant sources of Acid Rock Drainage (ARD). The ARD is causing elevated metal levels in downstream water bodies, which in turn represent a threat to both human health and to aquatic ecosystems. Metal concentrations in impacted surface waters have increased after mine closure, suggesting that impacts are becoming progressively more serious. No post closure, remediation measures have been applied at the mine, in spite of the existence of environmental legislation and both central and regional institutions charged with environmental supervision and control. The research presented here provides further emphasis for the recommendation that, while government institutions may need to be strengthened, and environmental regulations need to be in place, true on the ground improvement in environmental quality in Vietnam and in many other developing countries require an increased focus on promoting public awareness of industrial environmental issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för tema , 2008. Vol. 86, no 4, 712-720 p.
Keyword [en]
Metal contamination, Environmental policy, Acid rock drainage, Vietnam
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11139DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2006.12.012OAI: diva2:17580
Original publication: N. Håkan Tarras-Wahlberg and Lan T. Nguyen, Environmental regulatory failure and metal contamination at the Giap Lai Pyrite mine, Northern Vietnam, 2008, Journal of Environmental Management, (86), 4, 712-720. Copyright: Elsevier Ltd., from: 2008-02-27 Created: 2008-02-27 Last updated: 2013-06-12
In thesis
1. Mobilization of metals from mining wastes and the resuspension of contaminated sediments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mobilization of metals from mining wastes and the resuspension of contaminated sediments
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In some environmental situations, environmental effects caused by elevated metals resulting from past mining and smelting activities can be observed in nearby receiving water bodies several decades after mine and smelter closure. There is a growing need for managing the hazardous solid wastes such as mining wastes as well as for assessing water quality and for sustainable management of sediment quality. The work presented in this thesis examined the mobilization of metals from two metal sources: mining wastes from a mine site in Vietnam and sediments from a contaminated lake in Sweden in order to test the hypothesis that mobilization of metals will be increased, when the environmental conditions change by e.g. exposure of mining wastes to oxidative weathering, change of redox conditions at the water-sediment interface and resuspension of sediments. The results from this work under field and laboratory conditions have verified the hypothesis. The exposure of sulphidic mining wastes in oxidative weathering conditions may cause long-term production of ARD and the resultant long-term mobility of metals. The oxidation/resuspension of sediments is an important factor for the release of trace metals Zn, Cu and Cd into the solution and substantial amounts of particles and, hence, associated metals into overlying water. The concomitant changes in pH during oxidation/resuspension of sediment play a significant role in the metal release both to redox sensitive elements Fe and Mn and trace elements Zn, Cu and Cd. The concomitant change in DOC during oxidation/resuspension can also contribute to the increased mobility of study metals. The field study was coupled to intermittent operation of a hydropower plant. The mobility of the metals was higher under operation compared to non-operation and, thus, the potential impacts on dispersal of metal pollution to downstream aquatic environments. The sudden increase in water flow upon the hydropower plant upon shifts from inactive to active state could cause immediate release of particles and thus particulate metals in the overlying water. However, the magnitude and its integrated effects in fluxes of metals over the season call for further research. There is a need to further investigate the impacts of hydropower generation in a longer period of time and at a higher frequency of observations at the very start of the hydropower operation. The results from this multidisciplinary approach would give a basis for an optimal operation of the hydropower plant to minimize the metal pollution associated with the water flow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008. 52 + papers 1-4 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 430
Acid Rock Drainage, hydropower plant, metal contamination, mining wastes, storm-wind, resuspension, sediment
National Category
Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10008 (URN)978-91-7393-926-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-03-26, VAL, Vallfartne, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Linköping, 10:15 (English)

The series number is changed from 410 to 430 and the ISBN is changed from 978-91-85895-56-4 to 978-91-7393-926-3.

Available from: 2007-10-30 Created: 2007-10-30 Last updated: 2014-09-25Bibliographically approved

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