Cease or prohibit mining waste (tailings) disposal at sea
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Mine tailings (the ore waste of mines typically in the form of a mud-like material) originate from both coastal and land-based mining activities and can be disposed of in the marine environment. These mine tailings disposals are known as âsubmarine tailing disposalâ in shallow waters, and âdeep sea tailings disposalâ in deeper waters (Vare et al. 2018). Mine tailings can have negative impacts on subtidal benthic invertebrates through physical disturbances, smothering, chemical contamination (Marinho et al. 2017), and changes in sediment characteristics (Kathman et al. 1983) and submarine tailing disposal has been prohibited in parts of the world (Kline & Stekoll 2001). Ceasing or prohibiting submarine mine tailings disposal in an area can remove the source of harm and potentially allow natural recovery of the seabed and its invertebrate community. Evidence for interventions related to marine mining are summarised under âThreat: Energy production and mining â Cease or prohibit marine miningâ and âLeave mine tailings in place following cessation of activitiesâ.
Kathman R.D., Brinkhurst R.O., Woods R.E. & Jeffries D.C. (1983) Benthic studies in Alice Arm and Hastings Arm, BC in relation to mine tailings dispersal. Institute of Ocean Sciences, Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Kline E.R. & Stekoll M.S. (2001) Colonization of mine tailings by marine invertebrates. Marine Environmental Research, 51, 301â325.
Marinho C.H., Giarratano E., Esteves J.L., Narvarte M.A. & Gil M.N. (2017) Hazardous metal pollution in a protected coastal area from Northern Patagonia (Argentina). Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24, 6724â6735.
Vare L.L., Baker M.C., Howe J.A., Levin L.A., Neira C., Ramirez-Llodra E.Z., Reichelt-Brushett A., Rowden A.A., Shimmield T.M., Simpson S.L. & Soto E.H. (2018). Scientific considerations for the assessment and management of mine tailings disposal in the deep sea. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5, 17.