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Journal Article

Mercury from gold minings in the Pantanal of Poconé (Mato Grosso, Brazil)

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56639

Nogueira,  Flávia
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56754

Junk,  Wolfgang
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Nogueira, F., Castro e Silva, E., & Junk, W. (1997). Mercury from gold minings in the Pantanal of Poconé (Mato Grosso, Brazil). International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 7(3), 181-191. doi:10.1080/09603129773823.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-E222-1
Abstract
The Pocone gold minings are situated in the Bento Gomes River Basin, at the border of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso. Gold-bearing quartz veins are removed from the subsoils, milled with water, centrifuged and the heavier fraction is subsequently mixed with mercury for gold separation. The gold mining activities caused a very intensive landscape change, threatening many environmental processes like sediment control and storage and recycling capacity of mercury. Cold Vapor Atomic Fluorescence System (CVAFS) was used to determinate total mercury in water, suspended material and sediments from Bento Gomes River, sampled monthly for 1 year. Apart from the fact that mercury concentrations are low in water and bottom sediments, they are slightly higher in relation to background levels measured in the area. The concentration in suspended material is also lower than other rivers with gold mining activities, but the floodplains of the Bento Gomes River act as mercury sinks. Therefore, the discharge of mercury into the Pantanal floodplain should be avoided, in spite of actual contamination of the system being very low.