A flooded open-pit copper mine outside of Butte attracts tens of thousands of migrating birds. Guns, drones, and cannons are used to scare birds from mining wastewater before they get fried in the acidic water.
(Subscription required) Mine planned in Nevada denied an expedited permit to begin groundwork.
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 856, Part 1, 2023, 158927, ISSN 0048-9697
- A mine spill caused 18.6 Mm3 of material to be delivered to a large and deep lake.
- Copper concentrations of sediment in the river below the lake are elevated each winter.
- Annual peak copper concentrations are above national sediment quality guidelines.
- The pulses are due to resuspension of unconsolidated tailings by lake processes.
- Lakes may buffer aquatic systems from spills but could prolong environmental effects
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