Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 55, November 2009, pp. 15-20
Program Geologi, Pusat Sains Sekitaran dan Sumber Alam, Fakulti Sains dan Teknologi, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Abstract — Active and abandoned mine sites in Pahang have been investigated recently to find out the occurrence of acid mine drainage and heavy metals contamination. Acid mine drainage (or also popularly known as AMD), which is a product of weathering (oxidation and hydrolysis) on sulphide minerals has been a major concern in mining industry. Seven mine and quarry sites in Pahang were visited, namely Bukit Botol, Bukit Ibam, Panching quarry, Sg Lembing, Kota Gelanggi, Padang Piol and Kg Awah. In-situ water quality parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen and electrical conductivity were measured. Some surface water samples were also collected and analysed for heavy metals. After the first screening test on these sites, the abandoned tin mine of Sg. Lembing (underground mining) was chosen for further examination. Detailed study at Sg. Lembing involved sampling of surface water and mine tailings. The study has revealed that arsenic (As) concentrations in surface water ranges from 0.003-16.20 mg/L and in mine tailings 755-74475 mg/kg. The arsenic level measured in surface water and mine tailings at Sg Lembing Mine are higher than the environmental standard for effluents (Standard A) in Environmental Quality Act (1974) and contaminated soil standard by ICRCL (1987). The concentrations of other heavy metals such as Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, and Zn are also exceeding the limit allowed by EQA (1974) and ICRCL (1987). The study concludes that there is an urgency to regulate the better closure of abandoned mine sites. Pulverised mine tailings which is very rich in sulphide minerals must be kept away from contact with water and oxygen to avoid reactions that will produce acidic water and harmful chemicals.
Keywords: acid mine drainage, heavy metal contamination, abandoned mine, active mine, Pahang