Characterization and Management of Mine Waters

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 March 2024 | Viewed by 1063

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Patrícia Gomes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Campus de Gualtar, Institute of Earth Sciences, Pole of University of Minho, Universidade do Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: wetlands; geochemistry; environment; environmental remediation; acid mine drainage
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: mine waters and mine wastes; acid mine drainage and acid rock drainage; environmental mineralogy; biomonitoring; environmental monitoring and modeling of mine sites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Interests: environmental chemistry; soil science; organic compounds
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water resulting from mining activities, regardless of classification, is often a source of environmental problems. Acid mine drainage represents an extreme type of water pollution. Still, neutral and alkaline waters associated with mining processes may also be of great concern due to the presence of potentially toxic elements. Therefore, remediation and management are major environmental issues that the mining sector should face. The investigations that have been developed transpose topics ranging from the special hydrochemistry, expressed by the pH, concentrations of potentially toxic elements and sulfate; the interaction with the biosphere, namely, acidophilic algae and other extremophile organisms; biodiversity reduction; and ecological risks, also affecting human health.

Furthermore, water management is an issue of concern, especially in the context of climate change. In this sense, the need for novel remediation techniques that allow water reuse is urgent. After years of applying engineering approaches with high associated costs, nowadays, methodologies based on natural solutions, which consist of replicating natural habitats, such as phytoremediation, are more appreciated.

However, even applying environmental improvement techniques, constant monitoring of areas affected by these waters is essential.

Therefore, this Special Issue aims to bring novel contributions to this theme, developed around the issues of mine water characterization and management.

Dr. Patrícia Gomes
Dr. Teresa Valente
Dr. Juan Antelo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • mine waters
  • acid mine drainage
  • mine-water-biosphere interactions
  • water contamination
  • risk assessment
  • environmental remediation
  • nature-based solutions
  • circular economy
  • monitoring

Published Papers (1 paper)

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19 pages, 7164 KiB  
Geochemical Mapping and Reference Values of Potentially Toxic Elements in a Contaminated Mining Region: Upper Velhas River Basin Stream Sediments, Iron Quadrangle, Brazil
Minerals 2023, 13(12), 1545; - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 804
The Upper Velhas River Basin, in the mining region of the Iron Quadrangle, is one of the most polluted basins in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The region has been exploited for gold and iron, among other substances of interest. In addition to abandoned mines, [...] Read more.
The Upper Velhas River Basin, in the mining region of the Iron Quadrangle, is one of the most polluted basins in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The region has been exploited for gold and iron, among other substances of interest. In addition to abandoned mines, active works and mineralized rocks contribute to the discharge of contaminated waters into the rivers and streams. Thus, high-density geochemical mapping with the determination of reference values has become very important, as it allows the spatial distribution of contaminant elements to be obtained, contributing to the recognition of areas with deviant values in the basin. Two hundred and eight sediment samples were collected from streams throughout the Velhas River Basin, with a density of one sample per 15 km2. Geochemical maps were compiled using the distance-weighted inverse interpolation method, and concentrations were distinguished from anomalies using the box plot Upper Inner Fence technique. It was found that 73–78% of the basin area does not present geogenic and anthropic anomalies, with values up to the third quartile for As, Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu, Pb, and Zn. However, anomalies related to human actions, mainly mining works and rock types, occupy 2 to 11% of the area. This first high-density mapping in the Upper Velhas River Basin found numerous streams with concentrations of the elements studied above the Probable Effect Level, allowing us to determine which locations, cities, and river sub-basins are exposed to environmental risks and should be monitored and protected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Management of Mine Waters)
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