Mountain objects emit runoffs of atmospheric and natural origin into surface-stream flows. Dump waters contain copper, iron, and sulfur in concentrations comparable to their content in ores. The most significant is the chemical pollution of dump waters with sulfates, nitrates and metals. Powerful pollutants include chemical ingredients used and water from the processing of brines that are released to the surface. The impact of mining is multiplied in the mountains. The rivers of the Central Caucasus are fed by both glacial and underground and groundwater, the composition of which is subject to seasonal fluctuations. With an increase in the area of the developed mountainous areas, an increase in the technogenic load occurs. The main collectors of technogenic pollution in the Central Caucasus are the Baksan and Ardon rivers, which collect wastewater from the mining enterprises.
The tailings site is positioned as an environmentally hazardous facility. At the enterprises of the Sadon Lead-Zinc Plant, the mined ores were enriched at the factory in the village Mizur, and the tails were dumped in the river Ardon, which polluted it with metals all over. The finely dispersed fraction of tailings in strong winds pollutes the soil of pastures, farmland, river water and negatively affects the health of miners. In Vladikavkaz, there is a steady increase in the disease incidence caused by the anthropogenic impact of ore mining and processing products. It is determined that the incidence naturally depends on the distance between the objects and the metallurgical enterprises of the city: with an increase in the distance to industrial objects, the number of diseases per unit area decreases.
Radical protection of the environment from the chemically contaminated waters is possible with the complete disposal of industrial waste after bringing them to sanitary requirements. As a method for utilizing enrichment tailings, leaching technology with mechanochemical treatment in disintegrators can be claimed. Imbalance of the system of prooxidants-antioxidants in the blood of residents is a consequence of metal-induced toxicity, which contributes to the development of severe pathological processes. Utilization of enrichment tailings will reduce the risk of population morbidity and the occurrence of negative technological phenomena associated with the actions of aggressive water flows.
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