Impact of Old and Recent Gold Mining Sites on Mercury Fluxes in Suspended Particulate Matter, Water and Sediment in French Guiana - Archive ouverte HAL Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue Applied Sciences Année : 2020

Impact of Old and Recent Gold Mining Sites on Mercury Fluxes in Suspended Particulate Matter, Water and Sediment in French Guiana

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Résumé

In 2006 the use of mercury (Hg) was banned for gold mining in French Guiana. However, mining of old placers could mobilize Hg accumulated in soils and sediment. This study aimed to measure the current impact of a mining concession (Boulanger site) on the Hg load in the watershed. Turbidity, Total Mercury (THg), and Monomethylmercury (MMHg) were measured in water, suspended particulate matter (SPM), river sediment and sediments from old tailing ponds along a river section of 30 km up and downstream from a mining concession in French Guiana during a dry and a rainy season. Total dissolved Hg (THg D) concentrations varied little from up-to downstream but were all higher (fourfold on average) during the rainy season (3.2 to 4.4 ng L −1), than during the dry season and consistent with previous data known for the Amazonian area. Dissolved MMHg (MMHg D) represented up to 30% of THg D during the dry season, which is higher than previous results (typically around 2%). Mercury concentrations in sediments were highest in the vicinity of areas affected by old (before 2006) rather than new gold mining practices. Even though Hg was banned in 2006, present gold mining practices still release natural Hg and Hg inherited from older mining practices into the watershed.
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hal-03709977 , version 1 (30-06-2022)

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Jennifer Hellal, Jörg Schäfer, Régis Vigouroux, Laurent Lanceleur, Valérie Laperche. Impact of Old and Recent Gold Mining Sites on Mercury Fluxes in Suspended Particulate Matter, Water and Sediment in French Guiana. Applied Sciences, 2020, 10 (21), pp.7829. ⟨10.3390/app10217829⟩. ⟨hal-03709977⟩
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