History of environmental contamination at Sunny Corner Ag-Pb-Zn mine, eastern Australia

a meta-analysis approach

Armin Kavehei*, Grant C. Hose, Damian B. Gore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Environmental impacts associated with mining can be important even after cessation of ore extraction, particularly where sites are abandoned and unremediated. Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is a common concern in such legacy mines where sulfide ores were extracted. AMD can introduce large concentrations of heavy metals to aquatic systems and contaminate the environment for many kilometres downstream of old mines. Understanding the pattern and history of contamination from legacy mines can help environmental managers make better management decisions. Meta-analysis is a statistical tool that can help determine the significance of changes in metal contamination over the years since cessation of mining. Here we use meta-analysis to examine metal contamination at and downstream of Sunny Corner silver (Ag)-lead (Pb)-zinc (Zn) mine in eastern Australia. Copper (Cu), Zn and Pb concentrations in water increased from 1978 to 2018 within 2 km downstream of the main mine adit, whereas for stream sediment, only Zn concentrations increased significantly over the same period. In contrast, Pb concentrations in surface soil decreased over the years from 2000 to 2018.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115742
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note



  • Heavy metal
  • Acid mine drainage
  • Meta-analysis
  • History of contamination
  • legacy mine

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