Impacts of Ion Adsorption Type Rare Earth Mining Techniques on Topsoil in Mining Area
Haibin Chen 1,2,3
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School of History and Geography, Minan Normal University, Zhangzhou 363000, China
State Key Laboratory for Subtropical Mountain Ecology of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Fujian Province, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, Fujian, China
School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, Fujian, China
Department of Dendrology and Floriculture, Institute of Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Ornamental Gardening, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Villanyi ut, 29-43, 1118 Budapest, Hungary
Submission date: 2023-09-05
Final revision date: 2023-10-05
Acceptance date: 2023-10-24
Online publication date: 2024-01-03
Publication date: 2024-02-09
Corresponding author
Haibin Chen   

School of History and Geography, Minan Normal University, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2024;33(2):1585-1594
Rare earth elements (REE) are essential components in various modern technologies. Mining activities, in contrast, severely destabilize the adjacent ecological systems. The soil transformation environmental issue in mining areas is inextricably linked to process techniques. Inconsistencies in harm and serviceability arise from different mining techniques. This study was conducted in Fujian, China, which has abundance of ion adsorption type rare earth resources (IAT-Res). We investigated the soil interaction effects of two mining techniques (heap leaching and in-situ leaching). After eight years of restoration, soil destruction and nutrient imbalance remain significant in the heap leaching mining regions. The effects of heap leaching are distinct, whereas pollution caused by in-situ leaching is hidden. Although the in-situ leaching technique resulted in less soil erosion, its potential environmental risk cannot be ignored. The greater number of (NH4)2SO4 leachate residues left over after in-situ leaching contaminate the surrounding ecosystem as they are easily translocated. Through this study, we demonstrate the ecological impacts of different mining techniques in mining areas. As a result, to obtain accurate protection and contaminant control management. However, additional interests should address the leachate and REE pollution caused by in-situ leaching in a larger region.
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