The Main Factors of Adverse Environmental Impact of Potash Production and Methods of Environmental Protection

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Currently, an adverse environmental factor in the Soligorsk mining district is the effect of underground mining on the terrain and landscape. The remarkable thing is that flooding and waterlogging in the undermined territory of the potash mine fields is connected with specific natural conditions of the district. Clay-salt tailings are known to be stored in salt tailings piles. To prevent the filtration of brines and diffusive penetration of salts into underlying soil and groundwater and thereby prevent salinization of geological environment, in the areas where salt tailings piles are located and on the slopes of bund walls, an impervious screen is arranged. It was noted that in recent years, Belaruskali OJSC’s ore departments have been widely using high-altitude solid waste piling method, which reduces the area occupied by salt tailings piles. To prevent and eliminate excess brines, Belaruskali introduced a method for biological reclamation of spent salt tailings piles, which provides for creation of vegetation on the soil layer surface and the conditions for its self-regeneration. Five degrees of groundwater pollution in the Soligorsk industrial district were distinguished: low, medium, periodically high, high, and catastrophically high. It was found that the following factors have negative impact on flora and fauna in the district where potash enterprises operate: land acquisition for industrial sites, salt tailings piles and TSF and, as a result, reduction in the area of vegetation cover; flooding and waterlogging of lands due to subsidence of the earth's surface above the worked-out mine workings; salinization of territories adjacent to the enterprise by excess brines; impact of industrial dust and gas emission. One of salinization control measures is creation of forest shelter belts.

About the Authors

N. A. Vysotskaya
Closed Joint-Stock Company Soligorsk Institute for Resource Saving Problems with Pilot Production

Deputy Head of Department of scientific and technical information.

Soligorsk, Minsk region

E. V. Piskun
Closed Joint-Stock Company Soligorsk Institute for Resource Saving Problems with Pilot Production

Engineer of scientific and technical Information (post-graduate student of Belarusian State University of Transport).

Soligorsk, Minsk region


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For citation: Vysotskaya N.A., Piskun E.V. The Main Factors of Adverse Environmental Impact of Potash Production and Methods of Environmental Protection. Gornye nauki i tekhnologii = Mining Science and Technology (Russia). 2019;4(3):172-180.

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