Phytoextraction to promote sustainable development
Keywords:Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining, gold phytoextraction, poverty
AbstractMining makes a positive contribution to the economy of Indonesia. Significant earnings accrue through the export of tin, coal, copper, nickel and gold. Of these commodities, gold carries the highest unit value. But not all gold mining is regulated. Indonesia has a significant Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) industry, defined as any informal and unregulated system of gold mining. These operations are often illegal, unsafe and are environmentally and socially destructive. New technology is needed to support the sustainable exploitation of gold and other precious metal resources in locations where ASGM is currently practised. This technology must be simple, cheap, easy to operate and financially rewarding. A proven option that needs to be promoted is phytoextraction. This is technology where plants are used to extract metals from waste rock, soil or water. These metals can subsequently be recovered from the plant in pure form, and sold or recycled. Gold phytoextraction is a commercially available technology, while international research has shown that phytoextraction will also work for mercury. In the context of ASGM operations, tailings could be contained in specific â€˜farming areasâ€™ and cropped using phytoextraction technology. The banning of ASGM operations is not practicable or viable. Poverty would likely become more extreme if a ban were enforced. Instead, new technology options are essential to promote the sustainable development of this industry. Phytoextraction would involve community and worker engagement, education and employment. New skills in agriculture created through application of the technology would be transferrable to the production of food, fibre and timber crops on land adjacent to the mining operations. Phytoextraction could therefore catalyse sustainable development in artisanal gold mining areas throughout Indonesia.
Anderson, C.W.N. 2005. Biogeochemistry of gold; accepted theories and new opportunities. In Trace and Ultratrace Elements in Plants and Soils. Advances in Ecological Science, Vol 20 (Ed. I.Shtangeeva) p. 287-321 (WIT Press, Southampton).
Anderson, C., Moreno, F. and Meech, J. 2005. A field demonstration of gold phytoextraction technology. Minerals Engineering 18: 385-392.
Bell, D.T., 1999. Australian trees for the rehabilitation of waterlogged and salinity damaged soils. Australian Journal of Botany 47: 697-716.
Brooks, R.R. and Robinson, B.H. 1998. Aquatic phytoremediation by accumulator plants. In Plants that Hyperaccumulate Heavy Metals (ed. R.R.Brooks) pp 219-220 (CAB International, Wallingford).
Howes A.W., Slatter, K.A., Sim, E.A. and Jones, A.N. 1998. Rehabilitating nickel-contaminated soil at a base metal refinery using the nickel-hyperaccumulating plant species, Berkheya coddii. In Waste Processing and Recycling in Mineral and Metallurgical Industries III (eds. S.R.Rao, L.M.Amaratunga, G.G.Richards and P.D.Kondos) (The Metallurgical Society of CIM).
Huang, J.W. and Cunnigham, S.D. 1996. Lead phytoextraction: species variation in lead uptake and translocation. New Phytologist 134: 75-84.
International Labour Office. 1999. Social and labour issues in small-scale mines. Report for the Tripartite meeting on social and labour issues in small-scale mines. Geneva, 17-22 May.
Malm, O. 2001. Autismo Ã© associado a uso excessive de vacinas (in Portuguese). CÃ®encia Hoje 30: 17-18.
Meagher, R.B., Rugh, C.L., Kandasamy, M.K., Gragson, G. and Wang, N.J. 2000. Engineered phytoremediation of mercury pollution in soil and water using bacterial genes. In Phytoremediation of Contaminated Soil and Water (eds. N.Terry and G.Banuelos) pp 201-219 (CRC Press, Florida).
Moreno, F.N., Anderson, C.W.N., Stewart, R.B., Robinson, B.H., Nomura, R., Ghomshei, M. and Meech, J.A. 2005. Effect of thioligands on plant-Hg accumulation and volatilisation from mercury-contaminated mine tailings. Plant and Soil 275: 233-246.
Robinson, B.H., Banuelos, G.S., Conesa, H.M., Evangelou, M.W.H. and Schulin, R. 2009. The phytomanagement of trace elements in soil. Critical Reviews in Plant Science 28: 240-266.
Robinson, B., Green, S., Mills, T., Clothier, B., van der Velde, M., Laplane, R., Fung, L., Deurer, M., Hurst, S., Thayalakumaran, T. and van den Dijssel, C. 2003. Phytoremediation: using plants as biopumps to improve degraded environments. Australian Journal of Soil Research 41: 599-611.
Robinson, B.H., Brooks, R.R., Howes, A.W., Kirkman, J.H. and Gregg, P.E.H. 1997. The potential of the high-biomasss nickel hyperaccumulator Berkheya coddiii for phytoremediation and phytomining. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 60: 115-126.
Salt, D.E, Blaylock, M., Kumar, N.P.B.A., Dushenkov, V., Ensley, B., Chet, I. and Raskin, I. 1995. Phytoremediation: a novel strategy for the removal of toxic metals from the environment using plants. Biotechnology 13: 468-474.
Veiga, M.M., Meech, J.A. and Hypolito, R. 1995. Educational measures to address Hg pollution from gold mining activities in the Amazon. Ambio 24(4): 216-220.
Veiga, M.M. and Hinton, J.J. 2002, Abandoned Artisanal Gold Mines in the Brazilian Amazon: A Legacy of Mercury Pollution. Natural Resources Forum 26: 13-24.
How to Cite
LicenseSubmission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, or thesis) that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication, the authors agree to automatic transfer of the copyright to the publisher.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Scientific Journal by Eko Handayanto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.ub.ac.id.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.ircmedmind.ub.ac.id.