Mine Tailings Facility Disasters: Aquatic Ecological Effects and Policy

Published 25 January, 2024


Mine tailings facilities periodically fail with disastrous consequences for humans and ecosystems. One notable example is the 2019 Brumadinho tailings facility disaster, which disgorged 12 million cubic meters of tailings slurry. The event led to a toll of 270 fatalities and the contamination of the Rio Paraopeba spanning 120 kilometers. Similarly, the 2015 Mariana tailings facility disaster unleashed 43.7 million cubic meters of tailings slurry, claiming the lives of 19 people and 11 tons of fish, as well as destroying 1,469 hectares of riparian forest. The aftermath extended to the Rio Doce, and the polluted slurry traveled 620 kilometers downstream before ultimately reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

This Topic focuses on mine tailings facility disasters and their impact on aquatic ecological systems, together with the mitigation and monitoring of results applied to the environmental damages of such disasters.

Important deadlines

Submission deadline: 30 June 2025

Expected time to first decision: Four weeks after submission

Open access (OA) fee: Waived

Submission instructions

Please read the Guide for Authors before submitting. All submissions should be made via the online editorial system.

Guest editors

Dr. Diego M.P. Castro

Email: diegobioufla@gmail.com

Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Dr. Ruanny Casarim

Email: rucasarim@gmail.com

Sistema Estadual de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Hídricos (Sisema), Instituto Estadual de Florestas (IEF), Minas Gerais, Brazil

Prof. Robert M. Hughes

Email: hughes.bob@amnisopes.com

Amnis Opes Institute, Bend, OR, USA; Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

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