Sulphur Dioxide Emissions From Copper Mining Environmental Sciences Essay

Laws and ordinances have been introduced in Zambia to pull off environmental effects of industrial activities such as Cu excavation. This is a research undertaking proposal to carry on an rating of Cu excavation companies ‘ conformity with environmental ordinances regulating sulfur dioxide [ SO2 ] emanations ; considered a major pollutant inimical to the environment and human wellness. Primary and secondary attacks to data aggregation and analysis will be applied in this survey, implemented over 6 months with a budget of ?10,000. Trend analysis of informations will be used to inform environmental redress attempts in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia.

The United Nations Environment Programme [ UNEP ] identified air pollution, dirt debasement, wildlife preservation and H2O pollution/sanitation as the chief environmental issues for Zambia ( Dymond et al. , 2007 ) .

The mineral excavation sector compounds environmental issues in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. The relationship between excavation and environmental jobs is really complex because Cu excavation is the chief beginning of gross and is the largest employer of the Zambian work force. Zambia is the universe market ‘s 11th largest provider of Cu ( World Bank Group, 1998 ) . However the population on the Copperbelt are populating under really unhealthy fortunes caused by mining pollutants ( Feneey, 2001 ) .

The environmental effects of Cu excavation include acerb rain and dry deposition, taking to vegetive loss. Suspended solids in acidic effluent alteration dirt chemical composing and cut down the suitableness of the land for farming. ( Dymond et al. , 2007 ) . Health effects include take a breathing troubles and chronic respiratory unwellnesss ensuing from particulate affair ( Emberson, 2003 ) . This survey, nevertheless, will merely concentrate on the monitoring of SO2 emanations.

2. Literature Reappraisal

Depending on the extraction procedure, Cu excavation produces between 4- 2X 103 kilogram SO2 [ 10 3 kilogram ] -1 of Cu ( World Bank, 1998 ) . Zambia is considered the least emission-efficient state in the universe ( Stern, 2004 ) which suggests a strong relationship between Cu production and SO2.

Scientific grounds suggests that Cu excavation consequences in high emanations that are unfriendly to the environment. For illustration, SO2, a major emanation of Cu excavation activity ; is one of the chief constituents of acid rain which affects flora, and can take to acidification particularly of fresh H2O organic structures ( Krebs, 2001 ) .

Consequently criterions have been set up in states such as the United States of America [ 0.03 ppm/ 80 ug m-3 ] ( UN Habitat/ UNEP, 2010 ) and United Kingdom [ 350 ug m-3 in one hr no more than 24 times a twelvemonth and the 24-hour mean should non transcend 125 ug m-3 more than three times a twelvemonth with a 150 ug m-3 threshold ] ( AEA Energy & A ; Environment, 2008 ; cited by Defra, 2009 ) .

In the early 1990s, the Government of Zambia introduced environmental direction statute law. The air pollution criterions for SO2 are 125 ug m-3 for 24-hour mean, 350 ug m-3 for one hr and 500 ug m-3for 10 proceedingss ( ECZ, 2009 ) .

Copper excavation companies are expected to follow with national criterions and are self-regulatory in Zambia. However, there is increasing grounds of deficiency of publically available information on these companies ‘ conformity with ordinances ( Dymond et al. , 2007 ) .

Against this background, the cardinal inquiry is how some Cu bring forthing states are fairing with environmental criterions.

2.1 United States of America [ USA ]

New Mexico was chosen as a comparator for intents of this survey. Data was obtained from the New Mexico Environment Department. The substructure for environmental coverage is equal for a critical analysis.

Figure 1 below shows the SO2 emanations in New Mexico between May and November 2008.

Figure 1: Time Series of SO2 Emissions in New Mexico, May – November 2008 ( NMED, 2009 )

From Figure 1 above the highest SO2 emanation was 21.4 ug m-3, and did non transcend the US criterion of 80 ug m-3 at any point. The dataset besides shows some negative readings, the lowest being -2.2 ug m-3. These ‘anomalies ‘ could hold resulted from instrument standardization jobs, although there could be other accounts.

Figure 2 below shows that the most frequent emanation degree was at 0.3 ug m-3.

Figure 2: Frequency size distribution, New Mexico May – November 2008 ( NMED, 2009 )

Both Figure 1 and 2 above show overall conformity with national criterion for the US.

Further informations analysis showed a strong correlativity between the Cu production and SO2 emanations as illustrated in Figure 3 below.

Figure 3: Correlation of Annual Copper Production and SO2 emanations, New Mexico, 1995- 2008 ( Data from CDA, 2009 & A ; NEMD, 2009 )

Figure 3 above shows that 80.9 % of the SO2 emanations are explained by Cu production in New Mexico. This may corroborate the statement that SO2 emanations are high in Cu excavation countries ( Stern, 2004 ) .

2.2 Zambia

Data was compiled from assorted beginnings. Based on this information, Figure 4 below shows the clip series of SO2 emanation and Cu production in Zambia between 1991 and 2006.

Figure 4: Datas on Copper Production and SO2 emanations in Zambia ( Data from Earth Trends, 2003 ; cited by Emberson 2003 )

Figure 5 below shows a really weak correlativity between the two variables with merely 7.5 % of the SO2 emanations being explained by Cu production in Zambia.

Figure 5: Correlation of Annual Copper Production and SO2 Emissions in Zambia ( Data from Earth Trends, 2003 ; cited by Emberson 2003 )

There was no information from an single beginning for Zambia to enable a sound critical analysis of emanations from the Cu excavation industry. Harmonizing to Feeney ( 2001 ) , Zambia does non presently generate the appropriate informations to measure whether or non there is conformity with bing statutory thresholds.

This suggests the demand for more robust environmental monitoring systems for effectual analysis to steer redress attempts.

3. Problem Definition

Environmental direction has many challenges in Zambia. Chief among these is a famine of informations on the toxic emanations from the Cu mines and the trouble in enforcement of ordinances regulating the industry ( Dymond et al. , 2007 ) . Although the excavation companies have self-regulatory systems, ( ZCCM-IH, 2009 ) information is unavailable publically. This makes robust audit of emanations hard for interested parties.

4. Aims

The survey aims to measure the current degrees of SO2 emanations in the ambient air around Kalulushi town and compare them against, bing informations collected by the Copperbelt Environment Programme if available ; every bit good as current regulative limits/standards.

The void hypotheses of the survey are: –

SO2 non affected by the degree of Cu production

Current excavation emanations are non above the local ordinances

5. Justification

The justification for this survey is that SO2 is a major air pollutant, which affects the environment every bit good as worlds. Although environmental Torahs have been introduced in Zambia, informations on monitoring systems is light. This makes it hard to supervise the current emanations degrees of the Cu mines in Zambia ( Dymond et al. , 2007 ) . Using Kalulushi town as a instance survey, it is hoped that this research will open up the constitution of an effectual environmental monitoring substructure in Zambia.

6. Research Design

6.1 Research Sites

For intents of this survey, Chibuluma Mines PLC a copper-cobalt mine near Kalulushi town of the Copperbelt Province of Zambia will be used. This location was selected as it is one of the smaller excavation sites in the Copperbelt.

6.2 Methodology

In order to reply the inquiries outlined above, several attacks to data aggregation and analysis will be used. These will include analysis of bing secondary informations for the SO2 emanations every bit good as primary informations.

A desk survey will be conducted to reexamine bing statute law and ordinance regulating the excavation industry in Zambia at the Environment Council of Zambia [ ECZ ] and Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources [ MTENR ] . At least 3 old ages of bing emanations informations will besides be reviewed to set up the tendencies of the emanations at the site.

6.3 Data Collection

A sonic wind gauge will be used to set up the prevailing air current way [ down-wind of the mine where sampling station will be set up ] ; a GPS will be used to map trying points. Primary informations on S02 emanations will be collected utilizing an automatic sampling station. Data will be logged every 10 proceedingss utilizing an interface laptop.

The survey will roll up primary informations for 2 months, as recommended by Ghose ( 2007 ) .

6.4 Data Analysis

Data will be analysed utilizing Microsoft Excel 2007. The dependent variable is the degrees of SO2 emanations while Cu production will be independent variable.

7. Expected Outcomes of the Undertaking

Datas from this research will organize the first measure towards puting up an independent and effectual excavation emanations supervising database for the Copperbelt.

It is besides hoped that the findings of this research will oblige assorted stakeholders ‘ attempts to restrict the harm caused to the environment by mining activities by promoting transparence of describing emanation degrees ( CEP, 2009 ) .

8. Activity Time Frame

The undertaking should be completed in six months as shown in Table I below.

Table I: Activity Time Frame

Activity

Duration

Mon 1

Mon 2

Mon 3

Mon 4

Mon 5

Mon

6

Preparatory activities

2 hebdomads

A

A

A

A

A

A

Gathering and authorisation/ sign language out/ purchase of field equipment

Official Introductory letters

Travel and Equipment Freight

1 hebdomad

A

A

A

A

A

Introductory meetings

1 hebdomad

A

A

A

A

A

A

Opening meetings with site Engineers

A

A

A

A

Desk survey, reappraisal of historical informations and bing ordinances

1 month

Sampling/monitoring activities

2 months

A

A

A

A

A

A

Reviewing bing trying points

Primary informations aggregation

Exist meetings

1 hebdomad

A

A

A

A

A

A

Closing treatment meetings with site applied scientists

Data analysis and undertaking shutting study

2 months

A

A

A

A

A

9. Budget

The undertaking will be completed at the unit cost of ?10, 000 as indicated in Table II below.

Table II: Undertaking Budget

Budget Item

Unit of measurements

Price Unit-1

Entire [ ? ]

Undertaking Opening balance

A

10,000

Travel Logisticss

3,800

Return Flight

1

900

900

Equipment Cargo

batch

500

500

Vehicle hire

60

40

2,400

Adjustment and repasts

A

3,120

Adjustment

60

40

2,400

Meals

60

12

720

Field Equipment

A

A

1500*

Automatic metre [ SO2 ]

1

1500

1500*

Battery

1

0

0

Laptop ( with informations interface )

1

0

0

Sonic Anemometer

1

0

0

Global positioning system

1

0

0

Allowance

60

10

600

Accumulative Balance

A

A

9,020

Contingency @ 10 %

902

Grand Total

9,922

Undertaking Closing Balance

A

78

[ All monetary values inclusive of VAT, *estimate ]

10. Restrictions

The major restriction of the survey is that it will be completed in six months proposing that the annual standards/targets can non be measured. Non-availability of baseline informations limited a solid literature reappraisal for the current degrees of Cu excavation emanations in Zambia. This job may besides be encountered during the survey.

11. Decisions

Datas from the USA shows a strong positive relationship between Cu production and SO2 emanation. However ; informations from Zambia shows a weak relationship, but there is deficiency of informations to execute critical analysis and effectual audit by interested parties. This deficiency of information justifies the demand for the research undertaking.