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ArticleName Remote monitoring data on opencast mining and disturbed land ecology in the Bakal iron ore field
DOI 10.17580/em.2018.02.08
ArticleAuthor Zenkov I. V., Vokin V. N., Kiryushina E. V., Raevich K. V.

Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia:

Zenkov I. V., Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences, Honored Ecologist of Russian Federation,
Vokin V. N., Professor, Candidate of Engineering Sciences
Kiryushina E. V., Associate Professor, Candidate of Engineering Sciences
Raevich K. V., Associate Professor, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


Currently in the Middle and South Ural in Russia, opencast mining operations are being closed in many iron ore fields. Opencast iron ore mines are closed in the Magnitogorsk, Goroblagodat, Vysokogorsky, Bakal and Tukan fields. The Bakal siderite ore reserves total 1 billion tons, which governs inclusion of the deposit in the group of the world’s largest iron ore provinces. At the closing stage of the Bakal field development (2007–2013), overburden dumping and iron ore haulage to processing plant were carried out using dump trucks with a capacity of 40–55 t. Mining equipment included excavators EKG-5A for overburden excavation and drill rigs SBSH-250 for drilling-and-blasting. The long-term remote ecological monitoring of the mining-disturbed lands in the territory of the Bakal iron ore field estimates the rate of expansion in the area with vegetation ecosystem as 7.9 ha yearly. It is found that overburden dumps show the first signs of revegetation 2–3 years after dumping termination, and the mature grass cover appears on the surface of dumps in 5–6 years. Later on, in 10–12 on these dumps, young mixed forest shows itself and then becomes the mature forest in 16–18 years. All these facts confirm ecologically admissible rates of the planting ecosystem restoration in the course of self-planting of aboriginal wood and shrub species from the native areas adjoining the closed overburden dumps and open pits. The total area of the disturbed lands occupied by the industrial landscape formed in the course of the Bakal iron ore mining totals 2065.9 ha in 2018. The areas containing all types of vegetation cover, including the areas showing revegetation, make 1588.7 ha. By the end of the monitoring period, the reestablishment of vegetation cover in the mining-disturbed lands is at the high level of 79.8 %.

keywords South Ural, Bakal iron ore field, opencast iron ore mines, truckand-railroad car-piled dumps, earth remote sensing, ecological monitoring, vegetation ecosystems

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Full content Remote monitoring data on opencast mining and disturbed land ecology in the Bakal iron ore field