Mining in the Environmental Protected Areas: A Case Study in Central Iran
The environmental impacts of mining can include degradation in aesthetic quality, noise and vibration, air pollution, surface run-off, subsidence, and the discharge of process wastes. However, the picture of mining firms operating with impunity is no longer accurate and in Iran, potential environmental effects have to be taken into consideration from the planning stage. There are significant reserves of zinc, copper, iron, lead, chromites, manganese, coal and gold in Iran. In addition, there are major iron ore deposits near Bafgh in central Iran, which is close to the Koh-Bafgh Protected Area (KBPA). There are eight mines within the KBPA itself (all of which are open-cast). The KBPA is a protected area of the Department of the Environment and has special environmental values relating to geology and wildlife. This paper presents an environmental assessment and proposes an approach to manage the related environmental issues. A database of the land use applications, including mining sites, has been created using a Geographical Information System (GIS). It is concluded that a detailed database with high spatiotemporal resolution is a powerful tool for environmental applications and which might be used by environmentalists and industrialists alike.
Keywords - Mining, GIS, Koh-Bafgh-protected area, environmental protection