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ArticleName Mining-associated environmental problems in the Kyrgyz Republic
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2016.08.06
ArticleAuthor Kojobaev K. A., Moldogazieva G. T., Totubaeva N. E., Otorova S. T.

Manas Kyrgyz–Turkish University, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan:

K. A. Kojobaev, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences, kanatbek.kojobaev

N. E. Totubaeva, Senior Lecturer, Candidate of Biological Sciences


Institute of Geology, National Academy of Sciences, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan:
G. T. Moldogazieva, Researcher

Naryn State University, Naryn, Kyrgyzstan:
S. T. Otorova, Head of a Chair, Candidate, of Engineering Sciences


is of the current concern to consider geo-ecological problems associated with the activities of mining companies (MC) in the Kyrgyz Republic (KR), and these issues many a time have been on the agenda of Government and Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic and were the cause of numerous mass gatherings. It is shown that even after-effects of prospecting and geological exploration remain unhealed at the distance of 5–7 decades. Much more serious environmental problems arise in mineral mining and processing, and these problems exist usually for tens and hundreds of years after mining completion, which is exemplified by the cases of Minkush, Sumsar and Ak-Tuz deposits. According to the authors, components of high-mountain mineral mining arranged in decreasing order of the environmental impact: a) tailing; b) dumps; c) glaciers; g) other consequences of mine activities. High-precision analyzes of water samples taken in the vicinity of the large operating gold deposit Kumtor, including its tailings pond, discovers considerable pollution with many trace elements (aluminum, iron, copper, molybdenum, manganese, nickel, zinc, etc.). Waste rock dumps in Kyrgyzstan reaches enormous size, for example, in 1995–2014, only Kumtor dumps have made more than 1.5 Bt, and the related hazard is comparable or event exceeds the hazard due to tailings ponds. The macro and micro element sampling of water from the Chon Sary-Tor Stream flowing from the waste rock dumps of the mine in 2011 showed dangerous content of toxic substances in sharply elevated concentrations: the sum of ratios of the contents of hazardous elements to their MAC was 114.45. Widely known are the environmental problems associated with glaciers and with the activities of Pascua Lama mine; the same situation takes place in the area of Kumtor mine in the Kyrgyz Republic. It is emphasized that due to the noticeable decline in the number of glaciers and their volume in the last few decades, their relative value and role increases. There are other environmental problems associated with mineral mining such as wind transportation of fine particles contaminating entire surrounding area and facilities.

keywords Kyrgyz Republic, mining companies, geo-ecological problems, tailings ponds, waste rock dumps, glaciers, chemical pollution of water

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