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Evaluation of Long-term Impact of Coal Mining in Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique

Nhantumbo, Clemencio LU (2013) In TVVR13/5007 VVR820 20131
Division of Water Resources Engineering
Abstract
Zambezi River Basin is an international river basin which sustains life of about 30 million people in its riparian countries: Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The main stream of the river enters to Mozambique with average flow of about 2330 m3/s and reaches the outfall in the Indian Ocean with about 4134 m3/s. This makes both the activities in the upstream countries and inside Mozambique interfering greatly in the water quality of the river. Nowadays coal mining is developing faster in the upstream area of Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique and it may influence greatly the water quality of the river basin in future.

This makes relevant to evaluate the long-term impact of acid mine drainage... (More)
Zambezi River Basin is an international river basin which sustains life of about 30 million people in its riparian countries: Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The main stream of the river enters to Mozambique with average flow of about 2330 m3/s and reaches the outfall in the Indian Ocean with about 4134 m3/s. This makes both the activities in the upstream countries and inside Mozambique interfering greatly in the water quality of the river. Nowadays coal mining is developing faster in the upstream area of Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique and it may influence greatly the water quality of the river basin in future.

This makes relevant to evaluate the long-term impact of acid mine drainage from coal mining in Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique, establish a prediction system and sustainable monitoring program of water quality.

There are three coal basins identified in Tete province and almost 30 companies holding licenses to prospect and extract coal in these basins. The Chicôa-Mecúcoè basin located more to the west of Cahora-bassa dam and do not have any coal mine in operation until now. The other two basins, Sanângoè-Mefídezi and Moatize-Minjova, are located more to the east of the Cahora-bassa dam and there are already seven mines in operation in these coal basins. All coal basins are located near the main stream of Zambezi River and this has to be considered when planning water quality monitoring.

The main problem of coal mining is acid mine drainage generation. When the acid mine drainage reaches the natural sources of water it contaminates by lowering the pH and increasing the content of sulphate, iron, aluminium, manganese and heavy metals. From the estimations done it was concluded that no significant impact is expected in the main stream of Zambezi River but particular attention has to be given to the tributaries of the area affected by coal mining. These tributaries and some groundwater aquifers passing near the coal mines may be greatly affected by the acid mine drainage, threatening the environment, biodiversity and human health. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Nhantumbo, Clemencio LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Assessment to Establish Monitoring Program of Water Quality Changes Due to Acid Mine Drainage from Coal Mining
course
VVR820 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Zambezi, coal, river, mine, acid, drainage, water, wastewater, alkalinity, monitoring, Mozambique and Tete
publication/series
TVVR13/5007
report number
13/5007
ISSN
1101-9824
language
English
additional info
Examiner: Magnus Larson
id
3809325
date added to LUP
2013-06-17 08:28:06
date last changed
2019-03-29 13:42:18
@misc{3809325,
  abstract     = {Zambezi River Basin is an international river basin which sustains life of about 30 million people in its riparian countries: Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The main stream of the river enters to Mozambique with average flow of about 2330 m3/s and reaches the outfall in the Indian Ocean with about 4134 m3/s. This makes both the activities in the upstream countries and inside Mozambique interfering greatly in the water quality of the river. Nowadays coal mining is developing faster in the upstream area of Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique and it may influence greatly the water quality of the river basin in future.

This makes relevant to evaluate the long-term impact of acid mine drainage from coal mining in Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique, establish a prediction system and sustainable monitoring program of water quality.

There are three coal basins identified in Tete province and almost 30 companies holding licenses to prospect and extract coal in these basins. The Chicôa-Mecúcoè basin located more to the west of Cahora-bassa dam and do not have any coal mine in operation until now. The other two basins, Sanângoè-Mefídezi and Moatize-Minjova, are located more to the east of the Cahora-bassa dam and there are already seven mines in operation in these coal basins. All coal basins are located near the main stream of Zambezi River and this has to be considered when planning water quality monitoring.

The main problem of coal mining is acid mine drainage generation. When the acid mine drainage reaches the natural sources of water it contaminates by lowering the pH and increasing the content of sulphate, iron, aluminium, manganese and heavy metals. From the estimations done it was concluded that no significant impact is expected in the main stream of Zambezi River but particular attention has to be given to the tributaries of the area affected by coal mining. These tributaries and some groundwater aquifers passing near the coal mines may be greatly affected by the acid mine drainage, threatening the environment, biodiversity and human health.},
  author       = {Nhantumbo, Clemencio},
  issn         = {1101-9824},
  keyword      = {Zambezi,coal,river,mine,acid,drainage,water,wastewater,alkalinity,monitoring,Mozambique and Tete},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {TVVR13/5007},
  title        = {Evaluation of Long-term Impact of Coal Mining in Zambezi River Basin in Mozambique},
  year         = {2013},
}