2014-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS 2014 Volume 1: Mining

Editors:Kongoli F
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2014
Pages:424 pages
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)
CD shopping page

    Can phytoextraction support the Gold mining industry in developing countries? Case study for Indonesia

    Christopher Anderson1; John Meech2; Dewi Krisnayanti3;
    1MASSEY UNIVERSITY, Palmerston North, New Zealand; 2UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, Vancouver, Canada; 3UNIVERSITY OF MATARAM, Mataram, Indonesia;
    Type of Paper: Regular
    Id Paper: 20
    Topic: 1


    Phytoextraction is the process of harvesting a crop of plants for their metal content. This can be a remediation technology, or may yield an economic profit (phytomining). Phytomining was first proposed in the 1980s using plants that are known to accumulate more than 1% nickel on a dry weight basis, and was subsequently proposed for the precious metals gold, platinum and palladium. However, case studies for phytoextraction are difficult to find. The technology has not sustained economically-viable levels of metal recovery at field scale. Instead, the inherent value of phytomining may be its ability to support sustainable development of the mining sector in developing countries, especially in locations where artisanal and small-scale mining is practiced.
    Indonesia has a significant Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) industry, defined as any informal and unregulated system of gold mining. A major environmental concern is the discharge of mercury- and cyanide-contaminated waste to water or land. A new technology is needed to improve the environmental protection and human health at ASGM locations. Gold phytoextraction is a commercially-available technology that is being assessed in this country. In the context of ASGM, tailings could be contained in specific 'farming areas' and cropped for metal. Up to 1kg of gold recovered from plants growing on 1 hectare of land could be sold, generating positive revenue for the project, effectively paying for the clean-up or management of mercury pollution, reducing or mitigating environmental and human risk in the mining area.
    Phytoextraction has the potential to create opportunities for education and employment. New skills in agriculture would be transferable to the production of food, fibre and timber crops on land adjacent to the mining operations. Phytoextraction could therefore catalyse alternative livelihoods in ASGM areas.


    phytoextraction, gold, mercury contamination, artisanal and small-scale gold mining, developing countries

    Full Text:

    Click here to access the Full Text

    Cite this article as:

    Anderson C, Meech J, Krisnayanti D. Can phytoextraction support the Gold mining industry in developing countries? Case study for Indonesia. In: Kongoli F, editors. Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS 2014 Volume 1: Mining. Volume 1. Montreal(Canada): FLOGEN Star Outreach. 2014. p. 151-162.