Current approaches to the revegetation and reclamation of metalliferous mine wastes

Chemosphere. 2000 Jul;41(1-2):219-28. doi: 10.1016/s0045-6535(99)00414-2.


Abandoned metalliferous mine wastes can result in severe pollution and have aesthetic impacts on the local environment. Use of a vegetation cover gives a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable method of stabilising and reclaiming wastes such as mine-spoils and tailings. Many characteristics of metalliferous wastes are often inimical to successful vegetation establishment, most notably phytotoxic levels of residual heavy metals, low nutrient status and poor physical structure of the substratum. Current approaches to revegetation and reclamation involve both ameliorative and adaptive strategies to allow plant establishment and encourage subsequent vegetation development. Different techniques of revegetation are available for temperate and arid, subtropical regions depending on the characteristics of the waste. These include direct seeding with commercially available plants, use of cover and barrier systems and the enhancement of natural revegetation processes.

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Environmental Pollution / prevention & control
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis
  • Mining*
  • Plants*
  • Refuse Disposal
  • Soil Pollutants*


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil Pollutants