First NameNurlan
Supervisor NameProf. Ruben Mnatsakanian
UniversityCentral European University
CountryUnited States
Keywordsenvironment, mining, tailings, tailings impoundment, Kyrgyzstan, waste rock, mining wastes, uranium wastes, heavy metals, transboundary pollution, contamination, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan

Current Environment Issues Associated with Mining Wastes in Kyrgyzstan


Mining activity of the recent past and present poses a direct threat to the environment of Kyrgyzstan and neighbouring countries. Located at high elevations in a fragile mountain environment the mining industry has generated and continue to generate hundreds of millions of tons of waste rock and tailings in dumps and impoundments which are badly maintained and serve as a source of permanent pollution of the biosphere by heavy metals, radioactive materials and cyanides. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan belongs to those areas subjected to a great extent to natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, mudflows, etc. that can lead to rapidly spreading toxic and radioactive materials downstream, causing disastrous environmental consequences.

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