Metal Mining Waste Focus of $3.27M UA Superfund Research Program

By:
College of Engineering,
Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site in Yavapai County
The front of the mine tailings pile at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site in Yavapai County. (Photo: UA Superfund Research Program)

Five colleges at the University of Arizona are studying human and environmental risks and developing practical solutions for the mining industry and health professions. 

Through a $3.27 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Science that began in October 2017, the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program is addressing the risk and remediation of metal mining wastes.

The program studies the health and environmental effects of metal mining in arid and semi-arid environments, focusing on Arizona mines as examples that can apply to other hard-rock mines around the world.

The research involves five UA colleges and is led by principal investigator Raina Maier from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, along with 14 co-principal investigators, three of them from the UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering: Jim Field, Eduardo Saez and Armin Sorooshian.