NOVELTY: risk assessment REVIEWED!

State-of-the-art review of RA methods for mining & simple ranking protocol has been published.

A novel environmental geochemistry tool has been developed. Landscape Geochemistry (LG) is now combined with state-of-the-art spatial modelling with GIS. Current research includes combination of LG and advanced landscape metrics for geochemical barrier identification and contamination transport efficiency in catchments. LG spatial analysis is also combined with catchment hydrological and sediment transport models. Current activities are limited to the catchment scale (geochemical landscapes) and on mining related contamination problems.

A simple RA SCORİNG system now available!
A simple and efficient risk assessment ranking system based on scores has been developed and tested in published case studies in Hungary and it is being tested in Turkey. It is based on the EU Pre-selection Protocol and uses the count of uncertain and positive responses to questions. Uncertainty due to spatial measurement with GIS is also considered. Find more information in the flagship papers and reports below.

For more see Publications.



Jordan, G., and Abdaal A. 2013. Decision support methods for the environmental assessment of contamination at mining sites. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. DOI: 10.1007/s10661-013-3137-z.

Abdaal A. and Jordan G., 2013. Testing contamination risk assessment methods for mine waste sites. Soil, Water and Air Pollution. Vol. 224 (2). DOI: 10.1007/s11270-012-1416-x.



Kiss J. and Jordan G., 2012. Inventory and risk ranking of closed mine waste facilities. MBFH-ELGI Co-operation Project (E7). Final Report on the National Programme, 2012. MFGI Archives, Budapest. Contributors: Detzky G., Vertesy L., Abdaal A., Muller T., Zsámbok I., Paszera G., Gulyas A., Ori G., Sores L., Radi K., Albert J., Hermann V. and Jerabek C.

Torok K. and Jordan G., 2012. Rare earth element potential survey in Hungary. MBFH-MFGI Co-operation Project (R4). Report on the Government Action Plan, National Programme, 2012. MFGI Archives, Budapest. Contributors: Fugedi U., Bartha A., Abdaal A., Albert J., Furi J., Konya P., Hermann V., Jerabek C., Kutasi G., Gyuricza G. Bertalan E., Horvath Z., Simo B., Szabo A., Vargane Barna Z.


See Publications for papers and References for reports.

For more information Contact Us.



Risk assessment (RA), defined in its broadest sense, deals with the probability of any adverse effects. Various types of risk to be considered at the mine project life cycle include regulatory risk, engineering risk, facility risk, financial risk, human health risk and ecological risk (SENES 2000). Risks posed by regular or accidental contamination emissions to human beings (human health risk assessment, HHRA) or to ecosystems (ecological risk assessment, ERA) are studied by mine RA. While human risk assessment studies the probability of impact on a single organism (U.S. EPA 1989), ecological risk assessment studies the impact on multiple organisms (U.S. EPA 1998). A difficulty in ERA is the choice of receptors such as fish species in stream water that are indicators of total risk to the ecosystem.

Although risk assessment is not directly related to one economic activity, RAs are concerned with the risk involved at a specific site, at a specific time, and due to specific causes. Contamination risk is the combined effect of the probability of contamination and the significance of toxic impacts. This is studied through the pathway from (1) hazard description, through (2) dose/response (toxicity) analysis, (3) contaminant transport, (4) exposure assessment, to (5) risk characterization, and (6) risk management (van Leuwen and Hermens 1996; U.S. EPA, 2007).

SENES (2000) gives an in-depth overview of risk assessment for AMD. The study concludes that RA of AMD is not different from RA used for any other waste. The study argues that for efficient AMD treatment, practice should move from pure RA to complex risk management. RA is not designed to study risks of indirect impacts of pollution. U.S. EPA (2001) gives detailed description of risk-based assessment of mine sites. Risk scoring systems specifically developed for mine sites and contaminated lands are provided by, for example, Pioneer Technical Services (1994) (the AIMSS method) and Quercia et al. (2004) (the PRAMS method) for the U.S.A. and EU applications, respectively. For example in the frame of ERA, acidification of waters can have direct toxic effect on aquatic biota. However, acidification can lead to the secondary release of heavy metals from sediments thus becoming available for human metal toxicity. Also, hazard of AMD release might be reduced by remediation of waste dumps, for example, but secondary sources of metals remain in lands around the site that were polluted during active mining (U.S. EPA 2002). This requires a separate RA of contaminated sites (CARACAS 1999).

At the exposure assessment part of RA, temporal aspects and stability are also important. While heavy metals in AMD can be efficiently retained in nearby organic-rich wetland sediments for example, climatic change or anthropogenic activity can lead to a drop in groundwater levels that in turn leads to erosion and oxidation of reduced sediments thus exposing metals to human intake (e.g. Jordan et al. 1997). Pre-mining natural pollution can already have local or regional adverse effects on human health for example. Effects of mining can be measured only relative to existing impacts.