Generation of acid mine drainage around the Karaerik copper mine (Espiye, Giresun, NE Turkey): implications from the bacterial population in the AcAsu effluent

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SAGLAM E. S. , AKCAY M., Colak D. N. , Bektas K. , BELDÜZ A. O.

EXTREMOPHILES, vol.20, no.5, pp.673-685, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00792-016-0857-3
  • Title of Journal : EXTREMOPHILES
  • Page Numbers: pp.673-685


The Karaerik Cu mine is a worked-out deposit with large volumes of tailings and slags which were left around the mine site without any protection. Natural feeding of these material and run-off water from the mineralised zones into the AcAsu effluent causes a serious environmental degradation and creation of acid mine drainage (AMD) along its entire length. This research aims at modelling the formation of AMD with a specific attempt on the characterisation of the bacterial population in association with AMD and their role on its occurrence. Based on 16SrRNA analyses of the clones obtained from a composite water sample, the bacterial community was determined to consist of Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans, Ferrovum myxofaciens, Leptospirillum ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans as iron-oxidising bacteria, Acidocella facilis, Acidocella aluminiidurans, Acidiphilium cryptum and Acidiphilium multivorum as iron-reducing bacteria, and Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidiphilium cryptum as sulphur-oxidising bacteria. This association of bacteria with varying roles was interpreted as evidence of a concomitant occurrence of sulphur and iron cycles during the generation of AMD along the AcAsu effluent draining the Karaerik mine.