Journal article

Colonialism and the environment: The pollution legacy of the Southern Hemisphere's largest copper mine in the 20th century

Larissa Schneider, Niamh Shulmeister, Michela Mariani, Kristen K Beck, Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Atun Zawadzki, Krystyna M Saunders, Marco A Aquino-Lopez, Simon G Haberle

The Anthropocene Review | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2020


Mining has been a major contributor to economic development in Australia since British arrival in the late 1700s, with little to no thought regarding the long-term environmental consequences. This study assesses the metal pollution legacy caused by different smelting methods and mining activities during the British colonialism in western Tasmania. This region was the largest copper producer in the Southern Hemisphere during the 20th century. Lake sediments from Basin Lake and Owen Tarn, 12 and 5 km from Queenstown’s mines, respectively, were used to reconstruct historical metal contamination. Temporal changes in metal concentrations (iron, copper, arsenic, selenium and lead) were assessed in..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE)

Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This project was financially supported by the Australian Research Council (award: DI110100019, IN140100050 and DE180100573) and the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE -award ALNGRA16/024).