Gold Mining is Stopping Trees From Regrowing In the Amazon says Study

By Jjpn47 | Sci-J | 5 Jul 2020

Researchers at the University of Leeds has found that Gold Mining restricts the regrowth of Plants in the Amazon Rainforest thus accumulating Carbon.

“This study shows that tropical forest are strongly impacted by mining activities and have little capacity to re-establish themselves after mining,” said Dr. Michelle Kalmandeen, the study's lead author in a news release by the University of Leeds.


Results show that Gold Mining strips away essential nutrients in the soil such as Nitrogen, which is a crucial ingredient in growing plants.

Furthermore, Mercury is also found in the mining sites making it deadlier for plants to grow.

Based on the study, Mining Pits and Tailing Ponds have the lowest regeneration rate which takes up to three to four years after the mining has stopped for plants to grow again.

As a consequence of this, about two million forest carbon has been released in the atmosphere which around half the amount of emissions a car would produce each year.


The results we're from in a detailed feild-based information in Guyana after mining gold and was the first ground based estimate of how much Carbon sink was lost as a result of Gold mining activities.

Researchers analyzed the soil samples and determine the individual Biomass of the trees (which is the total mass of an organism in a certain area) in order to know the recovery and chemical change.

According to David Galbraith, one of the Co-authors of the study says that their research provides support to local and national governance to critically approach policy development for land management for how and where mining is done.

Open pit mining

“The findings and recommendations from this study will significantly impact policy and management strategies for forest restoration and rehabilitation in mined-out areas,“says Mr. Gavin Agard, commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Commission.

The good news is that the Overburden, the soil on top of an area has a better sign of regrowth as much as the abandoned Pasteur area in Guyana.

Original news release from the University of Leeds:

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