Introduction

ENVIRONMENTAL MINERALOGY AND GEOCHEMISTRY GROUP

The Environmental Mineralogy and Geochemistry Group belongs to the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Huelva. The main research activity of the group is focused on the sources and pathways of industrial and mining pollution in terrestrial, fluvial and estuarine systems, especially concerning on (i) pollution generation processes; (ii) natural attenuation of pollutants; and (iii) acid mine drainage (AMD) passive treatment. The group is formed by a multidisciplinary team with experience in the fields of Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Ore Deposits, Hydrogeology, Ecotoxicology and Analytical Chemistry.

This is a consolidate research team with long experience in the study of environmental impacts related to the exploitation of massive sulfide deposits in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain). Recent projects in this field, such as VALOREY (RTI2018-101276-J-I00), CAPOTE (CGL2017-86050-R), VALAGUA (POCTEP0007-VALAGUA-5-P), SCYRE (CGL2016-78783-C2-1-R), AMDREY (PCIN-2015-242), LIFE-ETAD (LIFE12 ENV/ES/000250), and EMPATIA (CGL2013-48460-C2-1-R), focused on the development of laboratory trials and pilot field plants for the treatment of mining wastes, recovery of critical raw materials from mining wastes, and regional studies of dispersion and attenuation of pollutants in fluvial and estuarine systems (basins of the Tinto, Odiel and Guadiana rivers).

In the last years, the group has opened a new research line devoted to the environmental impact of wastes generated by the fertilizer industry (FO-REVER, Ref.: P12-RNM-2260), and has developed several strategies focused on the treatment and recovery of critical raw materials from industrial and mine wastes (e.g. SCYRE, AMDREY, RECOMINE, FO-REVER). Three members of the Group (Drs. Rafael Pérez-López, Manuel Olias and Jose Miguel Nieto) have received the recognition for their scientific expertise in this field and take part in the Expert Committee to study future restoration measures in the large phosphogypsum stacks of Huelva.

The Group also develops an important training activity. In the last 10 years, more than 15 Ph.D. theses have been carried out within the group. In addition, the members of the group actively participate in several master’s programs, co-chairing the Official Master Program on Geology and Environmental Management of Mineral Resources at UHU-UNIA, and participating in two other master’s programs, the Environmental Technology Master Program of UHU-UNIA and the Erasmus Mundus International Master in Water and Coastal Management (WACOMA) of the UCA. The members of the group also participate in two Ph.D. Programs, the Industrial and Environmental Science and Technology Program at UHU and the Erasmus Mundus Ph.D. in Marine and Coastal Management (MACOMA) at UCA.