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Assessment and prediction of the impacts of the Ok Tedi copper mine on fish catches in the Fly River system, Papua New Guinea

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  • R. E. W. Smith 1
  • K. G. Hortle 1
  • 1) Environment Department, Ok Tedi Mining Limited, P.O. Box 1 Tabubil, Western Province, Papua New Guinea

The Ok Tedi copper mine discharges overburden and ore residues into the Ok Tedi, a tributary of the Fly River. These discharges result in elevated suspended solids and dissolved and particulate associated copper. Analyses of covariance were performed to establish statistical model of the relationships between the mine discharges and fish catches between 1983 and 1988. These models were then extrapolated to predict the affects of future mine discharges on fish catches. The models predicted that if the observed effects were caused by particulate associated copper, the period of greatest impact will be between 1989 and 1993, following which catches should be close to 1988 levels for the remainder of mine life. Some additional catches not included in the data set used to derive the models were found to fit the model predictions well. As the predicted period of greatest impact is short and most species reproduce away from the river channel, the ability of the fish communities to undergo partial recovery after 1991 should be maintained.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - earth & environmental sciences
  • 3 - environmental sciences
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - psychologie. psychophysiologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Pollution
  • 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - General Environmental Science
  • 1 - Health Sciences ; 2 - Medicine ; 3 - General Medicine
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  • 1 - science ; 2 - environmental sciences
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Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

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