Heavy metal pollution from gold mines: environmental effects and bacterial strategies for resistance
Fashola, Muibat Omotola
Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode
Babalola, Olubukola Oluranti
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Mining activities can lead to the generation of large quantities of heavy metal laden wastes which are released in an uncontrolled manner, causing widespread contamination of the ecosystem. Though some heavy metals classified as essential are important for normal life physiological processes, higher concentrations above stipulated levels have deleterious effects on human health and biota. Bacteria able to withstand high concentrations of these heavy metals are found in the environment as a result of various inherent biochemical, physiological, and/or genetic mechanisms. These mechanisms can serve as potential tools for bioremediation of heavy metal polluted sites. This review focuses on the effects of heavy metal wastes generated from gold mining activities on the environment and the various mechanisms used by bacteria to counteract the effect of these heavy metals in their immediate environment.