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Heavy Metal Contamination

The concentration of heavy metals in soils of Baia Mare is very significant due to the high values of the contents and association of these four metals Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd.

Overburden and waste rock piles and dumps, tailing ponds, oil and gas wells and produced water ponds occupy considerable areas of land, especially large open pit mines. Most mining wastes, such as overburden, are inert solid materials; they do not represent a significant pollution threat to the environment, but they do cause erosion, fertile land loss and ecosystem and landscape disruption. However, other fractions, in particular those generated by the non-ferrous metal mining industry, may contain large quantities of dangerous substances (inherently present in the ore or added during extraction) and generate acid or alkaline drainage which, during raining periods, exceeds the volume that can be treated in the wastewater treatment plant, leading to contamination of the soil, groundwater and rivers.

Surface areas of contaminated sites in Maramures county

Maramures Environmental Protection Agency compiled a list of contaminated and partially contaminated sites that counts 30 sites polluted with heavy metals due to metallurgical activities on an area totaling 602.42 ha

Tailing Ponds

428.94 ha

Arsenious pyrite deposits

12.29 ha

Metallurgical Industry


Mine Sterile Dumps


Case Study: Cuprom

Cuprom area pollution

  • The area needs urgent measures of conversion because of its valuable location
  • Cuprom industrial area is polluted with heavy metals, mostly Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn
  • The activities of the former factory have led to soil contamination, Copper being the worst culprit
  • Terra Resources subsidiary Minero Remediation SRL aims to sustainibly convert the lands for mixed commerical and residential use once contaminated and value-bearing material has been processed and safely disposed
Ecological Restoration

Name of Site: Cuprom LLC, a subsidiary of Bitmine SRL ( wholly-owned by Terra Resources LLC)

Location: Baia Marea, Maramures, Romania

Polluting Activity: Copper production, Metallurgical Extraction

Pollutants: Sewage, Sludge, Acidic Solutions and Heavy Metals

Contaminated area: 58 ha

Decontamination of soil and water can be achieved with phytoremediation. The ecological restoration of Cuprom will contribute to improving the environment and biodiversity. It will involve the following techniques:

  • Soil decontamination
  • Metal processing
  • Water treatment
  • Biomass production
  • Functional reconversion
  • Landscaping