15th International Conference on Mine Closure

Pongamia’s phytoremediation findings presented
15th International Conference on Mine Closure
Pongamia’s phytoremediation potential presented at 15th International Conference on Mine Closure
October 2022
Professor Mark Tibbett, Professor of Soil Ecology at the University of Reading, led a study with co-authors Erika Degani and Benjamin Warr demonstrating that pongamia can tolerate very high levels of copper in a post mining field trial.  The authors further expounded on pongamia’s potential for the phytoremediation of tailings and contaminated soil. The promising findings were presented at the 15th International Conference on Mine Closure held online and in Brisbane, Australia.  
Condensed abstract summary: Mining in Zambia has left a legacy of degraded land that is unsuitable for most forms of agriculture, and contaminated land surrounds numerous mining towns in the Copperbelt. As mining activities decline, communities are left heavily impacted by the negative environmental and social conditions surrounding them. The challenge is to understand and promote an effective revegetation approach that is economically productive, providing environmental benefits, employment, and diversification. Pongamia pinnata has generated interest as a potentially sustainable biofuel feedstock. It produces seeds with high oil content and Pongamia reforestation systems can potentially provide a perennial climate change resilient, drought tolerant, carbon negative alternative to annual oilseed crops for the provision of oil and biomass products capable of providing fuel and food protein products. Additionally, Pongamia can be cultivated in degraded and/or marginal land and, given its phytoremediation potential, it is an ideal candidate for the regeneration of the Copperbelt area.
For further details, please see the full published paper: Can Pongamia pinnata be an effective phytoremediation tool for tailings in the Copperbelt of Zambia?https://www.researchgate.net/publication/363907813_Can_Pongamia_pinnata_be_an_effective_phytoremediation_tool_for_tailings_in_the_Copperbelt_of_Zambia