Screening for native plant species potential revegetation of phosphatic clay applied as a cover to abandoned Kettara mine tailings Marrakech, Morocco

Hamza Zine, Rachid Ait babahmad, Meryem El Berkaoui, Mariem El Adnani, Rachid Hakkou, Abdelaziz Smouni, Mouna Fahr, Nadia Bouab, Abdelouahed El Faiz, Ahmed Ouhammou


Acid Mine Drainage (A.M.D) is sulfidic and contains high abundance of heavy metals. It represents a crucial problem, on the environment, the flora, fauna and on local population. The Kettara mine, located 30 km north-north-west of Marrakech, is an example of abandoned mining sites. Mining discharges were exposed to weathering factors giving an AMD affecting ground water and neighboring environment. To minimize the AMD effects, the phosphate mining by-products were used as a cover to neutralize the soil acidity and to reduce water infiltration. One of the aspects investigated was the influence of vegetation cover on the performance of this recovery system..
The present research performed to optimize choice of candidate species for phosphate wastes stabilization for in situ reclamation of Kettara closed mine. In this study, the floristic diversity of vascular plants, found in the Kettara mine area, was examined. Promising quantitative and qualitative results were obtained from the study. The flora of the mine area is highly diversified: 182 vascular species belonging to 139 genera and 44 families containing 3 strict endemic species of Morocco. The life-form of collected species indicates a predominance of hemicryptophytes (24.73%) and chamaephytes forms (9.34%). These plants could play a very important role in the rehabilitation and stabilization of the Kettara mine as a tool to stabilize mine discharges and reduce the water infiltration, for the reclamation of an open-cast phosphate mine sites in Morocco.


Kettara, mine tailings, native plant species, life-form, reclamation

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