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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Environmental, Socio-economic, and Health Impacts of


Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (IC ESHI-ASM)
Brawijaya University, Malang, February 7-8, 2012
Secretariat: Soil Science Building 3rd floor, Brawijaya University
Jl. Veteran, Malang 65145, Indonesia
website: http://www.eshi-asm.fp.ub.ac.id, email: medmind@ub.ac.id

ASM-006
POTENTIAL ACCUMULATOR SPECIES IN NICKEL POSTMINING LAND OF SOROAKO, SOUTH SULAWESI
Netty 1 , T. Wardiyati 2, E. Handayanto 2, and M. D. Maghfoer 2
1

Department of Agrotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Moeslim IndonesiaMakasar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
2
Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Brawijaya University, Jl. Veteran, Malang
65145, Indonesia
email: nettysyam@yahoo.com

Potential accumulator species in nickel post-mining land of Soroako,


South Sulawesi
Netty 1 , T. Wardiyati 2, E. Handayanto 2, and M. D. Maghfoer 2
1

Department of Agrotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Moeslim IndonesiaMakasar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Department of agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Brawijaya University, Jl. Veteran, Malang
65145, Indonesia

email: nettysyam@yahoo.com

Abstract
Nickel mines located in Soroako, South Sulawesi, exist within an active mining area
characterised by soil containing a significant concentration of a range of heavy metals.
A number of plant species have adapted to and grow well in the soil conditions of the
mining area. The aim of this study described in this paper was to identify plants capable
of accumulating nickel that may be useful for the revegetation of post-mining land.
Twenty-four plant species were collected during the period March-July 2011and the
nickel concentration in the dried leaf samples was analyzed. Most species had a
concentration below the threshold for nickel hyperacumulation, with the exception of
Sarcotheca celebica (Family Oxadilaceae) which recorded a nickel concentration of
1039 mg kg-1 dry weight. However, all collected species would be suitable for the
remediation of post-mining land so that it may be suitable for the cultivation of crops
for communities around the mine.
Key words: accumulator species, nickel, post-mining land, Soroako, South Sulawesi

Introduction
Heavy metals in the environment occur naturally and they have a relative level
of biosphere, therefore it is not harmful to the environment itself. Heavy metals can be
derived as well from anthropogenic activities, such as metal mining, smelting, fossil
fuel burning, vehicle emissions, and industrial wastes. Those heavy metals threat the
safety of the environment and human for instance, metal mining causes contamination
of the soils and water and it becomes a worldwide problem.
Conversely, the existence of industries such as Nickel mining is considered as a
very important sector, which provides benefits for the communities around the mining
area and also contributes significantly to regional development. Therefore, reclamation
of post-mining land needs to be managed so that it can be used as a productive area. In
recent years, alternative technologies in remediating contaminated site are being

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developed referred to as phytoremediation. Phytoremediation uses the plant to transport,
move or inactivate metals that cause environmental contamination.
The presence of high levels metals in soils exerts a pressure on plant species
leading to the selection of a specific flora. Plants growing on metal-loaded soils respond
by exclusion, indication or accumulation of metals (Baker, 1981). A number of plant
species endemic to metalliferous soils accumulate metals to extraordinarily high levels
(>1%) as compared to the normal concentrations in plants (Shallari et al., 1998). The
total number of Ni hyperaccumulator plants exceed 400 species (Robinson et al.,
1997), including members of the Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae, Myristicaceae,
Poaceae and Caryophyllaceae (Reeves et al., 1999).
Hyperaccumulator plants have a potential to remediate soils contaminated by
heavy metal (Baker et al., 2000). This plant is often found growing in contaminated
areas, such as around mining area. Hence, it is still necessary to obtain more
information about the existing and the type of flora in Ni mining area in order to
determine their potential for the management of polluted soils and particularly for metal
extraction (Shallari et al., 1998). The purpose of this study is to investigate plants that
can accumulate Ni and its potential to remediate contaminated soils on Ni post-mining
land.
Materials and Methods
The research was conducted in the area of post-mining nickel located in the
vicinity Verbeek Mountain of Sorowako, South Sulawesi (E 120o 45' - 123o 30' and S
06o30' - 05o30') (Figure 1). The total area is 218,000 ha and the mining is still active.
Sorowako climate is of type A (Schmidt-Ferguson) with annual precipitation of about
3000 mm undertaken November - March. Annual temperature is about 25-26C and
80% humidity. Soil type is dominated by Ultisols and Oxisols, with an altitude of 300900 m. Existing vegetation at the study site is generally the same as the formation of
tropical lowland rain forest in Indonesia. Vegetation is the tropical plant that grow such
as bushes, shrubs and trees (Ambodo 2007).
The Study Area
Selection of investigated sites based on the condition of vegetation on land
mines, as follows:

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Butoh site: This site is of an altitude of 436 m (E 121o 20' 46.8'' and S 02o 31' 36'') with
an area of 100 ha. This site has been rehabilited since 1979 and dominated by plants
such as Weinmannia fraxinea, Dillenia serrata, Garcinia sp. and Xanthostemon
confertiflorum (Anonymous, 2005).
Rante site: This site has an altitude of 434 m (E 121o 21' 17.7'' and S 02o 32' 04'') with
an area of 25 ha. This area has been revegetated since 2005 and dominated by shrubs
and herbaceous plants such as Mimosa pudica, Nephrolepis sp. and Imperata cylindrica
(Badri and Netty, 2011).
Petea site: This site is an altitude of 843 m (E 121o 30' 22.2'' and S 02o 30' 37'') with an
area of 138 ha. Several parts of this site has been rehabilited since 2010 and other parts
still forest area. Plants that exist in this site is various species of herbaceous plants,
shrubs and trees.

The Study Area

Figure 1. The Study Area

Soil Samples
Soil samples were taken from the plant sampling location of the upper horizon at
a depth of 0-20 cm and at the area around the roots of plants. Samples were air dried,

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sieved and analyzed. Analysis of soil chemical properties include: pH (H2O and KCl),
C-organic (Walkley & Black), analysis of N and P (Kjeldahl and Olsen), the analysis of
cations (Ca, Mg, Na, K) and nickel content. Soil texture was analyzed by the
hydrometer method (Gee and Bauder, 1986). Soil samples were analyzed of Total Ni
concentration with the same procedure with the plant samples analyzed by using ICPOES.
Plants Samples
Plant samples were collected by cruising method from investigative sites. Leaf
fragments of dominant species were collected and screened for Ni accumulation by a
semi-quantitative test using filter paper impregnated with dimethylglyoxime (1%
solution in ethanol). A negative result generally indicates a Ni 1000 mg g -1 (DM)
(Reeves, et al., 1999). To obtain a quantitative positive results, samples of leaf were
analyzed by using Inductively-Coupled Plasma, Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICPOES) (Perkin Elmer Optima 2000 DV).
Leaf fragments were taken from the study site and washed with 3% HCl, rinsed
with deionized water 2-3 times and dried for analysis. The total concentration of nickel
in plant and soil samples were analyzed by means dried in an oven for 6 hours at a
temperature of 105oC. Dried samples are crushed (<100 M), weighed as of 100 mg and
dissolved in a 2 ml of HNO3 (65%). This solution was heated in an oven temperature of
200oC for about 14 hours, until all the samples dissolve completely. Extract (heating)
added with distilled water and put into the flask until it reached 50 ml. Sample solution
is used to determine the Ni concentration by ICP-OES (Perkin Elmer Optima 2000 DV).
Results and Discussion
Concentration of Ni in the soil samples of three investigated sites and its
properties are presented in Table 1. For comparison, the table also displays a normal
soil types. As shown in the table, the Ni concentrations of soil from the Rante, Butoh
and Petea site were 5355.8, 3150.5 and 2464.7 mg kg-1, respectively. These results are
higher 40-100 times than those of the normal soil (50.5 mg kg-1). The concentration of
Ni in the soil is an average a few tens of mg kg-1 in the unpoluted soil (McGrath, 1995),
but in areas where there is a serpentine or ultramafic rocks, can reach more than 10 000
mg kg-1 (Brooks, 1992).

Table 1. Physical, chemical characteristics and Ni concentrations from the soil sites,
and the normal soil
No.
1.
2.

4.
5.
6.

Soil Properties
Rante
5355.8

Total Ni (mg kg -1)


Soil Texture:
Clay (%)
Silt (%)
Sand (%)
pH (H2O)
(KCl)
Organic matter content (%)
CEC (me 100 g tanah-1)
Cations:
N-Total (%)
P2O5 (ppm)
Ca (me 100 g soil-1)
Mg (me 100 g soil-1)
Na (me 100 g soil-1)
K (me 100 g soil-1)

Sites
Petea
Butoh
3150.5
2464.7

Normal
50.5

62
28
10
6.5
4.95
1.77
22.45

52
32
16
6.39
5.02
1.8
24.10

62
28
10
6.59
5.12
1.58
23.52

70
24
6
6.05
4.82
1.64
22.53

0.20
11.10.
3.85
2.61
0.48
0.12

0.13
11.25
3.25
2.52
0.42
0.22

0.14
11.13
3.54
2.84
0.32
0.21

0.15
11.24
3.64
2.45
0.47
0.14

There were 23 species consisting of 12 family plants analyzed. Mostly


investigated plants were obtained from Petea site and included in Fabaceae and
Asteraceae (Table 2). Accumulation of Ni in investigated plant samples ranged between
24.6 102.4 mg kg

-1

dry weight (DW) in Butoh site, 28.6 147.6 mg kg

Rante site and 76.6 - 1039.3 mg kg

-1

-1

DW in

DW in Petea site. Spesies were collected from

Petea site can accumulating Ni more than those of two other sites.
The ability of plants in accumulating heavy metals, can be determined by
calculating the value of the Bio Concentration Factor (BCF) by the ratio between metal
concentrations in plant above-ground and the concentration of metals in the soil. The
expected value of BCF is >1. BCF values 1-10 indicates plants are classified as
hyperaccumulator, 0.1-1 indicates plants are classified as moderat accumulator, 0.01-0.1
indicates plants are classified as low accumulator, and <0.01 indicates as nonaccumulator (Wei et al., 2008; Malayeri et al. 2008). Therefore, the ability of metal
uptake by plants is discussed on the basis of the BCF.

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Table 2. Species, Family and Ni concentration in plants from different site
Site
Butoh

Rante

Petea

Spesies
Leucaena sp.
Sesbania sp
Mimosa pudica
Lantana camara
Wedelia biflora
Hyptis sp.
Crotalaria sp.
Tephrosia sp.
Mikania sp.
Chromolaena odorata
Imperata cylindrica L
Cynodon dactylon
Nephrolepis sp.
Melochia umbellate
Hyptis capitata Jacq.
Melastoma malabathricum
Weinmannia fraxinea
Trema orientalis
Celtis occidentalis
Crassocephalum rubens
Knema celebica
Knema plumulosa
Sarcotheca sp.

Family
Fabaceae
Fabaceae
Fabaceae
Verbenaceae
Asteraceae
Lamiaceae
Fabaceae
Fabaceae
Asteraceae
Asteraceae
Poaceae
Poaceae
Polypodiaceae
Sterculiaceae
Lamiaceae
Melastomataceae
Cunoniaceae
Ulmaceae
Ulmaceae
Asteraceae
Myristicaceae
Myristicaceae
Oxalidaceae

Ni Concentration
(mg kg-1)
24.3
31.4
138.9
39.4
76.7
102.4
28.6
55.3
44.3
117.8
38.1
147.6
130.6
76.6
100.0
105.2
113.2
112.5
129.2
132.7
330.6
520.8
1039.3

Most of the investigated plants are classified as an accumulator plants with BCF
values ranging from 0.010 until 0.330, were obtained from Butoh and Petea site. There
are only 3 species classified as a non-accumulator ( 0.01) ones (Table 3). None of
investigated plants reaching 1 of BCF values, indicating that none of plant species
belonging to hyperaccumulator. However, species Knema celebica, Knema plumulosa
and Sarcotheca sp. obtained from the Petea site have a BCF value 0.1 which means it
is included in moderate accumulator. The three species have a potential to being
developed as phytoremediator in Ni post-mining land.
Spesies Sarcotheca sp. can accumulate Ni 1039.3 mg kg-1, therefore it can be
classified as a hyperaccumulator. It is based on researcher statement that a
hyperaccumulation has been defined as plant that can accumulate Ni 1000 mg kg-1 on a
dry matter basis in above-ground plant tissues (Brooks et al., 1977; Reeves, 1992).

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Table 3. Species, Ni concentration in plants and BCF values from different site
Site
Butoh

Rante

Petea

Spesies
Leucaena sp.
Sesbania sp
Lantana camara
Wedelia biflora
Hyptis sp.
Mimosa pudica
Crotalaria sp.
Imperata cylindrica L
Mikania sp.
Tephrosia sp.
Chromolaena odorata
Nephrolepis sp.
Cynodon dactylon
Melochia umbellate
Hyptis capitata Jacq.
Melastoma malabathricum
Weinmannia fraxinea
Trema orientalis
Celtis occidentalis
Crassocephalum rubens
Knema celebica
Knema plumulosa
Sarcotheca sp.

na: non accumulator, * low accumulator,

Ni Concentration
(mg kg-1)
24.3
31.4
39.4
76.7
102.4
138.9
28.6
38.1
44.3
55.3
117.8
130.6
147.6
76.6
100.0
105.2
113.2
112.5
129.2
132.7
330.6
520.8
1039.3

BCF
0.010*
0.013*
0.016*
0.031*
0.042*
0.056*
0.005 na
0.006 na
0.008 na
0.010*
0.022*
0.024*
0.028*
0.024*
0.032*
0.033*
0.036*
0.036*
0.041*
0.042*
0.105**
0.165**
0.330**

** moderate accumulator

Acknowledgement
Financial support for this research was provided by Directorate General High
Education through Education Financial support for Post Graduate Program Agriculture
Faculty of Brawijaya University. Author would like to forward gratitude to
Management of PT. INCO at Sorowako, specially to Rehabilitation Devision and all
staff who have provided licence and support on this research conductance. Sincerely
thank to Dr. Aiyen Tjoa for analysis of Ni content in samples.
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