Sustainability of Mineral Resources and the Environment

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Editorial

Protection of the environment remains one of the key issues for the sustainable management of any mine or quarry site.  Advances in technology and management techniques continuously improve the industry’s performance. However, working with the environment also means keeping these technologies and methods alive to local, often changing, environmental conditions. This require continuous research, learning and adjustment to obtain the best possible results.

EIT RawMaterials, a New European Initiative in Raw Materials

EIT RawMaterials has the vision of turning the challenge of raw materials dependence into a strength for Europe. Its mission is to boost the competitiveness, growth, and attractiveness of the European raw materials sector via radical innovation and entrepreneurship.

The EU Copernicus Programme and the Raw Materials Sector

Copernicus is a major European programme with the goal to improve global monitoring for the environment and security. Images from Sentinel satellites are generating vast volumes of data which is being turned into geo-information by 6 dedicated Copernicus Services. How can the mining and raw materials sector benefit from the use of this European asset?

Enhancing Implementation and Capacities: The New EU Mining Mentor Centre and Its Objectives

Waste from the extractive industry provides a challenge and an opportunity in times where the EU is committed to circular economy and wishes to secure access to raw materials in order to ensure its economic growth.  It is therefore important that the EU continues to follow different avenues in order to improve its waste and land management. Resource efficiency needs to drive recovery of primary and secondary raw materials from extracted materials and old mine waste disposal sites, as well as end-of life products. Equally important, rehabilitation of old sites and application of modern techniques need to ensure the return of the land to society in an adequate condition for future use.

METALert – An Emergency Response System for Heavy Metals in the Environment

Accidental releases of heavy metals into the environment can have widespread and long-term impacts on environmental quality and on the health of humans and ecosystems. Therefore appropriate responses to emergency environmental incidents related to heavy metal pollution are necessary, and tools to forecast the impact of incidents are a prerequisite for this. METALert is a generic Emergency Response System (ERS) for accidental pollution incidents caused by key heavy metal related industries.

Integrating Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation into the Life-Cycle Management of Mining and Milling Sites

The picture the public has of mining today is still shaped by the past, when mining companies often exhibited a nonchalant attitude towards social and environmental impacts. Historically, this has its roots in a predominance of shareholder-value considerations, when the costs of environmental and social impacts were tacitly externalised. It has resulted in a large number of mining legacy sites world-wide, the remediation of which continues to require considerable (public) resources.

LKAB´s Work with Compensation of Natural Resources for the Mertainen Site

LKAB is a high-tech supplier of iron ore pellets to the global steelmaking industry and a growing supplier of industrial minerals for other sectors. The business is built upon the unique magnetite ore, mined in the north of Sweden. Since the beginning of the 1900s, primarily three mining sites have dominated LKAB´s iron ore supply. In the year of 2014 however, LKAB received an environmental permit to start mining in a new additional open pit mining site called Mertainen.

Green Bridge Competition – Examples of the Best Practices in the Rehabilitation of the Mining Sites in the Czech Republic

One of the key challenges for the mining industry in the Czech Republic is to show to the general public that places with mining history have a wide range of applications and do not become a negative factor in the development of the area. With appropriate regional management, a place previously known and referred to in negative connotations can be transformed into a geologically or biologically interesting site beneficial for the region. In 2006, the Czech Republic Mining Association (Těžební unie ČR) introduced a national competition called “Green Bridge.” Its purpose from the very beginning was to present the best examples of creative and innovative solutions in the area on the mining sites rehabilitation.