Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European mines pose a fluid problem

05.09.2003


European scientists are formulating conclusions for mine-water management right now



Next to mine waste, water contamination by mines poses a problem to which far less attention is paid to. Today and tomorrow the group of European scientists of the ERMITE project are gathered at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). On this very moment, they formulate their guidelines for new European legislation and sustainable water management in mines. In November, the official meeting with the European Commission and the stakeholders is planned.

Environmental Regulation of Mine Waters in the European Union (ERMITE)


Events of the past decade have underlined the sensitivity of many aquatic ecosystems and water resource systems to pollution by mine waste and discharges from abandoned and active mines. A catastrophic failure of a tailings dam at Los Frailes (Spain) in April 1998 led to emplacement of more than 45hm3 of acid-generating silt threatening the Doñana nature reserves, one of the most environmentally valuable spaces in Europe. In January 2000, cyanide contaminated water from a gold mine caused havoc in the Danube. Similar problems will arise when the hard-coal mining areas in countries like Belgium, Germany and Poland cease pumping the abandoned mines.

In view of these events, the EU has initiated a process that will bring new European legislation to improve the environmental management of the extractive industries. So far this process has taken a mining waste perspective and not given sufficient attention to the water management implications.

ERMITE is a three-year research and development project which commenced on 1st February 2001. The project is funded by the European Commission Fifth Framework Programme under the Key Action Sustainable Management and Quality of Water (Contract No. EVK1-CT-2000-00078). The goal of this project is to provide integrated policy guidelines for developing European legislation and practice in relation to water management in the mining sector. ERMITE is trying to promote the importance of bringing together the integrated water management and mining engineering perspectives to complement the waste emphasis predominant so far in the EU. Mine water problems will require special attention in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. ERMITE is a first step in that direction.

ERMITE addresses the multiple facets of this problem at two different levels. Firstly, integrating the variety of regional and national conditions in EU Member States and in countries involved in the enlargement process; secondly, bringing together disciplines such as environmental technology, water management, ecology, economics, institutional studies and European law and policy.

The ERMITE Consortium partners are: University of Oviedo (Spain, Co-ordinator), University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK), Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (Joint Research Centre, Seville), Netherlands Institute of Ecology, University of Exeter (UK), Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Technical University and Mining Academy Freiberg (Germany), Institute for Mining, Geotechnology and Environment (Slovenia) and Hydro-Engineering Institute (BiH).

A key aspect of ERMITE has been the formation of stakeholder networks in each of the case study countries (Sweden, Germany, UK, Spain, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) and at European level (European Commission). A broad group of stakeholders have been informed of the progress of the project and invited to provide comments. Key stakeholders have attended three workshops to provide inputs to the research programme and examine the project findings. ERMITE has a direct interface with the European Commission through the participation of one of its units, the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (Joint Research Centre, Seville).

Froukje Rienks | alfa
Further information:
http://v

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>