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 Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>