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 Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>