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 Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

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: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>