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  • Options for compiling an inventory of mining waste sites throughout Europe, based on conclusions drawn from the JRC enlargement project PECOMINES


Mining waste is known to be amongst the largest waste streams in the EU and it ranks first in the relative contribution of wastes in many Central and Eastern European Countries.
There is a substantial gap in consistent information on European level, how mining wastes in EU member states and Candidate Countries are managed, of which nature their major hazards are and where the sites generating largest hazards are precisely located, including those that have been abandoned.
However, this information would be needed to assess the large range of environmental impacts caused by mining wastes and their emissions in a coherent way across the different policies related for instance to the protection of water (WFD) and soil resources (soil thematic strategy), which in both cases relies on and requires to a good deal spatial, often catchment based information.
Consequently a new Directive on the management of waste from the extractive industries (COM(2003) 319 final) was proposed by the Commission. It specifically focuses on the aspects of waste management, prevention of soil and water pollution and the stability of waste management facilities in a long term perspective covering the time span from licensing, to active operation, closure and remediation of mineral extraction sites.

Additional information

Authors: SOMMER S (Editor), European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 21186 EN (2004), 21 pp. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9893 Fax: +39 033278 5409 E-mail: or Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32 2 295 76 24 Fax: +32 2 299 63 22
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-7793-8
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