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Innovative industrial technologies for the rehabilitation of land contaminated from polymetallic sulphide mining and processing operations


Polymetallic sulphide mining and processing results in
the generation of millions of tons of toxic and hazardous
wastes and tailings; improper waste management in the
past, but to some degree in current operations as well,
resulted in heavy contamination of extensive areas by
toxic elements, as Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, As, Hg, etc. Urban
expansion has lead to change in land use from
mining/industrial to residential, agricultural and
recreational; as a consequence, contaminated land poses a
high risk to human health and well being as well as to
agricultural production. Land rehabilitation is becoming
currently an issue of utmost importance; the associated
market potential is estimated to be as high as 100
billion ECU for the EU alone, and even higher for the
rest of the world. Potential end users are (a) industries
(mining, chemical), (b) state and municipal authorities
facing the problem of rehabilitation of abandoned mining
sites. Although funds are becoming available at an ever
increasing rate from national and international bodies
for rehabilitation, the necessary efficient and cost
effective technology does not exist.
The industrial objectives of the proposal are (1) to
develop highly innovative, cost effective and competitive
industrial technologies for the rehabilitation of land
contaminated from past or current polymetallic sulphide
mining activities and (2) to elaborate an integrated
framework of operations and formulate models for the
closure of current and future mines, in order to ensure
protection of local environment and to reduce long term
environmental damage and the associated liabilities. The
above technologies will be promoted initially for
application by the participating industries and
ultimately world wide.
The expected achievements are: enhancing the
competitive position of European companies in a multi
billion ECU world market, elaboration of a strategy for
the sustainable supply and management of mineral
resources in the EU and long term protection of the
ecosystem and the health of the human population.
The project will be of a generic nature, and the
results applicable to a wide number of cases. As case
studies, five specific sites will be examined: one
operating and one redundant mine in GR, an extensive
mining area in IT with one operating and several
redundant mines, a chemical industrial site in PT and a
historic mining area in SW England.

Call for proposal

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National Technical University of Athens
EU contribution
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42,Odos 28 Octovriou 42
10682 Athens

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Total cost
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Participants (6)