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Mineral resources of the urals: origin, development and environmental impacts.


The South Urals is the largest metalliferous province of Europe. Paradoxically the mining sector, which played a major economic role, is having difficulties because good-quality mineral deposits are becoming exhausted and no longer meet the demand. This sector is also at the origin of major environmental pollution. Its survival under conditions that are environmentally acceptable, requires its acceptation of international standards. This is the goal of the project, with major socio-economic benefits, involving a consortium of European and Russian scientists. It includes
i) the search for new/alternative mineral resources,
ii)determining measures to ensure environmental protection against mining pollution, and proposing an adapted legislative framework. The project will provide the opportunity for scientific and technical exchange to help isolated researchers lntegrate the international scientific community via the internet.
WP1: Owing to the geodynamic and metallogenic synthesis of the South and Middle Urals and the study of the different types of ore deposits, the knowledge about Urals' ore deposit has been considerably improved. The nature, structure and composition of ore deposit types have been characterized and new styles of gold, PGE, VMS and Cu-porphyry deposits have been defined. These results are and will be very useful for the mining companies working in this area, and for Bashkirgeologia in particular. WP3,5,6: The databases and Geographical Information System (GIS) were set up as scheduled and they are available for consultation through the web interface. Several thematic map have been produced for ranking mineral anomalies in the Chelyabinsk district. For a complete use of the databases and GIS for all the South Urals, it will be necessary to complete carefully the databases: geological maps for all the area, geophysics and geochemistry, environmental data. WP4 deliverables were completed on time and all the models have been achieved. A number of recommendations will be made for limiting human exposure to potentially toxic elements and for minimising the future impacts of mining-related activities on environmentally sensitive zones. Further research and work should focus on the inclusion of practical measures to improve the environmental situation in the mining and processing sites, the urban areas and the natural environment surrounding them, in collaboration with government agencies.

WP7: Once the comparison between the European and the Russian legislation was carried out, proposals on improvement of legislation in the sphere of mining and environment protection have been made by the research team of the Ural State Law Academy. This work and the recommendations have been submitted to the President. It should be underlined that further improvement of federal and regional legislation (in the Ural region in particular), regulating activities of mining and metallurgical enterprises on environment protection, is an urgent task on the way to sustainable development and market economy. It will require a certain transition period. During this period new laws and other legislative acts should be adopted and the necessary amendments should be introduced into the existing ones, taking into account positive foreign experience, social, economic, technological and other conditions and peculiarities. All the commitments of WP8 have been fulfilled. The final workshop was held in Orleans (France) with all the partners and the results of the project are largely spread through international publications, congresses and the dedicated web sites.


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Participants (8)