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FP6

ERMISA — Result In Brief

Project ID: 15171
Funded under: FP6-INCO

Europe shares mining expertise with South America

European researchers travelled to Peru to learn about the impact mining has had on its citizens and ecosystems. The hope was that by bringing attention to mining's less desirable attributes, the impetus for change could be born.
Europe shares mining expertise with South America
Mining has among the dirtiest environmental footprints of any major industry. Even once a mine has been shut down it can continue to contaminate the local water supply. Arid regions with little rainfall are particularly susceptible to this problem.

Europe has funded extensive research targeting cleaner mining techniques as well as technologies to remediate compromised water resources. The idea behind the 'Environmental Regulation Mine Waters in South America' (Ermisa) project was to bring this much-needed expertise to the South American continent.

Following the selection of Peru as a test site, the Ermisa team established contact with active mining companies, governmental agencies and communities impacted by mining. This process was facilitated by interaction with the Grupo de Diálogo Minería y Desarrollo Sostenible (Dialogue Group on Mining and Sustainable Development). The goal was to collect information concerning the state of mining and water management in the country. An effort was also made to share important findings from other EU-funded research and technological development (RTD) projects in the mining sector.

.A dialogue was initiated with all relevant stakeholders, primarily through a widely attended international forum. This culminated in a number of recommendations. Given the long history of mining in the country, it is imperative that specific plans be developed to repair the damage done by mines that are now closed. Looking to the future, it is also critical that a system be put in place to better manage water resources, preferably using a whole catchment approach. Finally, mining companies have been encouraged to maintain the high standards that they are held to in other parts of the world.

The lessons learned will be communicated to Peru's South American neighbours to broaden the project's impact.

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