The paper 'National Mineral Waste Databases as an Information Source for Assessing Material Recovery Potential from Mine Waste, Tailings and Metallurgical Waste' by Gorazd Žibret, Bruno Lemiere, Ana-Maria Mendez, Carlo Cormio, Danielle Sinnett, Peter Cleall, Katalin Szabó and M. Teresa Carvalho was published in Minerals.
We examined the national mine waste registries from seven European countries, created to fulfil the requirements of the “Mine Waste Directive” (2006/21/EC), for their potential use as an initial source of information for the valorisation of specific mine waste deposits for their resource recovery. A set of parameters for mine waste valorisation was defined and divided into three groups: the “basic”, the “metal-centric” and the “material-centric” group. The “basic” group of 19 parameters considers properties of the mine waste deposit, including the location, history, homogeneity and quantity, among others, while the other two groups relate to the two desired material recovery types. The “metal-centric” group of parameters contains the six parameters needed to preliminarily assess the potential to valorise mine waste for metal extraction, while the “material-centric” group contains the nine parameters needed to consider the use of mine waste for the production of different construction materials. National mine waste registries from Slovenia, France, Spain, Italy, UK, Hungary and Portugal were reviewed to determine whether they contain information about each of the parameters. In line with the objectives of the Mine Waste Directive, the national mine waste registries were developed to reduce or prevent environmental damage, and not to enable resource recovery from mine waste. The registries contain most of the information for the parameters in the “basic” group, less information for the parameters in the “metal-centric” group and almost no information to define the parameters in the “material-centric” group. The conclusion is that national mine waste registries could serve only as an initial source of information, and more detailed information must be obtained from other sources. This misses an opportunity to see these sites as a resource, and not only as a potential source of pollution, given the urgent need to find alternative stocks of metals within the EU (European Union).
Gorazd Žibret, Bruno Lemiere, Ana-Maria Mendez, Carlo Cormio, Danielle Sinnett, Peter Cleall, Katalin Szabó and M. Teresa Carvalho (2020). National Mineral Waste Databases as an Information Source for Assessing Material Recovery Potential from Mine Waste, Tailings and Metallurgical Waste. Minerals, 10(5), 446; DOI: 10.3390/min10050446