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Management of Tailings and Waste-rock in Mining Activities

The underlying theme of this work covers mineral processing, tailings and the waste-rock management of ores that have the potential for a strong environmental impact or that can be considered as examples of 'good practice'. The following metals are covered irrespective of the amounts produced or the mineral processing method used (e.g. whether mechanical methods are used, such as flotation, or whether they are produced by chemical or hydrometallurgical methods such as leaching, etc.):

• aluminium
• cadmium
• chromium
• copper
• gold
• iron
• lead
• manganese
• mercury
• nickel
• silver
• tin
• tungsten
• zinc.

The following industrial minerals are also included:

• barytes
• borates
• feldspar (if recovered by flotation)
• fluorspar
• kaolin (if recovered by flotation)
• limestone (if processed)
• phosphate
• potash
• strontium
• talc (if recovered by flotation).

Other minerals covered are:

• coal is only included when it is processed and there are tailings produced (thereby following the above-mentioned theme). Generally, this means that hard coal (or rock coal or black coal) is covered, whereas lignite (or brown coal), which is usually not processed, is not covered
• oil shale.

Mining Activities


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Review of the MTWR BREF started in December 2013 and will be carried out by the SUSPROC Team of JRC-IPTS instead of by the EIPPCB. Please check the dedicated SUSPROC website at http://susproc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/activities/waste/index.html for further information.

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