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Best Environmental Practices in the Mining Sector in the Barents Region

International Conference 23-25 April 2013

image of Best Environmental Practices in the Mining Sector in the Barents Region

The natural resources of the Barents Region are of strategic importance for Europe. One intensively developing sector is mining, which will bring new opportunities to the region, but which will also cause changes in the environment. The Conference on Best Environmental Practices in the Mining Sector in the Barents Region was held in Rovaniemi in April 2013. The Conference targeted the environmental issues connected to the mining sector and promoted best environmental practices for mines in the Barents Region. The overall goal for the Conference was to increase awareness of the challenges in the mining sector and to exchange information on assessing and managing social and environmental concerns. These Conference proceedings present the Concept Note on Common Challenges of the Conference and the abstracts of the presentations.

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Emissions, use of chemicals and impacts

Mine waste implies that the material has no current economic value. Mining wastes include overburden and waste rocks excavated and mined from surface and underground operations. Waste rock (country rock) is wall rock material removed to mine ore. Particle sizes of waste rocks range from clay size particles to boulder size fragments. Processing wastes include fine-grained tailings, sludge and waste water from mineral processing. In some mines, flotation of metal and mineral ores produces an intermediate product, a mineral concentrate, which is the input of the extractive metallurgy: hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy or electrometallurgy. These processes destroy partially or entirely ore minerals and associated minerals and result in the production of various waste products (metallurgical wastes) including atmospheric emissions, flue dust, slag, roasting products, waste water, and leached ore.

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