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The application of European hazardous waste assessment to mining projects and implications for environmental sustainability

Melanie Cox, Robert Bowell, Carl Williams, Julien Declercq, Jessica Charles, Ruth Warrender and Craig Wickham
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
First presented: 
European Geologist
Mine Waste

European mine waste management is governed by the Extractive Waste Directive (2006/21/EC) but hazardous assessments are conducted according to a broader hazardous classification legislation encompassing all waste types. Consequently, there is a risk of misinterpretation when using one system for all wastes.

This article assesses potential issues with the current approach. Literal interpretation of the legislation could over-emphasise or under-estimate risks and hazardous classification focuses on solid phase compositions, with minimal consideration to leachate formation over time.

Correct designation of waste is essential; it influences waste management plans and has implications for categorisation of mining waste facilities. Tailoring each sitespecific assessment is crucial and a variety of information sources and legislative documents should be consulted to provide the most relevant classification.

Feature Author

Melanie Cox

Melanie Cox (BSc) has over 11 years’ experience in the mining industry, and has worked as a Geochemistry Consultant for the past four years. She specialises in hazardous waste classification and has a good knowledge of EU legislation. She is experienced in testwork coordination, data processing, interpretation and reporting for geochemical characterisation studies and water quality assessments and is proficient in data quality assessments. Melanie is familiar with XRF analysis plus HazWaste Online, Aquachem and Leapfrog® Geo software. She has extensive project management support experience from numerous multi-disciplinary projects worldwide.

Consultant (Geochemistry)
SRK Cardiff
SRK United Kingdom