Managing mining waste
Mining is Turkey’s fourth-leading industry. As such, it makes a significant and important contribution to the national economy, generates employment and satisfies some of the country’s key energy and raw material requirements. However, unless it is stored and managed correctly, mining waste can have adverse and lasting effects on the environment, in particular for water, air, soil, fauna and flora and landscape, and, consequently, public health. Although a number of laws existed on hazardous waste control, Turkey needed to fully adopt the EU’s directives on managing waste from extractive industries.
The aims of the project and its core activities
The purpose of this project was to strengthen Turkey’s waste management capacity in the field of mining by adopting the relevant EU directive into national law.
To this end, the ministries of Environment and Forestry and Energy and Natural Resources sought the assistance of related agencies in a member state which has experience in this field. Joint teams reviewed the existing institutional, technical and legal framework and produced guidelines on reducing, treating and recovering of all types of mining waste. They also devised an action plan for the prevention of major accidents and lessening their effects.
In order to train them in implementing the directive, staff from relevant agencies and stakeholder industries visited compliant waste facilities in the EU and attended workshops.
Another aspect of the project was the preparation of a database of all active, closed and abandoned mining waste facilities, which were individually assessed to determine whether they posed an environmental risk. For this purpose, special sampling equipment and modelling programmes were procured. In addition, rehabilitation plans were compiled for two sample mining facilities.