EU mining waste rules closer to reality

Latest draft directive proposal "risks duplicating legislation", fails to win over industry

Reworked plans for an EU directive on mining waste released yesterday by the European Commission's environment directorate have failed to persuade industry to embrace the law. Sector association Euromines said some changes made to the proposal went in the right direction, but that the overall package continued to leave major questions unanswered.

The Commission has been focusing on mining waste management since high-profile tailings dam accidents in Spain and Romania. The draft directive forms one element of a three-pronged strategy, the others being a planned extension of the Seveso II directive on major accident hazards to include mines, and drafting of a best available techniques (BAT) reference guide for mining waste.

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