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Revista Minelor – Mining Revue ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 vol. 28, issue 2 / 2022, pp. 35-41 MINERAL WASTE, RECYCLING AND REHABILITATION OF THEIR DISPOSAL AREAS 1* 2 3 Jorgaq THANAS , Aida BODE , Sokol MATI Department of Mineral Resources Engineering; Faculty of Mining Geology; Polytechnic University Tirana, Albania, email@example.com Department of Mineral Resources Engineering; Faculty of Mining Geology; Polytechnic University Tirana, Albania, firstname.lastname@example.org BERALB SHA, Albania, email@example.com DOI: 10.2478/minrv-2022-0012 Abstract: This article gives an overview of solid waste and tailing generated by the mining activity over the years in Albania. It presents the geographical distribution of the disposal areas giving a quantitative and qualitative assessment of this waste. It reveals that the best approach to deal with mining waste is their recycling to recover lost mineral products deposited in the mining waste and tailing dam. This loss is due to the type of technology used over the years in mines and to the low efficiency of the processing equipment; nonetheless, the new treatment methods can represent a great potential for the recycling industries in the mining activity. At the same time the rehabilitation of the disposal areas is of great importance. Keywords: recycling, rehabilitation, inert waste, processing waste, mineral waste, sterile 1. Introduction The mining industry, due to the opening processes (main mining workings), ore body preparation workings, exploitation of mining objects, as well as the treatment of minerals in processing plants has created, over the years, large quantities of mining waste and tailings, distributed all around Albania in all mining objects and processing plants. Wastes for the mining sector in Albania are estimated at over 45 million tons and are geographically 3 3 distributed almost throughout the country (12 million m of chromium ores, 10 million tons or 6.5 million m of copper ores, 4 million tons of nickel iron waste, 10 million tons of coal waste, over ten million tons of construction mineral waste, etc.) (Figure 1) . 5% Mining wasted generated over the years 2% Mining industry 11% Copper enrichment 13% Chromium enrichment Iron-nickel enrichment 69% Metallurgical industry Figure 1. Mining waste generated over the years Corresponding author: Jorgaq Thanas, Ph.D / Department of Mineral Resources Engineering; Faculty of Mining Geology; Polytechnic University Tirana, Albania. (Rruga e Elbasanit – Tirana, Albania, firstname.lastname@example.org) Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 28, issue 2 / 2022 2. DISPOSAL AREAS ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 37-41 During the mining process, mainly during the opening of the mining object during realisation of capital 2. Disposal areas of mining waste mining working and preparation of mineral blocks for exploitation, a large amount of solid mineral waste is created which are generally deposited at the outlets of the capital mining workings (Figure 1) (ITNPM During the mining process, mainly during the opening of the mining object during the carrying out of Working Group. 2006) , and according to the type of mineral they are classified inerte or with capital mining working and preparation of mineral blocks for exploitation, a large amount of solid mineral waste is created, which is generally deposited at the outlets of the capital mining workings (Figure 2a, 2b) , environmental impact (Bode A. 2010) . and according to the type of mineral they are classified as inert or with environmental impact . Bulqizë Batër Bulqizë Batër Mining chromium ore waste Mining chromium ore waste Mining chromium ore waste Mining chromium ore waste Mining waste in Bulqiza mine Bulqizë M unellë Mining chromium ore waste as remains from opening or Mining copper ore waste as remains from opening or Bulqizë Munellë preparation of mining workings preparation of mining workings Mining chromium ore waste as remains from opening Mining copper ore waste as remains from opening or or preparation of mining workings preparation of mining workings Figure 2a. Mining waste disposal sites Figura 1. Mining waste disposal sites During the treatment processes of different minerals (pre-treatment, beneficiation using gravity methods or flotation) big quantities of tailing are also created, which, depending on the process used, are classified as having great or small impact pollution on the environment. Tailing are distributed near the processing plants for treatment of copper, chromium, coal or iron nickel ores, which are almost all around Albania. Most of the dams now are under observation but there are many which have created problems, as far as pollution is concerned, as they are near cities, occupying big surface areas, and displaying safety problems, etc. 3. Recycling of mining waste Mining wastes deposited close to the mining objects in these two decades, especially chromium waste ore, have been subject not only to the formerly selection process of chromium ore waste by licensed entities, but also to an informal use of them, a process that has been observed to provide quantities of high grade ore that has mixed with mineral waste during the years. This phenomenon was widespread in the Batër-Bulqiza massif where safety and health problems occurred as well as the phenomenon of younger age work (Figure 3) (AKBN 2014). . 36 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 28, issue 2 / 2022 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 37-41 Bulqizë Bulqizë Tailing dam Chromium processing plant Fushë Arrës Fushë Arrës Tailing dam Copper processing plant Figure 2b. Tailing disposal sites Figure 3. Use of chromium ore waste, Bulqizë Tailings which are deposited in dams near the processing facilities still contain useful elements and with new technological flow sheets and equipment they serve as a secondary raw material source, which, through recycling processes, will produce mineral products. (Figure 4) The recycling processes of chromium tailings by using new flow sheet with regrinding and treatment of fine particles have good results in producing chromium concentrate for export. The recycling processes of copper tailings by using new flow sheet with regrinding by vertical mills have good results in producing copper concentrate, even in the case of tailing with grade of Cu up to 0,35 % Cu. Tailing comings from recycle are then re-deposited in the same dam or in new ones to achieve the total rehabilitation of the area where they are deposited (Bode A. et al. 2009) . UNIVERSITETI POLITEKNIK I TIRANES FAKULTETI I GJEOLOGJISE DHE I MINIERAVE DEPARTAMENTI I INXHINIERISE SE BURIMEVE MINERARE Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 28, issue 2 / 2022 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 37-41 Tailing exploitation at Bulqiza dam Fushë Arrës Bulqizë Tailing exploitation used in the recycle process in Tailing exploitation used in the recycle process in Copper processing plant Chromium processing plant Figure 4. Tailing exploitation for recycling 4. Rehabilitation of mining waste areas Currently, there are a lot of mining areas where these mineral wastes are out of control (except for some facilities that are currently working or some dams where the rehabilitation process has taken place in Reps, Rubik, Fushë Arrës). They do have impact on the environment in the aspect of ecosystem damages, surface and groundwater pollution, panorama, the space they occupy affecting the level of forests, the risk of landslides or hinks, etc. (Table 1, figure 5) . Of the limestone processing facilities (45 built before the '90s and over 130 built in these 25 years), the waste part is considered as inert material, in many cases it has been used as a filler material and in addition to Figura 4. Pamje te mbetjeve te ngurta minerare nga proceset e shfrytezimit dhe perpunimit te mineralit te kromit the panoramic effect, their polluting effect in the environment is limited . However, for a small part, the need for a rehabilitation process is immediate as is the case of waste in the Fushë Krujë region. Table 1. Data on mining and sterile processing facilities that they have generated Current Sterile Content of useful Mineral processing The Mineral production (waste) Location elements facilities district (ore) of sterile stocks (%) (tons / year) (ton) Gal 41- Selection plant Dibër Chrome closed No data No data Bulqiza Lucan- Selection plant Mat Chrome closed No data No data Krastë The object of mixing Lucan - Mat Chrome closed No data No data and averaging Krastë The object of mixing Laç Kurbin Chrome closed No data No data and averaging The object of mixing Milot Kurbin Chrome closed No data No data and averaging Suspension Klos Mat Chrome Reconstructed No data No data enrichment plant Enrichment Factory Bulqizė Dibër Chrome 17.000 2 300 000 8-10 % Cr2O3 Enrichment Factory Kalimash Kukës Chrome closed 0 0 Enrichment Factory Krastë Mat Chrome closed 162 100 10-12 % Cr2O3 Ferrochrome plant Burrel Mat Chrome 18 700 330 000 8-8.5 % Cr2O3 Ferrochrome plant Elbasan Elbasan Chrome 37 200 240 000 8-8.5 % Cr2O3 Figura 5. Pamje te depozitimit te mbetjeve te ngurta minerare ne fushe midis dy qyteteve ( te ri dhe te vjeter) dhe Slag sorting plant Shëngjin Lezhë Copper closed 0 0 rruges se transportimit Enrichment Factory Golaj Kukës Copper closed 349 691 0.17%Cu Enrichment Factory Fushë-Arrës Puka Copper 240.000 3 103 361 0.22%Cu No.1 and No.2 FAKULTETI I GJEOLOGJISË DHE I MINIERAVE Fabrika e Pasurimit Reps Mirdita Copper closed 3 695 067 0.18% Cu Adresa: Rruga Elbasanit, Tiranë, Tel.: +355 4 2375246/5, web: www.fgjm.edu.al; e-mail: email@example.com Nr.1 dhe Nr.2 38 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 28, issue 2 / 2022 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 37-41 Enrichment Factory Mjedë Shkodër Copper closed 44 552 0.14% Cu Enrichment Factory Rëshen Mirdita Copper closed 444 588 0.19%Cu Enrichment Factory Kurbnesh Mirdita Copper closed 3 582 649 0.17%Cu Enrichment Factory Rehovë Korçë Copper closed 611 037 0.15%Cu Copper Smelting Plant Laç Kurbini Copper closed No data No data Copper Refining Plant Rubik Kurbini Copper closed No data No data Copper Smelting Plant Rexhepaj Kukës Copper closed No data No data Copper Refining Plant Rubik Mirdita Copper closed No data No data In Copper Wires Factory Shkodër Shkoder Copper No data No data reconstruction Enrichment Factory Guri i Kuq Pogradec Iron-Nickel closed 2 600 000 No data Fraction-Fraction Prenjas Librazhd Iron-Nickel closed 1 800 000 No data Factory Nickel Liquidation Elbasan Elbasan Iron-Nickel closed No data No data Plant (U-12) Metallurgical Plant Elbasan Elbasan Iron-Nickel closed No data No data Enrichment Factory Valias Tiranë Coal Stone closed 5 970 000 Calorific Power 400 kk/kg. Enrichment Factory Memaliaj Tepelenë Coal Stone closed 4 520 000 Calorific Power 596 kk/kg. Enrichment Factory Maliq Korce Qymyr Guri closed 800 000 Fuqia Kalorifike 400 kk/kg. Heavy Sand Enrichment (Rushbull) Minerals Rare Durres closed No data No data Plant Durrës Soils (Zircon, Hafmium,etc.) Talc Enrichment Plant Korçë Korçë Talc closed No data No data Phosphorite Memaliaj Tepelena Phosphorite closed No data No data Flourishing Plant Quartz-Olivinite Laç Kurbin Kuarci closed No data No data Enrichment Company Feldspat enrichment Granite- Tirana Tirana closed No data No data plant feldshpati Average-Export- Port-Durrës Durres All minerals closed No data No data Import Affiliate TOTAL 30 553 045 valued sterile tons Figure 5. Dam in Kurbnesh Waste deposits of coal enrichment plants have faster self-regenerating capacity for the very content of elements in them, which has been observed in some dams or deposits of Memaliaj mine (Figure 6) (AKBN. 2015) . 39 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 28, issue 2 / 2022 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 37-41 Figure 6. Vegetation that has covered mining waste at Memaliaj mine Quantitative-qualitative assessment of stocks of mineral waste and sterile dams, which are currently located near closed mines and factories or in operation is the starting point for studies and projects for their recycling opportunities (use of modern methods of hydrometallurgical enrichment, biolivation, etc.) and the avoidance of pollution, which they cause in the surrounding environment, determining the manner of final rehabilitation of the areas where these sterile wastes are deposited (Figure 4) (AKBN. 2017). Only for the three copper factories of Reps, Kurbnesh and Rrëshen the land area that can be obtained after complete rehabilitation is about 20 ha (194 900 m ) (Bode A. 2009) . It is true that from the past we inherit an aggravated environmental situation in the mining industry . This is because: The full legal framework for the protection of the environment and health was lacking; The only priority was given only to the production and growth of industrial activities; The applied technologies and their work were not performing; Lack of information on clean technologies; Very little impact on the environment was assessed and in the mining projects it represented an insignificant part. Currently, mining and environmental legislation is almost entirely in line with the European Community directives. For mining waste, the 2006 directive on solid waste was adopted during the adoption of the new mining law and a series of bylaws were drafted in this regard; every year the Annual Environmental Report for the mining industry is drafted, so the information in this regard is added . But the same situation is not observed in the case of the projects related to mineral waste, whether development or recycling and rehabilitation are concerned; it is important for us to design clear and accurate programs and projects for recycling, pollution preventing and rehabilitating the contaminated areas or surfaces. In the context of rehabilitation, recycling processes take on a special importance, as they generate revenue, reduce the amount of waste that is deposited, and provide opportunities for sterile or previous waste to enter the economic circulation and the landfill to be rehabilitated for use in other purposes, even in industrial purposes . In terms of rehabilitation, it is time to start projects for the closed mining areas, in the case of which a part of the income from environmental rehabilitation should be provided for those closed mining facilities. For such projects, the combining of these revenues with funding that has not been lacking so far from international institutions and partnerships will enable the holders to make the rehabilitation process successful . In this regard, it is definitely required to increase the level of social awareness regarding mining pollution based on the concept of sustainable development of the country. It is necessary to understand the fact that improvement in the mining environment requires the training of many people, employees, technologies, funds and time. 40 Revista Minelor – Mining Revue vol. 28, issue 2 / 2022 ISSN-L 1220-2053 / ISSN 2247-8590 pp. 37-41 5. Conclusions The environmental management system should include a well-defined coordination and approach from the part of mining and environmental institutions. Environmental monitoring is also important here, the results of which should be transparent to civil society and the public. Recognizing the potential of mineral waste pollution and environmental measures in terms of recycling and rehabilitation would help prevent environmental disasters, but would make mineral waste a no less important part for the development and economic well-being of areas where they are deposited. Promotion and encouragement of foreign investments, through the application of clean technologies for their treatment (especially for copper sterilizers that in addition to the copper element have rare elements such as gold and silver) would guarantee profit and reduction and possible elimination of environmental pollution . Environmental management best practices represent a process of continuous improvement, which enables performance-enhancing operations in specific operations over time. These improvements can be made by changes in legislative requirements, public trends, the opinion of mining companies, and the development of new improved technology. Minimizing the environmental impact of a mining operation depends on sound management practices and in this context an important part of it is the modern management of mining waste References  National Agency of Natural Resources, 2017 Annual reports on mining activity 2011- 2017 http://www.akbn.gov.al/wp- content/uploads/2015/02/Broshura_Minierat.pdf  Working group, ITNPM, 2006 Solid waste of metal mines in Albania - Project  Bode A, et al., 2010 Mining Residues Around Lake Ohrid, Journal of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining, Volume 46 Number (1) ISSN 1450-5959.  Mati S., Bode A., 2011 NeË floË-sheet for tailing recycling of the chromium dressing plant of Bulqiza, Vol II pg 729, XIV BMPC Balkan Mineral Processing Congress- Tuzla- Bosnia & Herzegovin, ISBN 978-9958-31-038-6; June 14-17.  Bode A., et al., (2009) Post - transition environmental assessment in Albania, Volume II, pp 673. XIII BMPC Balkan Mineral Processing Congress- Bucharest-Romania, ISBN 978-973-677-159-0; ISBN 978-973-677-161-3, 14-17June.  Mati S., 2011 Albania- An emerging country, Mining Journal July 29, 2011, p. 14, www.miningjournal.com  Mati S., 2009 Strategy for industrial minerals Albania SARMA - EC- Program. Meeting Sustainable Aggregates Resource Management European Territorial Co-operation 2007 - 2013 Split, Croatia March 2009  Mati S., 2010 Mining policy for a sustainable development of mining activities, SARMA - ECProgramme. Workshop in Tirana, Albania This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 license. Authors retain all copyrights and agree to the terms of the above-mentioned CC BY SA 4.0 license.
Mining Revue – de Gruyter
Published: Jun 1, 2022
Keywords: recycling; rehabilitation; inert waste; processing waste; mineral waste; sterile
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