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Recycling 2016, 1(3), 328-342; doi:10.3390/recycling1030328

Using Risk Assessment and Management Approaches to Develop Cost-Effective and Sustainable Mine Waste Management Strategies

1
School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Zografou 15780, Greece
2
Lavrion Technological and Cultural Park, Lavrion 19500, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michele Rosano
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mining Waste Management and Resource Recovery)
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Abstract

Soil contamination by mine wastes is an enormous challenge for both mining companies and competent authorities. Mine wastes are usually considered a major source of impacts on human health and the environment. Thus, the prevailing strategy is to reduce or completely remove the contaminants of concern through appropriate in situ or ex situ remediation techniques. Nonetheless, today’s mine waste may become tomorrow’s ore. In order to keep this option open, however, several things need to change in the concept and practice of mine waste management. This paper presents a case study from Greece, where mine waste (mainly metallurgical slags) have been disposed of, posing excess risks to human health and the environment. Complete restoration of the site would not only be cost-prohibitive but would also eliminate any possibility of future exploitation of contained resources. Considering both the protection of human health and the environment and the storage of waste for future use, a risk assessment and management approach was adopted that allowed the selection of cost-effective measures in order to: eliminate health hazards, re-use the site for recreational purposes, and secure the opportunity for resource recovery in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: health risk assessment/management; site contamination; heavy metals; cost and risk minimization; sustainable mine waste management health risk assessment/management; site contamination; heavy metals; cost and risk minimization; sustainable mine waste management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Karachaliou, T.; Protonotarios, V.; Kaliampakos, D.; Menegaki, M. Using Risk Assessment and Management Approaches to Develop Cost-Effective and Sustainable Mine Waste Management Strategies. Recycling 2016, 1, 328-342.

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