Selected Papers from the 8th and 9th International Conference on Mining and Environmental Protection

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 10818

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to inform you that the 9th International Conference on Mining and Environmental Protection (MEP 2023). The 9th International Conference on Mining and Environmental Protection will be held from 24 to 27 May in Sokobanja, Serbia, organized by the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Mining and Geology in Belgrade—CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING.

Previous conferences were very successful; scientists and companies from many countries gathered to share experiences, information, and research results. The objective of this conference is to bring together engineers, scientists, and managers working in the mining industry, research organizations, and government organizations, on the development and application of best practices in the mining industry in respect of environment protection.

In the previous 8th International Conference of Mining and Environmental Protection (MEP 2021), at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 80 participants from home and abroad participated, including participants from Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Russia, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose works were printed in the Conference Proceedings. The Proceedings published a total of 38 articles.

At the conference in 2023, numerous scientists from Serbia and abroad are anticipated to participate once more. The attendance of representatives from almost all Serbian mines is expected, as well as significant participation of professionals from mines, institutes, and universities from all over the world.

Selected papers from both the 8th and 9th International Conference on Mining and Environmental Protection will be published in this Special Issue of Minerals.

Official Website of the conference: https://mep.rgf.bg.ac.rs/

Prof. Dr. Ivica Ristović
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • surface mining of mineral deposits
  • underground mining of mineral deposits
  • underground constructions
  • the exploitation of oil and gas
  • geothermal energy and deep drilling
  • environmental protection in mining
  • sustainable development in the mining industry
  • ecological aspects of exploitation energy resources
  • mine closure
  • remote sensing
  • movement and deformational analysis
  • clean coal technologies
  • clean energy
  • secondary raw materials
  • air pollution
  • soil contamination, remediation, and reclamation
  • mining water and wastewater management
  • assessment of environmental impact
  • life cycle assessment
  • systems of environmental protection
  • environmental modelling
  • environmental geophysical prospections
  • legislation in environmental protection
  • public health and environment
  • natural renewable resources
  • mining geology
  • biomass
  • biomining

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

27 pages, 12685 KiB  
Article
Secondary Deposits as a Potential REEs Source in South-Eastern Europe
Minerals 2024, 14(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14020120 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 806
Abstract
The main objective of this manuscript is to collect, classify, and compile all available data about secondary mineral sources of REEs in the South-Eastern Europe (SEE). The material is generated from the extracting and processing sector, that might be possibly transformed in the [...] Read more.
The main objective of this manuscript is to collect, classify, and compile all available data about secondary mineral sources of REEs in the South-Eastern Europe (SEE). The material is generated from the extracting and processing sector, that might be possibly transformed in the business process becoming an important raw material for another industry. The management inventory guide will strengthen communication and dissemination efforts and simultaneously contribute to Europe’s self-sufficiency and support transitioning to green and digital technology. Identification of the knowledge gaps associated with secondary sources of REEs in SEE will contribute to connections between all partners being involved at the beginning, during the lifetime of products and at the end of the life cycle, represented with deposit owners, technology developers and potential processors, producers, and potential users. At the investigated area it was found 1835 individual landfills, most of them belonging to waste rocks. The total quantity of all material in SRM is about 3.2 billion tons on an area of about 100 km2. The largest 95 individual landfills were selected as potential prospective landfills, containing about 1600 million tons of material. The estimated total potential of REEs (ΣREE) is more than 200 Kt. The largest quantities are found in landfills for coal fly ash and Cu flotation, which correspond to more than 80% of the ΣREE. Most of the promising sites are located in Serbia and North Macedonia. It has been calculated that the valorisation potential and perspectivity of REE2O3 is about 32.5 billion USD (prices from December 2022). According to the average concentrations of REEs, the most prospective are the red mud dams but their total volume is limited compared to massive amounts of coal fly ash landfills. The REEs content in all type of investigated materials, especially in coal fly ash in North Macedonia is twice as high as in other countries. Full article
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16 pages, 4482 KiB  
Article
Determination of Save Excavation Criteria in Velenje Coal Mine
Minerals 2024, 14(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14010077 - 09 Jan 2024
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Ensuring safe conditions for mining coal under water-bearing sands in the Velenje coal mine depends on the designed parameters of hydrogeology, geomechanics and drainage. The purpose of the research is to predict and simulate the hydrostatic pressures above the excavation fields in order [...] Read more.
Ensuring safe conditions for mining coal under water-bearing sands in the Velenje coal mine depends on the designed parameters of hydrogeology, geomechanics and drainage. The purpose of the research is to predict and simulate the hydrostatic pressures above the excavation fields in order to determine the thickness of the insulation layers and the height of the excavation. Coal occurs in the Velenje basin in the form of a slightly concave lens. Directly above the coal seam is an insulating layer of marl or clay. Above the insulating layer are more or less permeable Pliocene sands in which water can accumulate under layer pressure, posing a potential risk of water ingress into underground spaces. In addition to the Pliocene sands, triad layers of different ages and lithology in the bedrock also pose a risk of water intrusion. In order to prevent the intrusion of water into the working areas of underground objects, the criteria for safe mining in the Velenje coal mine under aquifers were established. The scientific research approach to determining the criteria for safe mining enables the safety and determination of excavation heights in coal mining. The following data are required for such a calculation: the water pressure in the first sands, the excavation depth below the surface, the thickness of the insulating layer and the method of excavation or the course of the demolition processes. Full article
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16 pages, 3050 KiB  
Article
An Experimental Investigation of the Environmental Risk of a Metallurgical Waste Deposit
Minerals 2022, 12(6), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12060661 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1474
Abstract
The aim of this study is to investigate the environmental risk of long-term metallurgical waste disposal. The investigated site was used for the open storage of lead and zinc waste materials originating from a lead smelter and refinery. Even after remediation was performed, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to investigate the environmental risk of long-term metallurgical waste disposal. The investigated site was used for the open storage of lead and zinc waste materials originating from a lead smelter and refinery. Even after remediation was performed, the soil in the close vicinity of the metallurgical waste deposit was heavily loaded with heavy metals and arsenic. The pollutants were bound in various compounds in the form of sulfides, oxides, and chlorides, as well as complex minerals, impacting the pH values of the investigated soil, such that they varied between 2.8 for sample 6 and 7.34 for sample 8. In order to assess the environmental risk, some eight soil samples were analyzed by determining the total metal concentration by acid digestion and chemical fractionation of heavy metals using the BCR sequential extraction method. Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) was used to determine six elements (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, and Ni). Total concentrations of the elements in the tested soil samples were in the range of 3870.4–52,306.18 mg/kg for As, 2.19–49.84 mg/kg for Cd, 268.03–986.66 mg/kg for Cu, 7.34–114.67 mg/kg for Ni, 1223.13–30,339.74 mg/kg for Pb, and 58.21–8212.99 mg/kg for Zn. The ratio between the mean concentrations of the tested metals was determined in this order: As > Pb > Zn > Cu > Ni > Cd. The BCR results showed that Pb (50.7%), Zn (49.2%), and Cd (34.7%) had the highest concentrations in mobile fractions in the soil compared to the other metals. The contamination factor was very high for Pb (0.09–33.54), As (0.004–195.8), and Zn (0.14–16.06). According to the calculated index of potential environmental risk, it was confirmed that the mobility of Pb and As have a great impact on the environment. Full article
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17 pages, 4581 KiB  
Article
Analytical and Numerical Solution for Better Positioning in Mines with Potential Extending Application in Space Mining
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050640 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
Application of new technologies and operational methodologies in mining sector targets to obtain a beneficial outcome in the long term. Instrumentation and monitoring systems for shafts, underground tunneling, storing faculties, etc. are often automated. Implemented systems provide data of mines state, integrated enhanced [...] Read more.
Application of new technologies and operational methodologies in mining sector targets to obtain a beneficial outcome in the long term. Instrumentation and monitoring systems for shafts, underground tunneling, storing faculties, etc. are often automated. Implemented systems provide data of mines state, integrated enhanced protection, and early warning solutions. Navigation and positioning in mines are deemed to be unstable in parts of mining tunnels when the external reference points are very far apart, thus significantly increasing the error of the internal network. This paper demonstrates a simulation of an innovative analytical and numerical solution for better positioning in the mines, yielding to increased accuracy of the control points, while reducing the time needed for performing measurements. Based on real tunnel dimensions, different control network configurations are tested. Statistical analysis of simulated environments and virtual measurements, created by combining various instrumentation, confirms cm-level positioning accuracy. The innovative approach to a mine control network design is based on involving fixed-length bars in the network design, gaining in shorter measurements sessions, but keeping homogeneous accuracy throughout the network. The concept is tested on 27 simulated network configurations, combining network points distribution and measurement accuracy of distances and angles. Obtained results and statistical analysis prove that consistent cm-level accuracy can be expected within the network. Extending the concept to space mining, which is becoming an attractive destination for chasing the rare-earth elements (REEs), this methodology will be a spin-off for space exploration mainly applicable in the Lunar lava tube positioning, which are the most secure place to settle the new human life. Full article
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23 pages, 4262 KiB  
Article
Mining and Metallurgical Waste as Potential Secondary Sources of Metals—A Case Study for the West Balkan Region
Minerals 2022, 12(5), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12050547 - 27 Apr 2022
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4492
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to present a chemical composition and quantities of mining and processing waste landfills material developed during historical mining and smelting. After detailed inspection, it was found that approximately 2.6 gigatons of the waste had been deposited at [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to present a chemical composition and quantities of mining and processing waste landfills material developed during historical mining and smelting. After detailed inspection, it was found that approximately 2.6 gigatons of the waste had been deposited at 1650 sites, covering almost 65 km2. More than half of this material, 55%, is characterized as conventional mining waste, 37% belongs to the processing tailings, and 8% to metallurgical waste. Most of these tailing sites are unclaimed, presenting a source of contamination for nearby communities. According to the literature data collected and additional chemical analyses, in accordance with zero-waste philosophy, about 42 promising locations (c. 270 million tons) could be selected, where various advanced eco-innovative methods of recovery could possibly apply. The areas with the highest prospective recovery are Serbia and Kosovo. In accordance with the metal prices achieved in March 2022, it is estimated that the recovery of tailings could bring up to 18,100 million USD, which is much more compared to the prices of March 2020—10,600 million USD—when the commodity market was governed by the COVID-19 restrictions. In addition to the commercial value of the metals, the environmental aspect should not be forgotten after the application of reuse and recycling concepts. Full article
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