Special Issue "Reuse and Recycling of Phosphate Mine Wastes"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 682

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Sciences and Technologies Marrakech, Cadi Ayyad University (UCA), Marrakech 40000, Morocco
Interests: mineral waste valorization
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Loutou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculté Pluridisciplinaire de Nador (FPN), Université Mohammed Premier, Nador 62700, Morocco
Interests: clays and engineered mineral materials
Mining Environment and Circular Economy Program (EMEC), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ben Guerir 43150, Morocco
Interests: sustainable mining; mine waste management and valorization; reuse recycling and recovery of industrial solid wastes; integrated management of mining wastes; environmental characterization; low-grade ores beneficiation; life cycle assessment and circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The phosphate mining industry generates significant amounts of waste, including materials produced during extraction, beneficiation, and transformation processes. These waste products, often stored in tailing ponds and waste rock piles, pose a significant problem in terms of storage capacity and can have negative impacts on the environment. Therefore, it is crucial to implement effective management strategies that not only address the disposal of mining waste but also promote the development of a circular economy.

Phosphate mine waste materials have been found to be chemically stable and inert. Due to their composition, waste rocks have characteristics similar to those of clay, sand, and aggregate, commonly used in the construction industry. This has led researchers to explore the potential of utilizing these waste materials to produce construction materials such as fired bricks. With increasing dependence on natural resources in the construction industry, and a growing emphasis on the circular economy, the management and valorization of mining waste has become a primary concern for governments and industry alike.

Valorization or recycling is a highly valuable management strategy for inert mine wastes, particularly in the case of phosphate mining. Utilizing these waste materials as raw materials in the construction industry offers a promising solution for environmental concerns. This approach not only reduces the volume of waste requiring disposal on mining sites, but also minimizes the depletion of natural resources.

This Special Issue aims to present a comprehensive overview of recent management techniques for phosphate mine waste, including the replacement of primary raw materials with secondary resources. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, the characterization of industrial and mining waste, landfilling, underground backfilling, reprocessing for metal recovery or environmental purposes, and valorization in various sectors. The contributions will provide insights for scientists, industry stakeholders, and governments to address the challenges and find the best management practices for phosphate mine waste in the future.

Main topics:

  • Problems around by-products and phosphate mine wastes
  • Accurate characterization of phosphate mine wastes
  • Latest available technical and environmental solutions to efficiently manage both types of waste—treatment and processing before disposal
  • High-value element recovery from industrial and mining wastes, towards defining effective, low cost and ecofriendly methods
  • Recycling of industrial and phosphate mining wastes as alternative resources in different sectors
  • Development minerals
  • Laboratory-, pilot- and/or industrial-scale studies related to these topics
  • Circular economy and life cycle assessment

Prof. Dr. Rachid Hakkou
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Loutou
Dr. Yassine Taha
Guest Editors

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.


  • phosphate mine waste
  • environmental characterization
  • treatment, stabilization, reprocessing and recycling
  • integrated management
  • valorization
  • materials chemistry and the environment

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Characterisation and Environmental Significance of Glauconite from Mining Waste of the Egorievsk Phosphorite Deposit
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1228; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091228 - 19 Sep 2023
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This article presents the results of a study of glauconite obtained from phosphate rock waste. The aim is to study the morphological, structural and chemical characteristics of glauconite and to determine the potential for secondary use of mining waste in the agricultural sector. [...] Read more.
This article presents the results of a study of glauconite obtained from phosphate rock waste. The aim is to study the morphological, structural and chemical characteristics of glauconite and to determine the potential for secondary use of mining waste in the agricultural sector. The electromagnetic separation method was used to obtain glauconite concentrate. The optimum parameters for obtaining the maximum mineral content in the concentrate were determined. Studies have shown that glauconite is characterised by globular, granular grains of the highly mature variety. Glauconite almost invariably contains inclusions of pyrite and apatite, which significantly improve the characteristics of the fertiliser. Laboratory experiments have shown that glauconite waste and glauconite concentrate have a positive effect on plant growth and development. The high potassium content, the favourable globular shape of the grains, and the presence of apatite and pyrite inclusions indicate the potential use of glauconite from mining waste as a potash fertiliser. Application of glauconite fertiliser to the soil will provide an opportunity to improve its texture, providing better moisture and aeration. The use of glauconite fertiliser is particularly valuable on acidic soils where apatite can be dissolved, making phosphorus available to plants. This nutrient additionally favours plant growth, as well as reducing the risk of heavy metal accumulation in the soil. Thus, glauconite from the waste of the Egorievsk deposit represents a promising fertiliser for improving soil quality and increasing crop yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reuse and Recycling of Phosphate Mine Wastes)
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