Authors: Hejny, H


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Hejny, H 2012, 'Earth observation for the assessment of environmental and societal impacts of mining activities and after mine closure – the EO-MINERS project', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2012: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 675-688,

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Given the current status of political discussion in Europe about raw materials problems, the sustainable development of the extractive industry and the reduction of its environmental footprint are among the key topics in this discussion. In this context, the European Commission approved the EO-MINERS project (Earth Observation for Monitoring and Observing Environmental and Societal Impacts of Mineral Resources Exploration and Exploitation). One of the scientific and technical objectives of EO-MINERS is to assess policy requirements at macro (public) and micro (mining companies) levels and define environmental, socio-economic, societal and sustainable development criteria and indicators to be possibly dealt using earth observation (EO) technologies. Further to that, the project will use existing EO knowledge and carry out new developments on three demonstration sites (Sokolov lignite mining area, Czech Republic, Witbank coal field, South Africa, Makmal gold mine, Kyrgyzstan) to further demonstrate the capabilities of integrated EO-based methods and tools in monitoring, managing and contributing towards reducing the environmental and societal footprints of the extractive industry during all phases of a mining project, from the exploration to the exploitation and closure stages. Finally, it will provide reliable and objective information about affected ecosystems, populations and societies, to serve as a basis for a sound ‘trialogue’ between industrialists, governmental organisations and stakeholders. The paper will discuss only results obtained so far, as the project is scheduled to run until October 2013. The project will further indicate ways in which the project results and products may be used for monitoring purposes beyond the operational phase of a mine.

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