THE THIRD WORLD MINING ENVIRONMENT CONGRESS
Moscow, 7-10 September 1999
| The Third World Mining Environment Congress was held in Moscow on 7-10 September 1999.
It was organized by the National Mining Research Center – Skochinskii Institute of Mining with
the financial support from the Ministry of Fuel and Energy of the Russian Federation
(Mintopenergo of Russia) and the Ministry of Science and Technologies of the Russian Federation
and with the organizational assistance of the Department of geology, geophysics, geochemistry
and mining sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Committee for the Coal Industry
with Mintopenergo of Russia.|
The Congress sessions were attended by more than three hundred participants – managers
from ministries and government agencies of Russia, members of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
scientists of a number of leading Academy and branch scientific research institutions and
specialists from production plants of Russia, Germany, Poland, France, Great Britain, China,
Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kirghizia.
The Third Congress recognizes great importance for the humankind of the forthcoming stage of
its development, at which people will get knowledge and become the community of economically
and ecologically interacting members. Reasoning from the above one can state that the current
global ecological problem is the one for the entire civilized community.
Over recent years the problem of human habitat protection, i.e., the prevention of the
irreversible alteration of the composition and characteristics of all the components of the
biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, has acquired rather high social, economic
and engineering importance. Of particular importance is the problem of maintaining the
characteristics and composition of the atmosphere as the most sensitive life-support system on
It is high time to assess the effect of the production activity of man on environment,
such as the alteration of characteristics and composition of the atmosphere resulting from
intensive emission of various gases, on the modification of the water balance and water
characteristics, as well as on the disturbance of the planet surface and soils, as well as
other harmful effects.
Large-scale ecological problems are rather typical of the mining industry. The share of
solid primary materials (coal, metal ores, non-metallic solid minerals, construction materials)
accounts for 80 % of the total mining output. Today, the annual output of primary materials
and mine stone excavated in the process of underground and surface mining exceeds 60 billion
Nearly all the countries possess mining operations, therefore ecological problems must
become a concern of the whole world. Only mutual efforts geared at the problem elimination will
bring success. Ecological relations affect both national and international interests. Regulation
of these relations must be aimed accordingly at the conservation of the economic importance of
mineral resources, as a significant life-support system, and their ecological function, with
due account for the fact that mineral resources present a part of the natural environment.
The Third World Mining Environment Congress emphasizes that top priority objectives in
the elimination of ecological problems are as follows: development of the up-to-date legal and
regulatory documents, reliable methods of forecast and ways for the prevention of harmful
effects of mineral mining and processing, as well as the establishment of industrial regional
Low efficiency of analytical grounds and forecasts is determined by the lack of coordinated
research and sufficient data, as well as reasonable exchange of experience that contributes to
the spread of ecological hazards, particularly in contiguous regions.
Special attention must be attached to the application of forecast methods and preventive
measures of mineral resources conservation and banning of uncontrolled extraction of minerals,
rocks, gases, water and other components, since it could result in the disturbance of the state,
characteristics and structure of the bowels as a whole. Uncontrolled exploitation of mineral
resources may disturb the existing equilibrium in the Earth's crust, and it will negatively
affect the environment. Therefore, the transition of the natural arrangement of mineral resources
to a new, technogenic and ecologically acceptable arrangement at the stage of their development
must be considered an indispensable condition of ecological security provision.
The papers presented at the Congress show the results achieved and the ways to solve the
main ecological problems. In a number of papers dealing with the general ecological problems and
engineering methods and equipment for environment protection the analysis is given of the
qualitative and quantitative indicators of the negative environmental effect produced by mining
operations, and information is presented about local technological approaches, which improve
The papers also describe methods of the health analysis of the population of mining areas
and safety and labour protection measures in surface and underground mineral mining, processing
and transportation, and waste utilization problems.
One should emphasize the extreme importance of the ecological aspect of mineral deposit
development in the Northern regions of different countries. The intensive broad-scale mineral
mining in the Northern regions must be oriented towards the formation of reasonable strategy of
the economy restructuring with the maximum possible conservation of the existing dynamic
equilibrium of particularly sensitive natural systems and ecological security of the population.
The participants of the Congress believe that the current attitude to mineral
resources development assumes the necessity for continuous efforts aimed at the conservation of
their utility through the controlled utilization of all the variety of georesources and
comprehensive development of mineral resources and establishing of multifunction mining
Recommendations of the Congress