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Mineral resources of the Urals: origin, development and environmental impacts

supported by a three year European Commission 5th Framework Programme INCO-Copernicus 2 contract (ICA2-CT-2000-10011) (see CORDIS Key Action and Europa Server websites)


Link to official MinUrals site


Background: The study area is the South Urals mining region of west-central Russia. Many of the mineral deposits being worked are uneconomic in current world markets and the extraction technologies used are often inefficient and environmentally unsound. Mining-related activities have left a catastrophic legacy of environmental problems. Sulphur dioxide emissions from smelters are measured in thousands of tonnes per year and many of the region's watercourses, lakes and soils are polluted from mine waters. To date no effective monitoring of the scale of the problem has been carried out.

It is clear that socio-economic-environmental problems in the region need to be addressed through an integrated development plan. To help achieve this, the 'MinUrals' project has four main objectives:

About study areaKey regions and republics
  • Geological: Development of new geological concepts and tools for mineral exploration in the Urals and the identification of new and/or alternative mineral resources.
  • Environmental: Evaluation of environmental impacts from past and present mining activities and the development of Urals-specific methodologies for assessing and reducing future impacts.
  • Legal: Propose environmentally-aware mining industry legislation and environmental law by adapting European legislation for the specific economic and environmental needs of the Urals region.
  • Science communication: To set up an international communications network to provide public access to the results of the project, mainly using a GIS database accessible via the Web.
Information about MinUrals - ENVIMAN clustering

The NHM-MinUrals website is the sole responsibility of the author. It does not represent the opinion of the Community and the Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of the data appearing herein (author: Ben Williamson ).