Mining in Mongolia to become more environmentally friendly

Spoil from the Erdenet copper mine is dumped outside the mining town.Click to enlarge
Mongolia needs advisory assistance on dealing with mining waste and remediation in particular.

Spoil from the Erdenet copper mine is dumped outside the mining town.

Source: Ralph Wollmann / UBA

Mongolia is one of the richest countries worldwide in terms of raw materials. Mining is a major industry but mining activities, increasing steadily since the 1990s, are causing environmental problems. An advisory assistance project organized by UBA is answering a call from the Mongolian Ministry for Environment & Tourism to exchange experience and to deepen German-Mongolian cooperation.

Problems in Mongolian mining include deficient remediation measures and a lack of consideration for environmental issues, and with regard to handling mining waste in particular. A workshop for representatives of Mongolian ministries, specialist organizations and mining companies took place in Mongolia's capital Ulan Bator in September 2016 to focus on the remediation of mining sites. Experts from UBA and the Lausitzer und Mitteldeutschen Bergbau-Verwaltungsgesellschaft (mining management company) presented their experience from the implementation process of the EU Mining Waste Directive Nr. 2006/21/EC in handling mining waste and remediation in Eastern Germany's lignite mining regions. The Mongolian partners talked about the regulatory framework and the status of remediation activities. After a 3-day follow-up excursion to Mongolian mining fields, the Mongolian and German experts discussed the specific details of their assistance requirements and further cooperation.