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Mining waste turned to good use

  • 2013-04-25
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - Last year, Estonian energy company Eesti Energia’s mines sold over a million tons of mine waste rubble and crushed stone, generated by the mining of oil shale, the company said in a statement, reports LETA.
The material produced in 2012 was partly used, for example, in the construction of the Johvi to Kuremae basic road, and state-owned forest roads.

Mine waste rubble, consisting of limestone, can be used successfully as aggregate in construction works; furthermore, it is used to produce crushed stone of various grades. To reduce sulphur dioxide emissions, crushed stone is used in pulverized oil shale firing boilers at Narva Power Plants.
“Our objective is to mine in a manner as green and sustainable as possible, and for that reason we are also utilizing any material left over from the mining of oil shale,” said Veljo Aleksandrov, chairman of the management board of Eesti Energia Mines.

“Any crushed stone or mine waste rubble produced by our mines can be used anywhere roads or grounds need to be constructed, or where the profile of terrain needs to be modified. The recovery of these materials reduces the need for constructing new limestone quarries,” he added.
Most of the crushed stone output of 2012 - 373,000 tons - came from the Estonia mine. Amongst other things, a contribution to the production of crushed stone was made in the first half of last year by the quarry at Aidu, where oil shale mining was ended last summer.

Eesti Energia’s objective is to transform former mining areas in a manner that is friendly to the environment and the community. For that reason, the company is constructing an unconventional water landscape in the former mining area at Aidu, in collaboration with the Rural Municipality of Maidla.
Previously, the former mining area at Kohtla has taken on a new look, and the industrial grounds and underground complex there are now popular tourist destinations. The Sirgala quarry that is situated in an area away from human population houses a polygon for military shooting practices.