February 2010

Together with the Japanese Company MMTEC and the Bulgarian Science and Technical Union of Mining, Geology and Metallurgy Geotechmin Held an International Training Course on "Mine Wastewater Treatment"

In 2009 Geotechmin commenced international cooperation with a main focus on environmental technologies. After signing a contract with MMTEC for technical support in the design and construction of a water treatment facility at the Ellatzite mine, Geotechmin started another project with its Japanese partners – international technical training on "Mine Wastewater Treatment". The idea originated by the awareness that other countries in the Balkan region are facing similar problems connected to pollution of the environment as a result of the mining activities performed by them.

Geotechmin hosted the training course which was held in two modules in December 2009 and February 2010. The event was financed by the Japanese governmental organization AOTS (Association for Overseas Technical Scholarships) on a program for training courses in third countries excluding EU member states. Lecturers were some of MMTEC's most prominent experts on treatment of industrials waters and participants were mining experts from Macedonia and Albania.

The Japanese experts introduced the participants to the actual condition of existing mines in Japan and the ways environmental issues are handled during the recultivation period. State-of-the-art methods and facilities for treatment of mine wastewaters were presented in detail during the lectures. The participants in the course visited Ellatzite open pit mine and the floatation plant and witnessed the operation of the largest open pit mine in Bulgaria. They acquired skills for conducting analytical test for determining the most suitable technology for treatment and for clarification of the conditions for design of treatment facilities. At the closing ceremony the participants were awarded completion certificates from AOTS.

This technical training was conducting at a time of ever more pronounced trend of raising public attention to ecological issues. The aim of the organizers is to increase the involvement of the mining industry in terms of problems with mine contamination. As a host Geotechmin hopes the event will encourage specialists from Bulgaria and the Balkan countries to join efforts in protecting the environment.



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