Mining waste in circular economy – legislative aspect

  • Senko Pličanič
  • Ana Mladenović
  • Alenka Mauko Pranjić
  • Petra Vrhovnik
Keywords: circular economy; zero-waste approach; mining waste; construction sector; legislation


One of the common European commitments is a transition towards a green circular economy in
which waste is not discarded and considered to be just an environmental problem, but should be recognized as an
important potential source of raw materials for industry. In a priority order in waste management activities, introduced
by the Waste Directive in 2012, recycling is set just behind the waste prevention and reuse. Many types of waste can
be recycled, the most perspective being construction, industrial and mining wastes. The latter are produced and disposed
of at mine sites during the excavation and processing of ore and are extremely perspective due to large quantities and
remaining of different metals, however still underutilized, with low recycling rate. Many mining wastes are inert and
do not releases contaminants into environment, however, some of them are problematic and even require monitoring.
Reprocessing of these wastes, which include beneficiation and sequential extraction of valuable metals in the first phase
and recycling of residues in both structural and civil engineering in the second phase establishes a zero waste model
with several benefits for economy, environment and society. Out of the South-East European countries, North Macedonia has great potential to establish this model. As a consequence of long mining tradition and abundant ore resources,
there are many mining and metallurgical tailings, on the other hand vivid economy and numerous sinks for use of
recycled materials in construction sector can accommodate these quantities. However, there are open questions in terms
of administrative procedures and legislation. What are those obstacles that accompany the smooth establishment of the
proposed model from a legislative point of view? This paper deals with the situation in North Macedonia, in terms of
opportunities, legislative options and the need to adopt new legislation, taking also into account the current problems
in this field in Europe.


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How to Cite
Pličanič, S., Mladenović, A., Mauko Pranjić, A., & Vrhovnik, P. (2020). Mining waste in circular economy – legislative aspect. Geologica Macedonica, 34(2), 149-156.