TEXMIN project entitled "The impact of EXtreme weather events on MINing operations" is a three-years RFCS research project, carried out by a interdisciplinary consortium of 9 institutions from 6 countries, ie. the UK, Greece, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic and Poland, focused on assessing and minimising the environmental impact of extreme weather events on mining operations.
The duration of project realization: 01.06.2019 – 31.05.2022.
TEXMIN project aims to provide guidance to all stakeholders on gradual and sudden impacts on operating, closed and abandoned coal mines brought about by climate change and extreme weather events, as this issue is currently affecting sites in Europe and the rest of the world.
Whilst extreme weather events that are consequence of climate change has been a well-researched subject for many years, it is only recently that the subject has appeared on the radar of the international mining industry. Some mines have already faced issues relating to increased severe weather events so this issue needs to be addressed. The scenarios of climate change indicate that this types of events will be more frequent and violent. TEXMIN project will identify and evaluate environmental impacts on operating, closed and abandoned mines caused by short term increases in extreme weather events and long-term climate change. Climate change scenarios will be calculated from regional climate models and climate baseline review. Impacts brought about by increases in precipitation, temperature and sudden changes in atmospheric pressure will be identified and evaluated with respect to mines across Europe. These will focus on issues such as minewater, gas emissions and structural stability. Within the project realization, risks will be assessed, adaptation & monitoring strategies and tool will be proposed to mitigate current and future impact. The developed monitoring strategy and as an integrated management tool should help with reducing the vulnerability of the mining sector to extreme weather events and climate change. In addition, some of the remedial actions proposed for shafts and spoil dumps will be applied and tested in pilot scale.
Specific project objectives are as follows:
- to review and record previous extreme weather events in the mining industry and review historic climate trends in mining regions around Europe,
- to calculate projections of future climate changes for European mining regions for different emission scenarios,
- to identify, based on these modelled projections, how future climate scenarios could impact on closed, abandoned and operating mines within these regions,
- to identify, quantify and evaluate those impacts brought about by changes in precipitation, temperature and sudden changes in atmospheric pressure,
- to model them for improvement of the understanding of how changing parameters influence the results,
- to develop effective adaptation strategies and monitoring solutions to reduce the impact and vulnerability of sites to climate change, and in turn enhance the sustainability credentials of mining activities, especially when related to mine closure and mine closure planning,
- to develop an integrated risk management tool,
- to apply in pilot scale the remedial measures for stabilisation of sealed shaft and mine spoil dump in case of extreme weather events occurrence,
- to involve all stakeholders in a process of consultation and communication of the findings and deliverables throughout the duration of the project to raise attention to these issues and vulnerabilities.