Characterization of waste - Overall guidance document for characterization of waste from the extractive industries
This Technical Report gives guidance and recommendations on the application of methods for the characterization of waste from extractive industries1, i.e. wastes resulting from the prospecting, extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources and the working of quarries. The document covers characterization methods for both physical and geochemical properties and also other significant aspects, from planning to interpretation and reporting.
The main purpose of the document is to aid the extractive industry and regulatory agencies in the member states in understanding how to perform waste characterization for planned, active and closed extractive operations.
The document includes a discussion on when and why characterization may be needed and on the contexts within which characterization data may need to be applied. However, it does not cover information on how to apply these characterization results, e.g. for dam design or closure planning. For guidance on how to use characterization results correctly for predictive modelling or design purposes references are made to other sources of information.
The extractive industry covers many different sectors with very different waste categories and characterization may be carried out with many different objectives. For this reason, a guidance document on characterization cannot be prescriptive or provide generally applicable instructions on how waste characterization should be performed in each and every case.