Investigative monitoring for the assessment of pressures and impacts from the mining of metal ores, processing metal ores and uranium mining and proposals of measures for the East Aegean river basin district Management Plan (EARBDMINING)

Project facts

Project promoter:
University of Mining and Geology 'St. Ivan Rilski'
Project Number:
Target groups
Civil servants/Public administration staff,
Non governmental organisation
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 281,194
The project is carried out in:


The scope of the project is to assess pressures and impacts from metal ore mining activities and proceeding nowadays and in the past and to propose relevant measures to reduce their direct impact on water, protected areas and biodiversity and indirect impacts. It is planned to collect and organize in database and GIS the relevant available information, to identify missing needed information and organize a field survey to data, including sampling of ground water and surface water and soil, estimation of pressures and assessing their impact in different aspects – to groundwater, surface water, soil and affected ecosystems and protected areas – for protection of biodiversity, potable water for human consumption and for recreation. Based on the improved knowledge for the problems the plan is to establish objectives and if needed exemptions from the common goal of Water framework directive to reach good status of water and related ecosystems, to develop a catalogue of measures related to these types of activities and problems based on the good practices survey and to propose relevant measures, including economic analyses for cost – benefits.

Summary of project results

The extraction of metal ores and rare metals (uranium) is widespread on the territory of the East Agean River Basin district (EARBD) and has significant impact on the ecological status of the surface and the ground waters. Lack of sufficient geological and hydrogeological surveys, as the unclassified and non-digital data, represents a serious problem for the assessment of the pressure and the impact of mining on the water bodies and related ecosystems. Respectively EARBD cannot define objectives and effective measures for achieving of 'good environmental status' in the River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) in accordance with Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EU(WFD). The main objective of the project was to identify the sources and assess the pressure and impacts from mining of metal ores and uranium proceeding on surface and ground waters in the EARBD district, and to prepare measures in accordance with the WFD, groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC and Directive on the Environmental Quality Standards for priority substances 2008/105/EU. During project implementation considerable amount of information was analyzed and systematized, detailed passports of the water bodies were elaborated with the pollution sources in the EARBD region. Additional information on the current status of water bodies and soil, fish fauna, benthic macroinvertebrates, macrophytes and phytobenthos was collected and analyzed. As a result the following deliverables were prepared, widely discussed and adopted by the stakeholders and integrated in the Second RBMP: 1. Methodology for assessment of the pressure and impacts of mining in EARBD 2. Conceptual models of the sources of pressure and three-dimensional mathematical models; 3.Catalogue of measures in accordance with Art.11 of the WFD 2000/60/EC to reduce pollution from mining and to recover pollutions from the past. All project results were uploaded into GIS, interactive GIS application was developed to ensure broad access to the information. The main users of the project results are the authorities, responsible for the water management in the East Aegean River Basin. Project results will be used also from national and local authorities, the industry, environmental organizations as the improving of environment in the region will benefit the whole of society.

Summary of bilateral results