New Good Practice Guide for Handling Soils in Mineral Workings
The focus of current UK Government policy in England, as set out in its 25 Year Environmental Plan (DEFRA, 2018), is to safeguard all soil resources (as Natural Capital, DEFRA, 2021). These policies are to be followed by the mineral extraction industry and regulated by the planning authorities. By 2030 all soils are to be managed sustainably.
On the face of it, minerals extraction may appear a relatively simple and straightforward process to the unversed. Reserves are identified and applications are made for the go-ahead to remove the earth’s natural riches. But, as we all know, the process is considerably more complex, wrapped up in a rich mix of consultations, legislation and an equal measure of negotiation, all of which can take years.
The UK’s quarrying and mineral products sector is always moving forward and seeking out new ways of doing things that challenge the status quo. These are often achieved through exciting collaborations between quarry operators and suppliers introducing new innovations setting out standards of excellence that become future operational norms.
Standards and professionalism is a key segment of the Institute of Quarrying’s Skills Wheel, covering all of the key regulations and standards that affect the quarrying and mineral extractive industries. The most well known environmental standard ISO 14001 is one of the key tools that many organisations use in managing their environmental impacts which in recent years has been revised.