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SDIMI 2003 Conference
Milos, Greece, 21-23 May 2003

The International Conference on Sustainable Development Indicators in the Mineral Industries (SDIMI 2003) was held at the George Eliopoulos Milos Conference Center, in the beautiful island of Milos, Greece, between 21-23 May 2003, under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works and with the support of the Ministry of the Aegean.

SDIMI 2003 is part of a conference series devoted to the restoration of the natural balance. It followed the first conference of this series “New Frontiers in Reclamation: Facts and Procedures in the Extractive Industry” (REFAPRO), held in Milos in September 2001. The next conference of this biannual series has been scheduled for 2005.

The objective of this international conference was to assist the mining and minerals industries in their global transition to sustainable development. Its main theme therefore, was the development, monitoring and assessment of sustainable development criteria for mineral operations. Emerging technologies that can assist in the development of criteria and performance indicators were also presented. A goal of the conference was also to conclude with a consensus plan and a process, representing a variety of stakeholders, which can provide guidance to the global minerals community on the path of sustainable development.

One of the greatest achievements of SDIMI 2003 was the issue of the Milos Statement, which is the contribution of the Minerals Professional Community to Sustainable Development (seen in full at the end of this report). This statement has been in full adopted by The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, The Society of Mining Professors, The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and The Asociation Iberoamericana de Ensenanza Superior de la Mineria. The vision of the Milos Statement for the future is that the minerals community should contribute to a sustainable future through the use of scientific, technical, educational and research skills in minerals, metals and fuels.

SDIMI 2003 attracted 176 participants from 26 countries of Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. 69 papers were accepted for oral presentation in two parallel sessions. The papers presented at the meeting were organized in thematic units, covering the following broad subjects and areas: Sustainable development criteria and concepts, applications and case studies, sustainable development applications in industrial minerals, construction materials and aggregates, technology development towards sustainable criteria, sustainability issues in rehabilitation and recycling. All sessions were characterized by lively worthwhile discussions.

The plenary session included five very interesting keynote presentations, by P. Van der Veen and J. Strongman on “Sustainable development - The way forward for the mining industry”, L. Brykman on “Sustainable development indicators for the EU non-energy extractive industries”, S. Stewart on “Mining and sustainable development”, A. Roper on “ICMM: Sustainable development framework: principles and reporting” and D.J. Shields, L.A. Wagner and D.J.A. van Zyl on “Indicators of mineral system contributions to sustainability in the USA”.

The approaches and issues session of the sustainable development and criteria and concepts theme, included among others, the papers by P.N. Martens on “A resource-oriented analysis of metallic raw material flows”, R. Matikainen on “Sustainable exploration - the changing role of geological surveys in the EU” and K. Komnitsas and Z. Agioutantis on “Risk assessment and sustainable development framework in the mining industry”.

The applications and progress session of the previous theme included among others the papers of K. Fytas on “Sustainable development in the Canadian mineral industry”, E. Turner et. al., on “Achieving sustainability; tracking progress in the European minerals industry using SDI” and M. Cambridge on “The sustainability of the gold industry in Europe”.

The impact and life cycle concepts session of the same theme included among others the papers of D.J.A van Zyl on “Mining employment, economic contributions and their impacts in the USA”, I. Douni et. al., on “Life cycle inventory methodology in the mineral processing industries” and A. Korre et. al., on “Development of a life cycle assessment model for metalliferous mining projects”.

The commodity and project applications session of the applications and case studies theme, included among others the papers of C. Cassios and S. Peppas on “Integrated sustainability assessment of S&B’s bauxite operations”, M. Ruhrberg on “Reporting on product stewardship in the copper industry” and S. Karka on “Sustainability assessment of a gold processing plant location in Olympias coastal area”.

The examples and case studies session of the previous theme included among others the papers of J. Loredo et. al., on “Problems and options in relation to abandoned mine sites” and V. Badino et al., on “Sustainable development indicators as a tool for monitoring unfair international market competition of mineral commodities”.

The financial, educational and cultural issues of the same theme included among others the papers of V. Badino and G. Blengini on “The importance of marble in cultural sustainability” and M. Ericsson and P. Sarkka on “Socio-economic impact of the Finnish extractive industries”.

The sustainable development technologies session of the technology development towards sustainable criteria theme, included among others the papers of A. Korre et. al., on “Quantitative assessment of the risks associated with high soil heavy metal loads in mining districts” and S. N. Groudev et. al., on “Feasible rehabilitation schemes at an abandoned uranium mine site”.

The applications and advanced technologies session of the previous theme included among others the papers of S. Mertikas et. al., on “A proposal for the development of an integrated monitoring system for hazards control in the mining industry using remote sensing and related technologies”, E. Spyridonos et. al., on “State of the art 3D modeling techniques: vital tools to ensure the efficient use of non-renewable resources” and S. Schafric et. al., on “Sustainable development of mineral resources: improving communications using visualization techniques”.

The methodology and concepts session of the sustainable development applications in industrial minerals, construction materials and aggregates theme included among others the papers of S. Murray on “Driving forward European industrial minerals industry’s commitment to sustainable development”, W.H. Langer et. al, on “Sustainability indicators for aggregates” and S. Maurigiannakis et al., on “Suitability of artificial stone as building material: a sustainable development option for the construction industry”.

The examples and applications session of the previous theme included among others the papers of K. Tsakalakis on “The Greek cement industry sector and its potential towards sustainable development” and W. Hennies and A. Almeida on “Ore quality indicators: case studies of crushed stone and industrial sand”.

The rehabilitation session of the sustainability issues in rehabilitation, reuse and recycling theme included among others the papers of W. Daniels on “Strategies for the return of heavy mineral sands mines to productive agricultural uses”, F. Pavloudakis et. al., on “Planning for sustainable land use management in surface coal mining areas” and F. Fujimura et. al., on “Geological and geotechnical aspects to assist the reclamation of areas degraded by surface mining”.

Finally, the recycling and waste management session of the previous theme, included among others the papers of S. Durucan et. al., on “Hydrological characterization and pollutant transport modeling of rehabilitated coal mine waste dumps” and W. Dresler et. al., on “Base metal smelter slag as a sustainable source of copper, nickel, cobalt and supplementary cementing materials”.

Last but not least the assistance provided by the international conference organizing committee, and especially Professors Z. Agioutantis, M. Karmis and P. Martens as well as the conference secretariat throughout the conference is greatly acknowledged.

Copies of the proceedings (Z. Agioutantis, Ed.), ISBN: 960-87054-2-8, can be ordered to: Heliotopos Professional Congress Organizers, GR-172 36, Dafni, Athens, Greece, tel: +30-210-9730697, fax: +30-210-9767208, E-mail: sdimi@heliotopos.net, http://milos.conferences.gr/sdimi2003. Cost: 50 €

Associate Professor Kostas Komnitsas, Technical University of Crete, Department of Mineral Resources Engineering, Email: komni@mred.tuc.gr

Milos Statement

Contribution of the Minerals Professional Community to Sustainable Development

Who we are: The minerals professional community comprises engineers, scientists, technical experts, and academics who work in, consult for, educate, study, or are in some other manner associated with, the minerals industry.

Society’s transition towards a sustainable future cannot be achieved without the application of the professional principles, scientific knowledge, technical skills, educational and research capabilities, and democratic processes practiced by our community. Our members share a mutual responsibility with all individuals to ensure that our actions meet the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their own needs.

What we believe: We believe minerals are essential to meeting the needs of the present while contributing to a sustainable future.

The process of civilization is one of advancing intellectual, social, and cultural development for all of humankind. An important aspect of the history of civilization is scientific discoveries and technological advancements that transform raw materials into resources, thus providing the means for increased human well-being. The benefits and services derived from minerals, metals, and fuels can contribute to the achievement of a sustainable future because the inherent characteristics of these resources make productivity and consumption gains possible.

Achieving of a balance among economic prosperity, environmental health, and social equity will require significant changes in business strategies, operating technologies, personal behaviours, and public policies. Minerals professionals can engage with communities of interest in the process of improving quality of life by helping to balance the need for minerals, metals, and fuels against the need to protect the environment and society from unnecessary adverse impacts.

Our vision for the future: Our minerals community will contribute to a sustainable future through the use of our scientific, technical, educational, and research skills in minerals, metals, and fuels.

What needs to be done to achieve our vision:

Professional Responsibility:

  • Employ science, engineering, and technology as resources to people, catalysts for learning, providers of increased quality of life, and protectors of the environment, human health, and safety.
  • Encourage the development, transfer, and application of technologies that support sustainable actions throughout the product and mine life cycles.
  • Give high priority to identifying solutions for pressing environmental and developmental challenges as related to sustainable development.
  • Address social equity, poverty reduction, and other societal needs as issues that are integral to minerals and mining related endeavors.
  • Participate in the global dialog on sustainable development.
  • Engage in all stages of the decision-making process, not only the project execution phase.

Education, Training, and Development:

  • Attract the best people to the fields of mining and minerals by encouraging, facilitating, and rewarding excellence.
  • Build up and maintain a critical mass of engineering, technical, scientific, and academic capacity through improved education and training.
  • Promote the teaching of sustainability principles in all engineering programs at all academic levels.
  • Support and commit funding to the infrastructure that enables nations to provide mineral education, professional training, information, and research.
  • Prevent the loss of core competencies.
  • Encourage a global exchange in academic training, as well as apprenticeship and internships programs.


  • Support professional growth and interaction through books, articles, symposia, short courses, and conferences on minerals and mining in sustainable development.
  • Share and disseminate to the public sound information, knowledge, and technology, including information on every aspect of minerals and mining, through print, electronic, and other appropriate media.
  • Disseminate technical information on sustainable development, and the role of the minerals, metals, and fuels in sustainable development, including information on the role of minerals in maintaining a high quality of life.
  • Promote the achievements and capabilities of mineral community professionals to managers and executives, policy makers, and the general public.

Contact Information:
The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc.
P. O. Box 277002, Littleton, Colorado, 80127, USA
Phone: (00)-1-303-973-9550
E-mail: sme@smenet.org, URL: www.smenet.org




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