All mining activities have an impact on the environment: quarrying, driving adits, sinking shafts, creating open pits, mounding of overburden rock, tailings and settlement ponds, grinding rock, operating and maintaining mining machinery and transporting ore and finished products.

European talc producers consider that honouring their environmental responsibilities is not only good business practice; it is the right thing to do.. The approach is not just to minimise adverse impacts but to create positive improvements to the environment where practical. This extends to the operations of EUROTALC members outside Europe.

To ensure environmental protection offsets the adverse effects of mining and processing, EUROTALC member companies operate environmental management systems in line with international standards such as the ISO 14000 series. Most members’ operations are certified to this standard. Internal and external auditing systems are implemented to monitor the management systems, compliance with official regulations, and conformity to company policies and standards.

Environmental care focuses mainly on the following 5 areas


Integration of mining and processing facilities into their natural environment
When planning, building and opening new mines and/or processing facilities, care is taken to mitigate the visual impact of mining and processing operations. This planning also includes rehabilitation/restoration of the environment and its biodiversity during mining and when an operation is closed.
Emission control
Mining activities, ore processing (crushing, grinding, flotation) and product storage, bagging and shipping inevitably generate emissions in the form of dust, noise and waste water—although the latter is very limited as talc processing is mostly carried out dry. In order to reduce the effect on the environment and to safeguard the health of employees, environmental and occupational health and safety programmes are implemented. The procedures monitor emissions on a regular or continuous basis and corrective measures are taken when appropriate. Programmes are implemented in order to reduce emissions at source.
Waste management
Talc mining and processing generate various waste materials: packaging, consumables, and waste rock. Waste materials are sorted and recycled in line with prevailing waste management programmes. Rock which has to be disturbed in order to access the talc is used on site for landscaping, land restoration and creating safety barriers for mobile equipment in the mine.
Water and energy conservation
Waste and process waters are treated and recycled to the maximum practical extent. As energy costs are high and as creating energy produces greenhouse gas (GHC) emissions causing climate change, all ways to recycle, recover or reduce energy use in the processes or to promote other uses are studied and implemented where practical.
Hazardous products and waste management
All consumable products can have an impact on the environment. Hydrocarbons and chemical reagents, for example, are governed by specific procedures for ordering, storage, handling and final treatment or disposal. The use of hazardous chemicals in the making of talc products is, however, very small, as can be seen by the data in the European Union Sustainable Development Indicators Voluntary Reporting Scheme for the Non-Energy Extractive Industry.