Open cast vermiculite mining at the Abercrombie pit in South Carolina (Picture courtesy of WR Grace)
Providing the vermiculite is used and handled in accordance with the suppliers’ recommendations, it can be used in a safe and environmentally friendly way. As with all other materials it is important to adopt normal good working practices and to comply with local and national regulatory requirements. Requirements do vary on a country by country basis and it is advisable that local agencies be contacted regarding specific requirements.
Vermiculite is mined using open cast mining techniques where the ore is separated from other minerals and then screened or classified into several basic particle sizes.
Every care is taken in mining operations to minimize the impact on the environment and to restore land to its natural condition when mining ends.
The Vermiculite Association via its Working Groups and Technical Committee has developed a ‘Product Stewardship Programme’ and a set of ‘Vermiculite Test Methods’ and these operate in conjunction with Quality Management Systems such as ISO 9002.
For more information concerning Safety, Health, Environment and Quality please refer to the following documents: