Frequent Questions

Are trace metals that remain in ore considered to be processed?

Are trace metals in ore that remain in the product and are in the same form as extracted considered processed? What if the trace metals that were extracted do not remain in the product?

Amounts of listed toxic chemicals that remain with the product (metal concentrate) that are distributed in commerce are considered processed and these amounts must be factored into the facility's processing threshold. Amounts of listed toxic chemicals in mixtures and trade name products that are processed are eligible for the de minimis exemption. Any trace metal or other listed toxic chemical that is completely removed from the facility's product prior to distribution and disposed, would not count toward the facility's processing threshold, but would need to be considered in release and other waste management calculations if the facility has exceeded thresholds for the listed toxic chemical elsewhere. Additional guidance on processing threshold determinations is available in the Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Forms and Instructions.  Guidance on the de minimis exemption is also available in Directive #2 of the Addendum to 1998 Question and Answer Document.

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