Presently no reliable synoptic picture of number, extent, distribution and emissions from mining waste sites exists, neither for EU member states, nor for the Accession and Candidate Countries. At EU level, this information is needed to assess the large range of environmental impacts caused by mining wastes and their emissions in a coherent way across the different policies addressing the protection and sustainable use of environmental resources. The core task lies in the harmonised collection and standardised compilation and evaluation of existing data and in connecting them to a geographical reference system compatible with other European data sets. In the proposed approach information from national registers of mining wastes is linked to related standardized spatial data layers such as CORINE Land Cover (the classes of mineral extraction sites, dump sites) or other data sets available in the EUROSTAT GISCO data base, thus adding the spatial dimension at regional scale. Higher level of spatial detail and distinction between mineral extraction site and waste sites with or without accumulation of potentially hazardous material is added by remote sensing, applying a semi-automated principal component analysis (PCA) to selected spectral channels of geo-referenced Landsat-TM full scenes. The method was demonstrated on large areas covering approximately 120000 km2 of Slovakia and Romania and was validated against mining-related features from Pan-European and/or national databases, detailed geological maps, mineral resource maps, as well as by a GIS analysis showing the distribution of anomalous pixels in the above-mentioned features compared to the main land cover classes.