Publication Details

Reference Category Book chapters
Title (Primary) Realising beneficial end uses for pit lakes
Title (Secondary) Mine Closure 2018 : Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Mine Closure, 3 – 7 September 2018, Leipzig, Germany
Author McCullough, C.M.; Schultze, M.; Vandenberg, J.;
Publisher Drebenstedt, C.; von Bismarck, F.; Fourie, A.; Tibbett, M.;
Year 2018
Department SEEFO;
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T31;
Keywords pit lake; closure; planning, end use
UFZ inventory Magdeburg, Bibliothek, 00526951, 18-0604 MA Wa 40
Abstract There is growing recognition that pit lakes can represent significant liabilities at mine closure. With over
½ century of open cut mining demonstrated in most countries, pit lake legacies have been shown to present
long‐term and significant health, safety and environmental risks difficult to resolve.
However, pit lakes also present opportunities to provide significant regional benefit and even address residual
closure risks of both their own and overall project closure, and, if properly planned, can offset the
environmental costs of mining by creating new end uses. The following end uses have been realised: passive
and active recreation, nature conservation, fishery and aquaculture, drinking and industrial water storage,
greenhouse carbon fixation, flood protection and waterway remediation, disposal of mine and other waste,
mine water treatment and containment, and education and research.
We reviewed published pit lake closure studies (both successful and not) combined with our own collective
experiences to determine what lessons might be gleaned to improve closure practice. As with many mine
closure outcomes, examples of end use development as a closure strategy are rarely published; and even more so when they are not successful.
We found beneficial end use type and outcome varied dependent upon climate and commodity; but equally
important social and political dynamics that manifest as mining company commitments or regulatory
requirements. We also found that initial optimism about likelihood of end uses being successfully realised
often failed to meet stakeholder expectations.
Common attributes and reasons that led to successful closure outcomes as end use developments are
discussed. Recommendations are given for all stages of mine closure planning to realise successful pit lake
closure with beneficial end uses.
ID 20871
Persistent UFZ Identifier
McCullough, C.M., Schultze, M., Vandenberg, J. (2018):
Realising beneficial end uses for pit lakes
In: Drebenstedt, C., von Bismarck, F., Fourie, A., Tibbett, M. (eds.)
Mine Closure 2018 : Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Mine Closure, 3 – 7 September 2018, Leipzig, Germany
TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg, p. 487 - 494