Opportunities for Sustainable Mining by Beneficial Pit Lake End Uses

Opportunities for Sustainable Mining by Beneficial Pit Lake End Uses

Clint McCullough (MiWER), Mark Lund (MiWER)     Can Australian pit lakes be used for sustainable enduses for mining companies, communities or the environment?   Being a finite abstraction, “sustainable mining” is something of an oxymoron for what is inherently unsustainable activity. Nevertheless, in an era of increasing recognition of environmental and social damage through an ever-growing scale of mining coupled with increasing corporate social conscience for these activities, the mining industry usually works to reduce operational risk and retain its “social licence to mine” the community resource through a variety of strategies. Figure: Conceptual beneficial end uses for pit lakes…

Monitoring Strategies for Australian Pit Lakes and Connected Waters

Monitoring Strategies for Australian Pit Lakes and Connected Waters

Clint McCullough (MiWER), Mark Lund (MiWER), Lu Zhao (MiWER)     Conceptual modelling to better understand ecological risks posed by pit lakes   Strategic management of pit lakes as a regional resource and/or liability requires a data collection programme to advise management processes such as environmental and human health and safety. Development of a monitoring and management strategy for pit lakes and connected waters would be made through a review of the various international best practice guidelines. This study has begun with a literature review of pit lake water quality monitoring strategies. In particular, parameters identified from reviewing existing pit lake…

Geochemical Modelling of Pit Lake Water Chemistry to Support Management Decisions

Geochemical Modelling of Pit Lake Water Chemistry to Support Management Decisions

Mike Mueller (Hydrocomputing, Germany), Katja Eulitz (Hydrocomputing, Germany), Clint McCullough (MiWER), Mark Lund (MiWER)     How does pit lake water quality and depth change under different management scenarios? Stage 1. Selection of appropriate model This model will maximise the use of the currently available data for model creation and validation. The current preference is not to focus on a single pit lake and model in detail but develop a simpler model that can be easily applied to cohorts of Collie pit lakes identified by the inventory collection and conceptual modelling. This general model would be less detailed but more suited to…

Development of Pit Lake Beneficial End Uses

Development of Pit Lake Beneficial End Uses

Clint McCullough (MiWER), Douglas Hunt (Curtin University), Louis Evans (Curtin University) What planning and regulatory involvement if required to develop pit lakes into beneficial end uses? Social licence to mine is encouraging a much greater emphasis on sustainability and contribution to the local community of a post-mining landscape than ever before. Development of a pit lake resource into a beneficial end use depends upon input from the mining company involved, the local community and also relevant regulatory agencies. Planning must ideally occur before the first hole is dug, and from then on it should be regularly updated as economic and social…

Conceptual Modelling of Pit Lake Processes and Ecological Risk

Conceptual Modelling of Pit Lake Processes and Ecological Risk

Clint McCullough (MiWER), Mark Lund (MiWER) Conceptual modelling to better understand ecological risks posed by pit lakes To ensure greatest scientific robustness of conceptual models we held a site visit and workshop in Collie with an expert panel of scientific researchers and managers from universities and State regulatory staff to best understand how these processes are likely working in different pit lakes. This workshop identified conceptual model needs e.g., a carbon cycling model and an acidity budget model. The intent is to then present the conceptual models as diagrammatic representations highlighting the nature of relationships between parameters and processes. These models will also…

Assessment of the Effects of Pit Lakes on Human Health

Assessment of the Effects of Pit Lakes on Human Health

Andrea Hinwood (CEM), Jane Heyworth (UWA), Helen Tanner (CEM), Clint McCullough (MiWER) Do pit lakes present a hazard to human health? Government and community stakeholders have expressed concerns about how open cut mining operations may affect human health and wellbeing through modified surface and groundwater regimes and their follow-on effects on environmental contamination and disease propagation. This project used Collie as a case-study to investigate how the formation of pit lakes may degrade or even improve health outcomes for mining communities living with these legacies. This project aimed to examine possible impacts of human interaction with pit lakes. The project…

Biological remediation of acid mine waters in a sewage evaporation pond

Biological remediation of acid mine waters in a sewage evaporation pond

Clint McCullough (MiWER), Mark Lund (MiWER), Joel May (Xstrata Coal Pty Ltd) Is a mining operations sewage evaporation pond able to biologically remediate acid pit dewatering water? Workshop Evaporation Pond 2 (WEP2) is a water body used to reduce low pH and/or high salinity surface water volumes through evaporation. Approximately 4 ML of acid dewatering water from WEP2 was introduced into the 60 ML Workshop Evaporation Pond 1 (WEP1) in late May 2003. WEP1 is a hyper-eutrophic water body into which raw sewage and CCP workshop vehicle washdown and waste waters are continuously fed. In situ sulfate reduction processes produced alkalinity and removed heavy…

Reports

Reports

Link (this will take you to the publisher’s website), PDF will provide a copy of the full paper. Alternatively, contact us for a reprint. 2018 Blanchette, M.L., and Lund, M. A. (2018). C25031: Developing closure criteria for river diversions: an alternative to reference sites. Mine Water and Environment Research/Centre for Ecosystem Management Report No. 2018-1, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. Xpp. Unpublished report to the Australian Coal Association Research Program. Lund, M.A. and Blanchette, M.L. (2018). C23025 Coal pit lake closure by river flow through: risks and opportunities. Mine Water and Environment Research/Centre for Ecosystem Management Report No. 2018-3, Edith Cowan…

Books and Book Chapters

Books and Book Chapters

Link (this will take you to the publisher’s website), PDF will provide a copy of the full paper. Alternatively, contact us for a reprint. 2014 McCullough, C. and Blanchette, M.L. (2014) Effects of anthropogenic acidification on aquatic ecosystems. In: Australian Freshwater Ecology: Processes and Management (second edition). (Ed A. Boulton, M. Brock, B. Robson, D. Ryder, J. Chambers, & J. Davis). Wiley & Sons, New York. 392pp. link 2012 Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2012). Pit lakes in Australia. In: Acidic Pit Lakes – Legacies of surface mining on coal and metal ores. (Ed W. Geller &…