Mine Pit Lakes in Australia: an International Perspective

Naresh Kumar(MiWER), Clint McCullough (MiWER), Mark Lund (MiWER)

What are the characteristics of Australian pit lakes and how do compare to those of other countries?

The MiWER team were invited to contribute a book chapter on “Mining lakes in Australia” to the book, “Acidic Pit Lakes – legacies of coal and ore mining” published by Springer. The book is a revised version of the now 10 year-old well-recognised publication by the same publishers. Our chapter will highlight knowledge of mine pit lakes in Australia. Main topics that are covered in the chapter are the total number of mine lakes, type of mining, physical, chemical and some biological characteristics, any remediation and rehabilitation approaches planned or already carried out, remediation drivers and the socio-economic aspects of the mine lakes etc. To assist us, we have contacted regulatory agencies in all states as well as a broad range of industry groups and consultants to provide information on pit lakes across the country.

Photo: Australia has many highly acidic and also highly saline lakes as a result of its arid climate. Mine from the Goldfields of Western Australia.

Map: With a mining booming in Australia, mine pits are forming larger and more ubiquitous pit lakes than ever before.


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 & M. Schultze). Springer, Berlin, Germany. 342-361pp.link

Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2009). Water resources in Australian mine pit lakes. Proceedings of AUSIMM Water in Mining 2009Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), Perth, Australia. pp. 507-511.PDF

Kumar, N. R.; McCullough, C. D. & Lund, M. A. (2009). Water resources in Australian mine pit lakes. Mining Technology. 118: 205-211.link