Mine Pit Lakes

Mine pit lakes study and implications for environmental management

The Mine Pit Lakes – Their Characterisation and Assessment for In-Situ Metal Recovery Opportunities and Cost-effective Environmental Management study will bring greater certainty to industry and government when determining whole of life mine planning, protocols and practices.

Initiated by ChemCentre, this three-year collaborative project involves ChemCentre, CSIRO and West Australian government agencies, Department of Mines and Industry Regulation and Safety and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. The $1 million project is funded by both the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) and the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA).

This study focuses on ‘in-the-field’ pit lakes and pit voids in WA that are likely to become pit lakes after mining ceases. The scientific data obtained on contemporary mine pit lakes (as a function of: variable age, location and different geological and hydro-geological settings, different associated host rock lithologies, different environmental conditions) can effectively provide a ‘time capsule’ picture of how future similar systems are likely to behave. By using ‘real world’ data the project aims to better inform and validate existing predictive geochemical models to enable confident predictions to be made decades into the future.

The project will also investigate the potential of using novel processes to recover valuable metals from pit lakes systems.

This study encompasses all mining commodities, such as coal, iron ore, precious metals and base metals.

Related news:

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Mine Pit Lakes Study will bring certainty


Industry Participation Invited

The research team is seeking expressions of interest from mining companies to allow the study of one or more existing mine pit lakes situated near their mine sites.

If you think your company may be interested, the study offers the following benefits:

  • The study will provide vital data to better inform mine closure planning;
  • All analytical data generated on the test sites and materials will be supplied free of charge;
  • A scientific study and interpretation of the pit lakes sites studied within the context of this project, including charted data will be supplied free of change;
  • Identification of potential resource value opportunities by applying in-situ recovery technologies to existing mine pit lakes; and
  • Access to decision support tree for application of laboratory-based tools and predictive models for long-term assessment and management planning of pit voids and pit lakes.


To discuss your interest in the study or for more information, please contact us today. 

Enquire Now 

Postal address

PO Box 1250

t: (08) 9422 9800
f: (08) 9422 9801
e: enquiries@chemcentre.wa.gov.au

ABN : 40 991 885 705

Street address

Resources and Chemistry Precinct
Corner Manning Road and Townsing Drive
Bentley WA 6102

Reception: Level 2, South Wing, Building 500.

Deliveries: Ground floor - use Conlon Street entrance