Place of Publication
School of Science / Mine Water and Environment Research Centre
The impact of large-scale mining on the landscape is a permanent legacy of industrialisation and unique to the Anthropocene. Thousands of lakes created from the flooding of abandoned open-cut mines occur across every inhabited continent and many of these lakes are toxic, posing risks to adjacent communities and ecosystems. Sustainable plans to improve water quality and biodiversity in ‘pit lakes’ do not exist due to: (1) confusion as to the ultimate use of these lakes, (2) involvement of ecologists only after the lake is filled and (3) pit lake ecology struggling to reach the primary literature. An integrated approach to pit lake management engages ecologists in pit lake design, prioritising ecological progress and passive treatment in mine closure planning, ultimately empowering communities with post-mining options.
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